Main groups in which the Bantu were divided as they migrated into Kenya

The Western Bantu, who were part of the first wave of migrants that moved southeastwards from the Congo forest through the area west of lake Victoria, passing through present-day Uganda, where some of them settled as others proceeded to and settled in Western Kenya from 1000AD.

The Eastern Bantu, i.e. Bantu-speaking groups that occupy the area between the rift valley and coastal Kenya, who entered Kenya after migrating eastwards across northern Tanzania. They had began to settle in Kenya by 1000AD and may have followed different directions
to get to their present homeland.

The Western Bantu include:

  • Abagusi,
  • Abaluhyia,
  • Abasuba,
  • Abakuria.

The Eastern Bantu include:

  • The Mijikenda,
  • The Pokomo,
  • The Taita,
  • Agikuyu,
  • Ameru,
  • Akamba,
  • Aembu

economic activities of the Kenya Bantu in the pre-colonial period.

  • They participated in local, regional and international trade.
  • They practised farming.
  • They kept cattle, sheep, goats and other domestic animals.
  • Some were hunter-gatherers.

  • They practised crafts such as iron smelting, basketry and pottery.
  • Some communities such as the Mijikenda practised fishing.