TORTOISE SANCTUARY

"Life under Shell"

On site we also have a quiet area away from our guests and visiting dogs where our acquired tortoises live.

All tortoises have been either adopted or surrendered to us to live out their days in a quiet environment suitable for their breeds.  We have mainly Sulcata (African Spur Tailed) Tortoises and an elderly Greek Tortoise.  

The African Spur Tailed tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), also called the Sulcata tortoise, is a species of tortoise inhabiting the southern edge of the Sahara desert in Africa.  Sulcatas are the third-largest species of tortoise in the world after the Galapagos tortoise, and Aldabra giant tortoise, and the largest of the mainland tortoise.  It has been reported a maximum size in the wild as 83 cm and 98 kg, but others state that they can reach 105 kg (231 lb).   They grow from hatchling size (2–3 in) very quickly, reaching 6-10 in (15–25 cm) within the first few years of their lives. They can live for more than 70 years.

In these arid regions, the tortoise excavates burrows in the ground to get to areas with higher moisture levels, and spends the hottest part of the day in these burrows.  This is known as aestivation.  In the wild, they may burrow very deep; up to 15 m deep and 30 m long. Plants such as grasses and succulents grow around their burrows if kept moist and in nature continue to grow for the tortoise to eat if the soil is replenished with its feces.  Sulcata tortoises found in the Sudanese part of their range may reach significantly greater size at maturity than those found in other regions. 

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Every day in the afternoon we feed our tortoises as seen below and our guests are welcome to join us, it is great for children of all ages to meet these delightful reptiles, learn a little about them and also have a photo or two taken next to the giant tortoises, Maui particularly is fond of children and loves the attention.  The feeding time is done in a quiet and supervised manner so as not to disturb or stress the tortoises, we allow only small groups at any one time. You can also bring with you on your stay some cucumber and chinese cabbage to offer to them also.  

Dinner Time
Dinner Time