There are a variety of tribal groups in Mozambique and we would be looking at the major ones which consists of a majority of population.

The main ethnic groups include;

  • Makua
  • Sena
  • Shona
  • Tsonga


This is the largest ethnic group found in Mozambique which is located in the Northern part of Mozambique with a population of over four million people. This region can be found sharing borders with Tanzania and Republic of Congo.

The primary work of the Makua people is subsistence agriculture which has been passed on from time past. The people of Makua speak Portuguese which is the official language of Mozambique although there are various local dialects that can be found amongst them.


The Sena tribe is the second largest ethnic group in Mozambique. The Sena tribe has a population close to two million people. The Portuguese colonial masters urbanized Sena and can be found to be connected with the independence of Mozambique.

The Sena tribe are more concentrated at the Zambezi valley and are believed to have an ancestral connection with a Bible descendant named Jacob.


The Shona tribe can be found inhabiting mainly the Zambezi valley totalling about 200,000 in number. The Shona ethnic group are divided into clans sharing common dialects with each individual dialect linked to cultural diversity.


The Tsonga tribe is one of the major ethnic groups found in Mozambique inhabiting the Southern part of Mozambique making up the majority population found in the Southern region.

A majority of the Tsonga people were people who fled into Mozambique from South Africa during the reign of apartheid in South Africa.

The early Tsonga people were into Pastoral farming but are now also into agricultural labor for big farms.

Other ethnic groups include Makonde, Swahili, Yao, Tonga, Chopi, Ngoni and minorities.

Check out previous episodes of LEARN AFRICA to get amazing contents on African culture.

Written and edited by Ebenezer Oladokun

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