11 Fascinating African Traditions You Didn’t Know About


When we think of Africa, the first things that usually come to mind are the big animals like lions and elephants. But there’s so much more to this continent than just wildlife—it has a rich history of culture, tradition, and diverse languages that make it truly unique. If you’ve ever wanted to visit Africa but don’t know where to start or what to do there, here are 11 fascinating African traditions you might not have thought about:

Traditional African dance

  • African dance is a great way to experience the culture.
  • Dance is a way of expressing yourself.
  • Dance is a way of celebrating your culture.
  • Dance is a way of communicating with others, especially if they don’t speak the same language as you do!
  • And finally, it’s also an opportunity for healing through movement and music–both of which are central components in traditional African dance performances

The ways of the Maasai people

The Maasai people are a nomadic tribe from southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are known for their unique traditional dress, which includes red cloth wrapped around their waists and white beaded ornaments called “shuka” worn on the head.

The Maasai also have a unique way of greeting each other: they shake hands with both hands at the same time in what is called an “entrance ritual.” This custom shows respect while also helping you remember who you just met!

Ndebele art

In the early 19th century, a Bantu tribe called the Ndebele migrated from Zimbabwe to South Africa. They brought with them their own culture and traditions, including Ndebele art.

Ndebele art is a style of painting, drawing and sculpture that originated among the Ndebele people of South Africa. It was inspired by their history as well as European influences on their culture during colonization by Great Britain.

The Zulu people

The Zulu people are a Bantu-speaking ethnic group in Southern Africa. They have a rich culture, with many traditions and customs. One of their most well-known customs is their traditional dress called “mahamba.” The mahamba is an elaborate costume that is worn during special occasions like weddings or funerals, but it’s also worn during everyday life by men who want to show off their wealth and status in society. The color of your mahamba indicates what tribe you belong to: red for warriors; black for kings; white/yellow for chiefs; and blue/red/green/brown depending on which family you belong to within those groups (there are many!).

The other important part of Zulu culture is dancing! In particular there are two dances that every Zulu knows how to do: umkhwetha (“war dance”) and ingoma (“song”).

KwaZulu-Natal’s Drakensberg Mountains

The Drakensberg Mountains are a range of mountains in South Africa and Lesotho. They form the highest area on the African continent, rising to over 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level with Mount Thabana Ntlenyana being their highest peak at 3482 meters (11,420 feet). The mountain range is also known as “Ezinyathi” (“Mountain of ice”) by Xhosa people who live close to them.[1]

The mountains are home to a wide variety of plants, animals and insects including many endemic species found nowhere else in the world. They have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their spectacular beauty and rich history which dates back over 100 000 years when humans made use of natural resources such as stone tools found there today.[2]

Swahili culture

Swahili culture is a blend of Arab, Indian and African cultures. It’s influenced by the coastal region of Kenya and Tanzania, which have been home to people speaking Swahili since at least the 15th century. The language was once spoken across East Africa but its use has declined over time; however there are still pockets where it remains strong today.

Swahili culture is characterized by a rich history and beautiful architecture that includes mosques as well as Hindu temples (or Mandirs).

Bantu magic and rituals

The Bantu people of Africa use magic and rituals to heal the sick, protect villages from evil spirits, bring rain and good fortune.

In Bantu culture, there is an intricate set of beliefs about how the world works. It’s believed that every person has a guardian spirit that protects them from harm. The guardian spirit also helps guide you through life by giving advice on important decisions such as who you should marry or where to go next in life. If someone dies suddenly or unexpectedly without having prepared themselves properly before their death (through rituals), then this could cause problems for both the individual’s family members as well as anyone else living nearby at the time it happened because they would be vulnerable targets for any malicious spirits who might want revenge!

Our traditional wedding ceremony

The traditional African wedding ceremony is quite different from a Western wedding. In fact, it’s so different that you might not even recognize it as a wedding at all! During the ceremony, the bride wears a long dress made out of material that she has woven herself and decorated with beads or shells. The groom carries an axe in his hand as he walks up to meet his bride–a symbol of strength and power. Once they’ve met, they both kneel down together while their elders bless them with incense and oil (a common practice in many African tribes). After this part of the ceremony has been completed, an elder stands up and addresses everyone present by saying “You see what I see?” Then everyone says “We see!” Together they repeat “You hear what I hear?” And everyone answers again: “We hear!”

Kiganda music and dance.

Kiganda music and dance is a popular form of entertainment in Uganda. The drummers are usually men, who play on large drums called ingoma. The dancers are usually women, who perform a variety of movements while holding on to the back of their dresses in order to make them flare out like wings.

The Kiganda style of drumming has become popular throughout Africa because it’s unique sound makes people want to dance! The drums themselves have been around for centuries–they were originally made from hollowed-out tree trunks covered with animal skins stretched across them. Today they’re made out of metal or plastic instead but still retain their original shape: round with an opening at one end where the drumstick fits inside so that it can be played upon without needing any straps or ropes attached (like regular American-style drums).

The Sotho culture.

  • The Sotho people are a Bantu-speaking nation.
  • Sotho culture is rich and diverse, with many different traditions to celebrate.
  • The Sothos have a rich history in dance, music and art.
  • They also have a strong tradition of oral storytelling, which they call Isibindi (or Iskaba).

Traveling to Africa is an incredible experience

Traveling to Africa is an incredible experience. The people are warm and welcoming, the food is amazing, and the culture is fascinating. The wildlife is breathtaking!


We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some of the amazing traditions practiced in Africa. If you’re looking for an adventure and a chance to learn more about these cultures, then we encourage you to visit our website at www.africatravels.com