Rationale: Stable isotopic analyses are increasingly used to study the diets of past and present human populations. Yet, the carbon and nitrogen isotopic data of modern human diets collected so far are biased towards Europe and North America. Here, we address this gap by reporting on the dietary isotopic signatures of six tropical African communities: El Molo, Turkana (Kerio), Luhya (Webuye), Luhya (Port Victoria), and Luo (Port Victoria) from Kenya, and Baka from Cameroon; representing four subsistence strategies: fishing, pastoralism, agriculturalism, and hunter-gatherer. Methods: We used an elemental analyser coupled in continuous-flow mode to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer to measure the carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios of hair (n = 134) and nail (n = 80) and the carbon isotopic ratios of breath (n = 184) from these communities, as well as the carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios of some food samples from the Kenyan communities.Results: We expand on the known range of δ C values in human hair through the hunter-gatherer Baka, with a diet based on C plants, and through the agriculturalist Luhya (Webuye), with a diet based on C plants. In addition, we found that the consumption of fish from East African lakes is difficult to detect isotopically due to the combined effects of high nitrogen isotopic ratios of plants and the low nitrogen isotopic ratios of fish. Finally, we found that some of the communities studied are markedly changing their diets through increasing sedentism and urbanisation.Conclusions: Our findings contribute substantially to the understanding of the environmental, demographic, and economic dynamics that affect the dietary landscape of different tropical populations of Africa. These results highlight the importance of studying a broader sample of human populations and their diet, with a focus on their precise context - from both isotopic and more general anthropological perspectives.