Kikuyu has four main mutually intelligible dialects. The Central Province districts are divided along the traditional boundaries of these dialects, which are Kîrînyaga, Mûrang'a, Nyeri and Kiambu. The Kikuyu from Kîrînyaga are composed of two main sub-dialects – the Ndia and Gichugu who speak the dialects Kindia and Gigicugu. The Gicugus and the Ndias do not have the "ch" or "sh" sound, and will use the "s" sound instead, hence the pronunciation of "Gicugu" as opposed to "Gichugu". To hear Ndia being spoken, one needs to be in Kerugoya, the largest town in Kîrînyaga. Other home towns for the Ndia, where purer forms of the dialect are spoken, are located in the tea-growing areas of Kagumo, and the cool Kangaita hills. Lower down the slopes is Kutus, which is a bustling dusty town with so many influences from the other dialects that it is difficult to distinguish between them.The dialect is also prevalent in the rice growing area of Mwea .
The unmistakable sing-song Gichugu dialect (which sounds like Meru or Embu, a sister language to Kikuyu) can be heard in the coffee-growing areas of Kianyaga, Githure, Kathunguri, Marigiti. The Gichugu switch easily to other Kikuyu dialects in conversation with the rest of the Kikuyu.