How do you find the best African DNA test?

Many people choose to take a DNA test to help them learn more about where they’re from and who they are. You can understand these two concepts through the incredible power of DNA. People with African ancestry may be particularly interested in taking an African DNA test, which can help them trace their roots back to certain regions and ethnicity in Africa. 

What is an African DNA test?

An African DNA test is a type of DNA testing that helps people of African descent trace their ancestral roots. It enables you to understand your origin, family background, and where you come from. You may also be able to find previously unknown ancestors.

Many African Americans don’t know their origin beyond the transatlantic slave trade. The slave trade has erased a lot of information about their family history and countries of origin. However, African American DNA tests now allow them to break through walls beyond the transatlantic slave trade and dig deeper into their long history. This is only possible with an African DNA test, which can reveal accurate genetic information about ancestors, helping African Americans and others better understand who they are and where they came from.

What is the best DNA test kit for African American? It can be hard to find the best DNA test for African American customers, especially in the United States. Below, we review some of the most popular.

Nebula Genomics

Nebula Genomics analyzes 100% of your DNA with their 30X Whole Genome Sequencing kit. This technique provides customers with the information needed to trace their ancestors. Whole Genome Sequencing includes the mtDNA and Y DNA commonly analyzed in African DNA tests plus much, much more since it also includes autosomal DNA testing. This additional information gives you access to trait and disease predispositions.

In collaboration with FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA), Nebula Genomics provides deep ancestry reporting. You can receive all of the information encoded in your DNA for $299 or less and even get access to your raw data for use with other services. This makes Nebula Genomics one of the best DNA tests for African American ancestry.

Nebula Genomics DNA testing kit
Nebula Genomics decodes your entire genome

African Ancestry DNA test

Co-founded by Dr. Gina Paige, African Ancestry DNA is one of the most reliable DNA testing companies for people of African origin. They can help to trace both your paternal or maternal lineages (males) or just your maternal lineage (females). 

The MatriClan test uses mtDNA tests to trace your mother’s side, while the PatriClan Test uses Y DNA to trace your paternal line. The former can trace your mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and even further while the later does the same on the male line. By comparing your DNA to a large African database, the company traces your lineage(s) to present day Africa as well as original ethnic tribes. African ancestry traces your lineage through each line to about 50 – 2,000 years ago.

African Ancestry DNA testing kits
African Ancestry DNA testing kits

You can get either African DNA testing kit for $299.00. You can also opt for the family package that they offer at $729.00. This package includes one MatriClan test kit, one PatriClan test kit, six additional personalized certificates, and four African Ancestry t-shirts. African ancestry DNA test results are usually returned in 8-10 weeks. 

The process required to do your African DNA test with African Ancestry DNA is easy. Just order for your kit online, take the DNA sample, and send it back to them. Your result will be on their website. After performing the test, they destroy your DNA. 

African Ancestry DNA test reviews are generally positive on their website. However, some customers on third party review sites such as DNAtestingchoice and Trustpilot cite long wait times.

Living DNA African ancestry DNA test

Among other services, Living DNA also offers an African specific DNA test. This company claims that they provide 5 times more detail than any other African ancestry DNA test. 

With a single cheek swab, this company can provide you with a detailed maternal and paternal report, plus the geography and culture of your ancestors. Rich history reports of each region accompany the results. Their report also includes sub-regional breakdown to know the specific region in Africa where you have ancestral lineage and family matching services. 

Living DNA African DNA sub-regional breakdown
Living DNA African DNA sub-regional breakdown

The company analyzes over 700,000 areas of DNA to determine ancestral regions broken down from the 72 modern African countries of origin. 

The African ancestry DNA test through Living DNA costs $99 plus shipping and results are typically ready in six to eight weeks. 

Who can take the African DNA test?

Anyone of African descent who desires to learn about their African lineages, history, and heritage can take the African DNA test. Such people can be African American or purely African with no ancestral mix-up. Whichever one it is, the goal is the same — to dig deeper into their lineage and learn more about their African heritage. 

You can take an African DNA test even if you are only part African. Having other ethnicity, such as European ancestry or Native American roots does not preclude you from taking an African DNA test. 

What can you discover from the African DNA test?

