14 Jul, Sunday
Top 10 Largest tribes in Kenya

Top 10 Largest tribes in Kenya

This article is about top 10 Largest tribes in Kenya. Kenya offers a collection of diverse cultures and traditions. Traditions and customs differ by race.

In Kenya, ethnicity is a major concern, so much so that there are over 42 ethnic groups, also known as tribes.

Most of the tribes are Bantus, Nilotes, Kush and Asian Europeans.

The Bantu people are the largest group, followed by the Nilotes and the Kushitic community.

Top 10 Largest tribes in Kenya

This is list of the ten largest tribes in Kenya.

1. Kikuyus

Population: 8,148,668

As of 2019, the Kikuyu are the largest ethnic group in Kenya, making up about 23% of the population.

Although most of the people of the tribe live in the central region of Kenya, people from this tribe can be found in Kenya in small numbers.

Most of the Kikuyu are farmers.

They grow a lot of coffee and tea on their land. According to tradition, a Kikuyu man is allowed to marry multiple wives as long as he can support himself.

2. Luhya

Population: 6,823,842

After the Kikuyu, the Luhya come second. It is also called Abaluya and Luyia. The Luhya people mostly live in the western part of Kenya.

Luhya refers to the 20 tribes and dialects of the Luhya people.


Population: 6,358,113

The Kalenjin population is between 4,967,328 and 6 million, according to the 2019 census.

Statistics show that the Kalenjin tribe is the third largest in Kenya, behind the Kikuyu and Luhya.

Communities have different customs and ceremonies, including circumcision and age-based social hierarchy.

In order to survive, most of the people living in the Rift Valley region are engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry.

The beautiful soil in the area supports the cultivation of tea and corn, two of the crops they grow.

Among Kalenjin, there are small tribes such as Nandi, Sebei, Pokot, Sabaot, Tugen, Kipsigis, Marakwet, Endorois and Elgeyo.

4. Luos

Population: 5 million

They constitute the fourth largest population in Kenya. The Luo speak Dholuo, a dialect of the Nilotic language family.

This community represents about 15% of the country’s population and also resides in Nyanza region.

Due to their proximity to Lake Victoria, they depend on fishing as an economic activity and are known as traditional fishermen.

Other Luo traditions include wrestling for young boys, raising animals to supplement their diet, and farming.

5. Kambas

Population: 4,663.9

The Kamba people, also known as the Wakamba, are a Bantu people who live in many parts of the eastern region, including Machakos, Kitui and Makueni regions.

According to the 2019 census, there are between 4,663,910 and 6,000,000 Kamba.

They are the fifth largest city in Kenya, according to data.

The Kamba people are Bantus and have cultural and linguistic ties with Kikuyu, Embu and Meru.

They were originally hunters, but as time changed, they continued with other economic activities including agriculture, trade and casual labor for some.

6. The Somali people

People: 3 million

In the census conducted in Kenya in 2019, about three million Somalis were counted.

They practice shepherding as their main economic activity in their area in the northeastern part of the country.

The Bantu and other Somali minorities should not be confused with this group.

The Kush, of which this tribe is a part, were the first to settle in Kenya, arriving there before the Bantus.

A significant number of Somalis call their god Eabe and their culture includes the practice of matrimony.

7. Abagusii

Population: 2,703,235

They are also called Abagusii and Gusii and live in western Kenya. They adopted the name of their ancestors, Mogusi.

These tribes live in Nyamira, Kisii, Nyanza, Kericho and Bomet. The Abagusii are closely related to the Maragoli, Ikoma, Ngurimi, Rangi, Zanaki and Rangi languages.

The main economic activities include agriculture, animal husbandry and industrial activities such as pottery and metalworking.

They practice customs such as circumcision, which is done before they grow up, and they often call obokano, which is a large une bass.

Their main food is beef, milk and blood. They also eat grains like millet and sorghum.

According to the 2019 census, the city has a population of 2,703,235.


Population: 2.7 million

Mijikenda is a group of nine related Bantu tribes living along the coast of Kenya.

The nine tribes include Pokomo, Chonyi, Giriama, Jibana and Swahili.

Living in coastal towns, the Mijikenda people moved into the countryside to avoid the Portuguese army.

According to 2019 census data, they speak Mijikenda, Swahili, and English as their first language.

9. Meru

Population: 2,195,887

The Meru people live on the eastern slopes of Mount Kenya. It is a Bantu tribe called Amiiru. Meru is from the Kikuyu, Embu, Mbeere, Kamba, Temi and Dhaiso tribes. The name Banytu Meru means “shining light”.

The village has nine sub-groups, namely Imenti, Igoji, Tigania, Mitine, Mwimbi, Chuka, Muthambi and Tharaka. They speak Kimiiru, Kamba, Kiembu, Kiembu and Kikuyu.

The 2019 census revealed that the population of Meru is 2,195,887 people. Their main religion is African Traditional Religion and Christianity.

The Meru culture is close to the northern Bantu.

They practice male circumcision as a legal practice and raise livestock in addition to cultivating various crops.

10. Maasai

Population: 1,189,522

The Maasai are sedentary herders living in northern, central and southern Kenya. Their main economic activity is raising cattle and goats.

They live well in large areas. They are respected around the world because they like to live near parks and reserves, where grazing land is readily available. According to the 2019 census, the Maasai population is 1,189,522.

They generally practice Maasai mythology, Christianity and Maasai as their main religion. Other closely related tribes include the Ilchamus and Samburu.