It is widespread throughout the centre and west of the African continent, from Sudan and Uganda to Senegal.
It is an important species for the control of rodents, it base diet. These snakes are hunted for their meat and skin, but their greatest threat is their use as pets. Breeding in captivity has somewhat reduced pressure on the species in its countries of origin. It is included in Appendix II of the CITES Agreement (controlling the trade of species).