Culture The Beauty of Africa

Discover Tanzania’s Most Intelligent Tribe

Written by Abraham Odhiambo

When you visit Tanzania for the first time, there are a lot of things you will experience, encounter and be interested in knowing. For instance, how do Tanzanians live? How many tribes are there in Tanzania? What is the most intelligent tribe in Tanzania?

To begin with, Tanzania has more than 120 distinct tribes and ethnic groups, all with their own customs and traditions. The Maasai, Ngoni, Haya, Chagga, Datoga and Sukuma are among the most well-known tribes living in this East African country. Of the tribes discovered, there are those that are distinguished as more intellectual than others, which leads to the question what is the most intelligent tribe in Tanzania?

What Is The Most Intelligent Tribe in Tanzania?

The Chagga, also known as Wachagga, Jagga, Waschagga or Dschagga, are Tanzania’s wealthiest, richest and most educated tribe. Many factors have played a role in this, including their strong work ethic, primarily in farming, and the western education they have been receiving over the years.


A young Chagga woman. Photo/ THE DOWN MEMORY LANE.

Most of the young people from this community work as teachers, clerks and administrators, proof that they are educated. The Chagga tribe are known for their sense of enterprise, politics and strong work ethics. If you decide to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, chances are that you will encounter members of the Chagga tribe on your approach. The Chagga are also among the wealthiest and most highly educated people in East Africa.

History of The Chagga Tribe

With a population of over two million people, the Chagga are the third largest ethnic group in Tanzania. This Bantu-speaking indigenous group live on the eastern and southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. They arrived here from other regions that are now Kenya and Tanzania around five or six centuries ago.

Historically, the Chagga people divided their land into a number of politically independent chiefdoms in vertical swaths around the mountain. They were separated by the deep valleys that extend downward from the mountain. However, these chiefdoms were abolished in 1961 after Tanzania gained independence.

Despite their numerous groups, the Chagga have maintained a strong sense of identity over the years. This can be shown by the fact that there are various dialects spoken here but they all understand Kichagga, which is their primary language.

Education of The Chagga

To refer to the Chagga as the answer to the question to what is the most intelligent tribe in Tanzania, we must talk about their education. The Chagga received their first classroom education when the missionaries came to Tanzania. They learnt in Christian missions where boys outnumbered girls because education was not highly valued for girls during that period.

However, the Chagga people now see education to be of great importance to both boys and girls. The Tanzanian government had made basic education free by 1971 and all children were required to complete at least seven years of primary education. Those who performed well in primary joined secondary schools and later universities.

Chagga people

What is the most intelligent tribe in Tanzania. Photo/ Explore Tanzania Tours.

What Is The Best Tribe in Tanzania?

Maasai. The Maasai tribe is well known around the world and is one of the most popular ethnic groups. If you are visiting East Africa for the first time, you will easily identify a Maasai due to their dressing, distinct traditions and proximity to many of the national parks.

What Is The Dominant Tribe in Tanzania?

The two largest ethnic groups in Tanzania are the Sukuma and Nyamwezi. They are linguistically and culturally closely related. Their traditional homelands are in Western Tanzania, south of Lake Victoria. The population of the Nyamwezi is about 1 to 1.5 million while that of the Sukuma is about 3 to 3.5 million.

What Is The Smartest Tribe in Kenya?

Currently, the Kikuyu tribe tops the list of the smartest tribe in Kenya. They are the most educated tribe, with over 130 professors and 5600 Ph.D. holders.

What Are The 5 Most Intelligent Tribes in Africa? 

So far, five tribes in Africa have proven to be considered among the most educated. They include the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, Lebou people of Senegal, Gurage tribe of Ethiopia, Tutsi people of Central Africa and the Venda people of South Africa.

About the author

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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