The area surrounding Kahuzi Biega National Park is home to seven separate groups of people. The main groups affected by the park are the Bashi, Barega and Pygmies.
Pygmies are the oldest known inhabitants within the area, having lived in the area for over 2,500 years. They traditionally practised a hunter gatherer way of life. Now living on the outskirts of the park and projects are being initiated by the ICCN and its partners to improve the livelihood of Pygmies, and some are employed within the park.
The Bashi group rely on subsistence agriculture on the land surrounding the park. They are particularly well known for banana cultivation, which is subsequently used to make banana beer.
The dominant group within the western part of KBNP, the Barega are forest agriculturalists. Their subsistence living traditionally consists of shifting agriculture and hunting.