Sulcata Tortoise Cost

Sulcata Tortoise Cost: How Much Should You Pay?

Are you considering getting a Sulcata tortoise as your next adorable shell-clad buddy? And if you are wondering about sulcata tortoise cost then you are in the right article. 

The minimum investment required to care for an adult Sulcata is $1,000, while the cost of a juvenile ranges from $50 to $200. It’s high time you started saving money. 

In this article, we will break down all you need to know about the expenses of bringing a Sulcata into your life. So, grab a notepad (or just bookmark this page), and let’s dive in!

Sulcata Tortoise Cost: Initial Purchase Price


So, you’ve decided you want a Sulcata tortoise. Awesome choice! But how much money are we talking about here? The initial purchase price can vary significantly depending on the tortoise’s age, size, and health.

Sulcata Tortoise Cost

According to The Turtle Hub, a baby Sulcata can set you back between $50 and $200, while adults can cost up to $1,000 or more. Let’s go through the price table to get accurate information. 

Sulcata Tortoise TypeInitial Purchase Price
Sulcata Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata)$100 – $300
High Yellow Sulcata (Centrochelys sulcata)$300 – $500
Albino Sulcata (Centrochelys sulcata)$500 – $800
Ivory Sulcata (Centrochelys sulcata)$800 – $1,200
Red-footed Sulcata (Chelonoidis carbonarius)$1,200 – $2,000

Sulcata Tortoise Cost: Costs for Petting in Detail

Alright, you’ve got your new friend, now what? The expenses don’t stop at the initial purchase, friends. Just like you and me, these little guys have ongoing needs.

Sulcata Tortoise Cost


Sulcata tortoises are primarily herbivorous and have a voracious appetite for leafy greens, hay, and fruits. Quality food options can cost you around $50 a month. 

Multiply that by 12, and you have a $600 yearly food bill. The cost can be even higher if you opt for organic options or specialized diets.


Substrate is another ongoing cost, the material that lines the bottom of your tortoise’s enclosure. Coconut coir is a popular choice, costing roughly $20-$30 a month. So you’re looking at $240 to $360 per year just for the substrate. You should change it every month as it is recommended. 

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Energy Costs

Your sulcata will require a heat lamp and UVB lighting to mimic its natural habitat. These can be energy-draining and can add an extra $20-$40 to your monthly electricity bill. That comes to an additional $240-$480 per year.

According to Tortoise Forum, you’re looking at around $100–$150 per month or $1,200–$1,800 per year in maintenance.

Routine Visits to Vet and Vaccinations

Aside from the initial visit to the vet, you’ll need to budget for regular check-ups, which can range from $50-$100 per visit. Vaccinations and treatments for common conditions like respiratory issues can add another $50-$100 to that cost. You should go to the vet at least once a year. 

Emergency Situations

It’s always smart to have an emergency fund. Treatments for severe health issues can easily run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Enclosure and Habitat Setup

Your Sulcata isn’t going to be happy in a shoebox! These creatures require ample space to roam, ideally a secure outdoor enclosure. If that’s not feasible, you’ll need a large indoor space. 

The cost? Anywhere from $100 for a basic indoor setup to $1,000+ for a deluxe outdoor enclosure. For more details, check out XYZ Reptiles.

Sulcata Tortoise Enclosure and Habitat Setup

Indoor Enclosure

For smaller or juvenile Sulcatas, an indoor enclosure can suffice initially. A basic setup with a large plastic tub or wooden enclosure can cost around $100-$200. However, this is a temporary solution, as Sulcatas grow quite large.

Outdoor Enclosure

An outdoor enclosure is the best long-term solution. Costs here can vary dramatically based on size and complexity. Fencing, burrow areas, water features, and heated shelters can all add up, potentially costing $1,000 or more.

Ongoing Maintenance

Your enclosure will need regular cleaning and occasional repairs or upgrades. Budgeting $100-$200 per year for this would be wise.

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Hidden Costs

We’ve covered the basics, but what about those sneaky, unexpected costs? Your Sulcata will need calcium and vitamin supplements that could cost around $10 per month. 

Also, a travel carrier for vet visits can set you back $50 or more. And let’s not forget an emergency fund because emergencies happen!

Sulcata Tortoise Hidden Costs

Long-term Commitment

Here’s the kicker: Sulcatas can live up to 70 years or more! Yes, you read that right. Owning a Sulcata is a long-term financial and emotional commitment. Over a lifetime, you could spend upwards of $50,000 to $75,000. So, think long and hard before taking the plunge.

Sulcata Tortoise Cost: A Quick Summary

Sulcata Tortoise

Let’s look over and get a quick summary about the cost of sulcata tortoise. 

CategoryDescriptionCost RangeNotes
Initial Purchase PriceCost of buying the tortoise itself$100 – $2,000Varies based on type and source
Enclosure and Habitat SetupExpenses for creating a suitable environment$200 – $1,000Includes housing, heating, and lighting
Food and DietOngoing expenses for feeding the tortoise$10 – $30 per monthDepends on dietary requirements
Veterinary Care and SuppliesMedical expenses and suppliesVariesCan be periodic and unexpected

Related Questions

Here are some of the most asked questions about the sulcata tortoise. 

How big do Sulcata tortoises get in kg?

The sulcata is the biggest tortoise native to Africa’s continent, with adults often weighing 80-110 pounds (36-50 kg) and measuring 24-30 inches (60-75 cm) in carapace length.

What sulcata tortoises should not eat?

We should avoid giving them kale, spinach, broccoli, mustard greens and cauliflowers. 

Do sulcata tortoises drink water?

Wild spur thighs encounter water seldom, and their behavior when they do is unknown. The Sulcata tortoises in the zoo don’t seem interested in water and don’t seem to be drinking it. 


There you have the full rundown on what you can expect to shell out (pun intended!) for a Sulcata tortoise. Now we know the estimate of sulcata tortoise cost. 

Yet, if you’re prepared, the rewards are enormous: a fascinating, long-lived companion that will bring joy and tranquility to your life.

Before making this long-term commitment, take the time to prepare financially. Start a ‘Tortoise Fund’ and set aside a little monthly money. Most importantly, always prioritize your Sulcata’s well-being over cutting corners financially.

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