The Mbendjele or BaYaka live in the western Congo basin, in the northernmost regions of the Republic of Congo. Some fifteen to twenty thousand Mbendjele are estimated to live as hunter-gatherers in the rainforest bordering Cameroon and the Central African Republic.  Like other Pygmy groups of central Africa, they have long-term relations with sedentary Bantu farming communities, and speak a Bantu language.​