The territory of the Matapa is shown on some maps as a small area located directly east of the northeastern Angolan town of Sombo and extending north-south along the western bank of the Kasai River, which divides Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Most of this Matapa territory falls within the northeastern area of the Lunda South (Lunda Sul) province of Angola.

The Matapa have remained between territories controlled by the Lunda (east of the Kasai River) and the Chokwe (to the west). These peoples constitute the majority population groups in the neighboring areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. Although the Matapa have been subject to Chokwe and Lunda influences, they have retained distinct social and cultural traditions, which are best understood in relation to those of the Kongo-Dinga.