The African Helmeted Turtle (Pelomedusa subrufa), is the most widely distributed turtle in all of Africa. It occupies the entire continent south of the Sahara desert. Just like it's cousin, the West African Mud Turtle, the African Helmeted Turtle belongs to the most ancient of all living turtles, having first appeared 120 million years ago.
A very adaptable and resourceful species, African Helmeted Turtles survive both floods and extreme droughts. They are very opportunistic feeders, but are carnivores when possible. In the wild, they will actually hunt together taking down much larger prey. Ours love pellets, and will pretty much eat anything that falls in their tank. They like to bask and will make use of any land provided for them.
This species is one of the best for keepers just starting out - or as pets. They are very personable, tame very quickly, and learn to recognize their keepers just as fast. They are at home in fully or semi - aquatic set ups and are as hearty as they come. African Helmeted Turtles do very well in groups or with other very hearty species. Only reaching 5 - 6 inches after many years, they do well in smaller tanks - but adults can also thrive in warmer outside ponds. One of the most responsive and interactive of all turtles, African Helmeted turtles make excellent first turtles.