Sulcata Tortoise

Scientific Name

  • Geochelone sulcata


  • Also known as African Spurred Tortoise or Grooved Tortoise
  • African Spurred Tortoise or Grooved Tortoise is one of the most famous and popular pet tortoises in the world.
  • It is active, easy-going, hardy and easy to be kept healthily if enough space if provided.
  • This tortoise is the world’s 3rd largest tortoise.
  • CITES listing: Class II (01/07/1975)


  • The tortoises are found in Central Africa, from Southern Sahara, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan, Chad to Ethiopia, Egypt


  • Mating age is from 12 – 15 years



  • Grow up to 36 inches (90cm) in length
  • Weighs up to 150 lbs (68kgs)
  • Largest in record is 42 inches (1.05meters) and 232 lbs (105kgs), in Giza Zoological Gardens, Eygpt, 1925

Life Span:

  • Their lifespan is about 30 – 50 years
  • Oldest in record is 54 years (in Giza Zoological Gardens, Egypt, 1986)


  • Herbivorous, Grass, Leafy Greens (e.g. mustards, collards, dandelions, turnips, hibiscus, sprouts, kales)
  • Occasionally Pears, Carrots, Apples (with skin), Peaches, Beans (with skin), Peas (with skin), Almonds etc.
  • Never feed on very Juicy Fruits like Tomatos, Bananas, Cabbages, Cucumbers, Bok Choy, Broccoli, etc

Habitat and Vivarium Housing:

  • Terrestrial; Arid grasslands
  • Sulcata tortoise terrarrium or tank ambient temperature should be at 72°F -85°F
  • Basking area at 85°F -89°F
  • UVA and UVB lighting is essential for shell development