There are a couple of things you can discover from the African DNA test. Some of these include:

Which country your ancestors came from

Many African Americans don’t know where their ancestors come from due to the transatlantic slave trade, which has erased many black Americans’ history. Therefore, black people tend to have trouble tracing their origin farther than the slave trade. Therefore, they don’t know which country they came from. The African DNA test can help them answer this question, especially from regions like west African areas.

Map of Africa
Map of Africa

Your history

Not only will you understand where you come from, but this test will also help you better understand your migration patterns. With that, you can read the information on each region and get more connected to where your ancestors lived and their ways of life.

DNA matching

The African DNA test can help you discover your extended family members through tools that match your genetic footprint to others living all over the world. You can even find long lost relatives from African countries and help build your family tree. 

How to identify a reliable African DNA company

If you decide to take the African DNA test, you need to be careful in choosing which company you patronize. It’s not enough to perform an African DNA test; it is more important that it is done rightly. The following tips will help you identify a reliable African DNA company:

Check their privacy policy

A reliable company should have a well-structured privacy policy. Such a policy will talk about customer’s data security and information sharing with third-parties. A reliable DNA company will not sell or share your information with a third-party except by first seeking your consent. It should be noted that most companies are required to comply with law enforcement.

They’ll also have a strong security network to protect your genetic data and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. It should also include a business address. You should note this even if you don’t need to be physically present there for the test. Research the company online, and see whether they’re genuinely sited in the location mentioned. 

Licensed

DNA tests are not ordinary tests that can be performed by anybody, anywhere. Therefore, you need to check if the company is licensed or authorized to practice. Check their website to see if they have a license number. You can run a test in the number to see how authentic it is. 

History

How long has the company been in existance? There are chances that African DNA test companies with several years of experience are more reliable than the new ones. However, you shouldn’t only base your conclusion on this factor alone because some new DNA companies may be better than the old ones. You should also find out about their founder. Check LinkedIn for their track records and educational qualifications. 

Customer reviews

What are their customers saying about them? An excellent way to confirm the reliability of a DNA company is to read their African DNA test reviews. If they’re reliable and provide outstanding services, you’ll find more positive than negative comments in their review section. You can read the reviews on their website as well as the ones on third-party sites. 

What is the science behind the African DNA test?

Now that you already understand the essence of the African DNA test and how it can be performed from home, let’s dig into its science. 

Every human carries in their DNA a series of indicators that provide information about their ancestry. The information is encoded in their gene and passed on from one generation to the other. They can tell where individuals come from, and that is the basis of the African DNA test. It connects people to modern-day Africa. 

The test can analyze your mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the autosomal DNA, or the Y chromosome. mtDNA is inherited from the mother, men inherit the Y chromosome from their father, and you inherit the autosomal DNA from both parents. The sequenced DNA is compared to a database of thousands of people with known ancestry throughout Africa. 

The test looks closely for markers or mutations, indicating whether you belong to certain regions in Africa or not. If you do, the DNA results will be compared with a large database of African lineages. This will then point out where your ancestors belong in the present-day African country and ethnic group. For better accuracy and to increase the speed of delivery, the comparison isn’t made manually. It is done with the aid of an algorithm that compares the selection against a huge DNA library to look for patterns. 

The test results show the percentage of your connection with African origin. It also breaks it down to the different countries you’re associated with.

Nebula Genomics

Nebula Genomics is a reliable genetic testing company offering exceptional services. Our 30X Whole Genome Sequencing test kit is affordable, comprehensive, and reliable.

We offer a more reliable DNA data because we test 100% of your DNA instead of the 0.02% many companies test. African Ancestry only tests the Y-DNA (paternal lineage) and mtDNA (maternal lineage) while the Living DNA African DNA tests analyzes 700,000 areas of your DNA. Nebula Genomics 30X Whole Genome Sequencing sequences all 6 billion positions. 

Because we decode 100% of your DNA, we can offer deep ancestry based on Y chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA that may go generations back and help trace African ancestry. Whole Genome Sequencing is by far the most comprehensive DNA analysis service available at home and Nebula Genomics offers it for less than $299.

Additionally, Your privacy is guaranteed and you can trust us to secure your information in the best possible ways. Because our Whole Genome Sequencing data is analyzed in CLIA-approved and CAP-accredited laboratories, you can be assured that it is of the highest quality and can be used by physicians and genetic counselors.

For other DNA ancestry tests you may want to check out 23 and Me, AncestryDNA, and MyHeritage DNA.