The Republic of Congo, a vast forested country some 342,000 km² in size in the Congo basin, is rich in natural resources and biodiversity. The Congo’s indigenous population is estimated at approximately 10% of the total population, i.e. around 300,000 people out of a total of 3,900,000 inhabitants. The indigenous population is divided into several groups, unequally distributed throughout the country and known by different names: Babenga, Babongo, Batwa, Bambenzelé, Baka, Baluma, Bangombé, Bagyeli, Bakola, Mbendjele and Mikaya and Bali.
Although found throughout the whole national territory, the indigenous population lives primarily in the departments of Niari, Lekoumou, Likouala, Plateaux and Sangha. Some have now settled on the land but most still live a semi-nomadic life based on hunting and gathering.