The Sukuma are a Bantu ethnic group inhabiting the southeastern African Great Lakes region. They are the largest ethnic group in Tanzania, with an estimated 5.5 million members or 16 percent of the country’s total population. Sukuma means “north” and refers to “people of the north.” The Sukuma refer to themselves as Basukuma (plural) and Nsukuma (singular). They speak Sukuma, which belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger-Congo family. The Sukuma live in northwestern Tanzania on or near the southern shores of Lake Victoria, and various areas administrative districts of the Mwanza, southwestern tip of Mara Region, Simiyu Region and Shinyanga Region. The northern area of their residence is in the famous Serengeti Plain. Sukuma families have migrated southward, into the Rukwa Region and Katavi Region, encroaching on the territory of the Pimbwe. These Sukuma have settled outside Pimbwe villages. The Sukumaland is mostly a flat scrubless savannah plain between elevation. Twenty to forty inches () of rain fall from November to March. High temperatures range from while lows at night seldom drop below . Population is very spread out among small farm plots and sparse vegetation.