Leopard Tortoise

  • Common Group: TORTOISES
  • Common Name: Leopard Tortoise
  • Scientific Name: Geochelone pardalis / Stigmochelys pardalis
  • Distribution: Central & South Africa
  • Size: 12" - 24"

Natural habitat

This species is native to tropical woodlands and arid savanna habitats. Adults are best kept in an outdoor enclosure (15' x 15' x 2') when in captivity.


Docile and friendly, easy to handle. Adults should be kept in outdoor mild climates when in captivity.

Captive environment

Use full spectrum lighting 12-14 hours per day. Provide a basking area with access to a cooler zone. Provide an uncluttered enclosure with maximum floor space.


Day temperature should be gradient from 78 to 90 degrees F. Maintain night temperature range between 70-75 degrees F.f Use reptile heating pads under tank for 24-hour heat.


This species requires low to moderate levels of humidity.

Water requirements

Provide a large shallow bowl for drinking and soaking.

Nutritional requirements

Primarily an herbivore but some animal products required. Likes dark greens (collard, mustard, turnip, dandelions). Feed beets, spinach, cabbage, and/or kale in small amounts. Supplement leafy diet with (squash, sprouts, and zucchini). 10-15% of diet may include fruits (papayas, mangos, figs).