"Entandrophragma" is restricted to tropical Africa. Some of the species attain very large sizes, reaching 40–50 m tall, exceptionally 60 m - and 2 m in trunk diameter. In 2016, a specimen of Entandrophragma excelsum towering more than 80 m was found at Kilimanjaro
This commercially important hardwood is reminiscent of mahogany, and is a part of the same Meliaceae family. It is darker in tone and has a distinctive figure, typically applied where figure is important. It has a density of 640 kg/m3. Demand for sapele increased as a mahogany substitute in recent years due to genuine mahogany becoming a CITES Appendix II listed species. It is used in the manufacture of furniture, joinery, veneer and boat building.
Among its more exotic uses is in musical instruments. It is used for the back and sides of acoustic guitar bodies, as well as the bodies of electric guitars. It is also used in manufacturing the neck piece of ukuleles and 26- and 36-string harps.