West African Vs East African Features

When it comes to the African continent, there is a great diversity in terms of people, culture, traditions, and features. West Africa and East Africa are two regions that are known for their distinct features. In this article, we will take a closer look at West African and East African features, and compare and contrast them.

Firstly, it is important to note that West Africa and East Africa have different geographical landscapes, climate, and topography, which have a significant impact on the physical features of the people living there. West Africa mostly comprises of savannah and forest areas while East Africa is predominantly arid and semi-arid. These differences have led to distinct physical features among the people of both regions.

West African Features

West African people are known for their dark skin, broad noses, and curly hair. The facial features of West Africans are characterized by high cheekbones, a wide forehead, and a prominent jawline. The body type of West Africans is also unique. The people of this region are generally tall and muscular, with a well-defined physique.

The diversity in West Africa is reflected in the physical features of different ethnic groups. For instance, people from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Mali have more pronounced facial features compared to those of the Yoruba tribe, who have a more relaxed facial structure.

The West African body type is due to the climate, which is predominantly warm and humid, and the diet, which is rich in carbohydrates and protein, consisting mainly of rice, cassava, plantain, and fish.

East African Features

East African people have a lighter skin tone compared to West Africans. They also have thinner noses and straighter hair. The facial features of East Africans are more chiseled, with high cheekbones, narrow foreheads, and slanted eyes.

East Africans have a leaner body type, and although they are not as tall as West Africans, they are still relatively tall. The diet of East Africans is characterized by a lot of fruit, vegetables, and grains. This is due to the predominantly arid climate, which makes the cultivation of crops such as maize, millet, and sorghum difficult.

The physical features of East Africans can also vary depending on ethnicity. Ethiopians, for example, have distinct facial features such as high cheekbones, wide-set eyes, and narrow, elongated faces.

Comparing & Contrasting West African Vs East African Features

Although there are many differences between West African and East African features, there are also some similarities. Both regions have a range of shades when it comes to skin color, ranging from dark chocolate to light caramel.

The diversity in physical features can also be attributed to the varying ethnic groups and tribes within both regions. The Maasai tribe in East Africa, for example, is known for its tall and lean physique, similar to that of West Africans.

One of the most obvious differences between West African and East African features is the shape of the nose. West Africans have broader noses, while East Africans have long, narrow noses. This can be attributed to the fact that East Africans have evolved in a drier, cooler climate, whereas West Africans have evolved in warmer, more humid regions, where having a wider nose helps to regulate body temperature and increase the surface area of the nostrils, thus making breathing easier.

Another difference is in the facial features.

West Africans have more pronounced facial features, while East Africans have more chiseled and angular facial features. These differences can be attributed to the differences in the diet of the two regions. West Africans have a diet that is high in carbohydrates and protein, while East Africans do not have access to as much protein in their diet.


In conclusion, West African and East African features are both unique, and each region has its own distinct characteristics. The differences in physical features can be attributed to various factors such as climate, diet, and ethnicity. Although there are many differences, there are also similarities, and both regions are home to a rich diversity of people and cultures.

If you are interested in learning more about the physical features of West African and East African people, be sure to do further research and explore the various cultures and traditions that make these regions so unique.