Embu is a town located approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) northeast of Nairobi
towards Mount Kenya. Embu serves as the provincial headquarters of Eastern Province
in Kenya and is also the district headquarters of Embu District. Located on the southeastern slopes of Mount Kenya, the town of Embu has a population of 41,092 (as of 1999).
Embu town is a major trading centre in Eastern Kenya. For a long time, it was the main economic center for the Embu and Mbeere communities, as well as other communities from central Kenya. Mbeere was carved out of the former Embu district in the 1990s and Siakago town, about 25 km (16 mi) east of Embu town was made its headquarters.
Embu has an elevation of 1,350 metres (4,429 ft), and is itself located on the foothills of Mount Kenya. It was founded in 1906 by the British settlers for administration purposes and as an agricultural town. It is now the provincial headquarters of the Eastern province, hosting major public provincial offices including Embu Provincial General Hospital.
The area around Embu Town has conducive altitude for endurance training by athletes. As such, Kenyan athletes utilize the altitude and climate advantage of Embu for training, with specialized facilities at Kigari Teachers' Training College, about 15 km (9.3 mi) outside Embu Town.