• Reptiles

    of the Crocodile River Reserve

    A tortoise in the Crocodile River Reserve

Reptiles of the Crocodile River Reserve

The fundamental role that reptiles play in our ecosystem is often under-valued, with reptiles such as snakes often being feared and killed, rather than being seen as beneficial environmental service providers.

As a part of the food chain, reptiles prevent overpopulation of insects and disease-carrying rodents, which is an essential part of any healthy ecosystem.

Many reptiles, such as monitor lizards are pretty lazy, and when confronted with a rotting carcass, will pick this ‘easy meal’ over hunting and striking down live prey. This clean-up service ensures that our environment stays clean and healthy.

On the other end of the spectrum, reptiles provide food for other hungry predators, especially when they are young. Young snakes and lizards often become food for birds of prey.

The Crocodile River Reserve is home to a rich diversity of lizards, snakes, tortoises, chameleons and turtles, who enjoy the sun and open grasslands.


Reptile Species

Snakes Found In The Area:

Aurora House Snake
Black Headed Centipede Eater
Brown House Snake
Common Egg Eater
Common Brown Water Snake
Common Slug Eater
Delalandes Beaked Blind Snake
Incognito Worm Snake
Mole Snake
Olive House Snake
Peters Worm Snake
Puff Adder
Red-lipped Herald Snake
Spotted Skaapsteker
Spotted Harlequin Snake
Striped Skaapsteker

Lizards Often Spotted in the Reserve:

African Striped Skink
Bushveld Lizard
Common Flap-neck Chameleon
Common Rough Scaled Lizard
Legless Burrowing Skink
Montane Speckled Skink
Transvaal Common Gecko
Transvaal Girdled Lizard
Variable Skink
Cape Skink
Water Monitor

Tortoise and Turtle Species Found in the Reserve:

Hinged Lobatse Tortoise
Hinged Serrated Terrapin
Hinged Speke’s Tortoise
Leopard Tortoise
Marsh Terrapin

Explore our Reptile Articles

Ball Python has a snuggle

A Talk By the Jhb Wildlife Vet at the Reserve

The Tree Walk held in the Crocodile River Reserve offered an insightful and easy to understand introduction to the day, starting with the structure of leaves and how to use this to identify a tree. What followed was a walk through the beautiful veld of the Reserve during which we identified a variety of trees - such as the fascinating underground tree Lannae Aedulis, the Diospyros Lycioides (Blue Bush), the common but beautiful Acacia Karroo (Sweet Thorn) and the Protea Caffra Trees but to name a few.
April 20, 2021/by admin
A Cape Skink in the Crocodile River Reserve by Anthony Stewien

Cape Skink

The Cape skink is live-bearing and the female may take up to a week to birth her litter of offspring - often between 8 and 18 per brood. Each baby is born in a thin, membranous bag or 'shell' that it breaks out of within seconds. Newborns measure measure 5 to 7 cm.
April 7, 2020/by admin
Brown House Snake

Brown House Snake

The Brown House Snake, is one of the most common and most useful snakes in South Africa. It is attracted to human dwellings where it feeds on rats, mice and lizards. They are not venomous and are completely harmless to humans. House snakes are powerful constrictors which rely on their muscle power to constrict prey.
March 15, 2020/by admin
Handling Tortoises

Handling Tortoises

Tortoises store water in a cloacal bursa or sack in the rear of the body for use when required. They will also excrete this water supply as a defence against predators [or humans!] and to dampen dry soil when digging holes in which to lay eggs. If you pick up a tortoise trying to survive in very dry conditions it may excrete its valuable water supply, resulting in the eventual death of the animal.
February 9, 2020/by admin