East African Countries: List of Countries in East Africa


Just as the name sounds, East Africa is located at the Eastern part of Africa with part of it extending to cover a prominence on the African map called the horn of Africa. It is also referred to as Eastern Africa. According to the United Nations, there are 20 African nations that make up East African countries. This is slightly different from the geographic classification which is much more different from the modern but “unconventional English” classification of East Africa referring to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. East Africa holds a lot to human origin for instance, It is strongly believed that modern humans once lived in East Africa before migrating out of the continent. Most countries in the region were colonized by United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and France, and there is diverse cultural and religious differences with each East African country having as much cultural and traditional diversity despite being colonized by a few nations. This demonstrates the depth of cultural roots in the East African region.

Below is the List of East African Countries

  • Burundi
  • Tanzania
  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Rwanda
  • Djibouti
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Somalia
  • Mozambique
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Comoros
  • Mauritius
  • Seychelles
  • Reunion
  • Mayotte
  • South Sudan

1. Burundi

Burundi is also known as The Republic of Burundi with  Bujumbura as its capital. It is one of the countries in East Africa though it is sometimes considered a part of Central Africa.It is a landlocked country however, much of its southwestern parts lie close to Lake Tanganyika. Burundi is closely related to other East African countries and has Rwanda on its northern part, the Democratic Republic of the Congo forms the western border while Tanzania lies to the eastern and southern part.

The old kingdom of Burundi was later colonized by Germany and Belgium which occupied the region to form a European colony regarded as Ruanda-Urundi. It is worthy of note that Burundi is one of the poorest countries in Africa and is also close to the bottom when compared to other countries of the world with one of the most unimaginable  per capita GDPs of any nation in the world. It has witnessed many wars, violence, hunger and famine.

2. Tanzania

Tanzania is also known as United Republic of Tanzania and is one of the countries in East Africa by all classifications. Its capital city is Dar es Salaam. It is bordered on the north by Uganda and Kenya  while  Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo form the country’s border at the western end. Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique form the southern border of the country while its remaining eastern border is shared with Indian Ocean. Tanzania is known to have some of the most intriguing natural attractions in Africa including Mount Kilimanjaro: the highest mountain in Africa which is on its northeastern part.

3. Kenya

Kenya is a sovereign state in East Africa and is officially known as Republic of Kenya with Nairobi as its Capital and largest city. The country lies on the equatorial region and is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south-east and Tanzania to the south, Uganda lies on the west while South Sudan is located at the north-western part of Kenya, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east. Kenya is best known for amazing safari experiences and is one of the recommended romantic destinations for young couples because of diverse wildlife in the country.

4. Uganda

Uganda is one of the well-known and well-remembered nations in east Africa most especially because of one of the most famous dictators: Idi Amin who went by the unforgettable title of: “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”. Geographically, Uganda is bordered on its eastern side by Kenya, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),on the north by South Sudan, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania with parts of Lake Victoria. Uganda has seen many wars including war with neighboring countries like Tanzania. Also, there are terror groups operating in the country including the famous Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army; a group that have committed several atrocities against humanity. Uganda is rated among the top countries perceived as very corrupt by Transparency International which placed it at 29 on a scale from 0 (perceived as most corrupt) to 100 (perceived as clean).

5. Rwanda

Rwanda is sometimes considered to be a part of Central Africa however, it is officially grouped under East African countries. She gained her independence from Belgium on 1 July 1962 The country has an estimated population of about 12 million with up to 85% speaking Hutu language and 15% speaking Hutsi.

6. Djibouti

Djibouti is one of the countries located in the horn of Africa with Eritrea bordering the north, Gulf of Aden at the eastern border. It shares the western border with Ethiopia while Somalia borders the southeastern end. The remaining border not covered by land is bordered by the Red Sea. The official languages are French and Arabic and their population is under a million (about 800,000)

7. Eritrea

Eritrea is another country in the Horn of Africa. With 6 million people living there, its population is much bigger than that of Djibouti. There are cultural and language differences within Eritrea with up to 9 different ethnic groups present which are distributed as: 55% Tigrinya, 30% Tigre, 4% Saho, 2% Kunama, 2% Bilen, 2% Rashaida, 5% others.

8. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is also a country in the horn of Africa with more than 93,000,000 inhabitants making it the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria. The capital city is Addis Ababa and Amharic is the official language. Ethiopia became the first African country to defeat the European colonial powers to retain its independence at a time when most other African countries were being colonized.

9. Somalia

Somalia is strategically located among the East Africa countries. It is shaped like the number “7” and it occupies the most of the horn of Africa. Somalia has the longest coastline on the mainland because if its land shape and it shares a long border with the Indian ocean and forms the gulf of Arden with Yemen. Its population is about 10 million. The country has been ravaged by wars and terrorism and the coastal lines of the Somalia are one of the most dangerous due to high pirate activities in the region who would often kidnap individuals in exchange for ransom.

10. Mozambique

Mozambique needs no introduction as a country colonized by Portugal because of its name. It is an East African country but is often considered as part of southern Africa. Mozambique had her independence from Portugal 25 June 1975 and adopted Portuguese as the official language but has other vernacular languages which include: Tsonga, Ronga, Chopi, Tonga, Ndau, Tswa, Swahili, Makhuwa, Sena. There are about 24 million people living in the country and most are Christians, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions.