Kenyan Sand Boa
Kenyan Sand Boas are a smaller species of boa from Kenya and East Africa. They are a fossorial species, meaning they spend most of their time burrowed underground. This snakes mouth is shaped so that they do not ingest bedding while burrowing in the sands of Kenya.
SIZE & LIFESPAN:
Kenyan Sand Boa is one of the smallest boas in the world. Males typically do not get over 2 feet in total length, with most measuring around 18 inches. Females are the bigger of the two, getting to be 24-30 inches. With proper care, they can live well over 20 years.
A single Kenyan Sand Boa can be housed in a 10 gallon tank. Tank or tubs can be used, but keep in mine to have plent of ventilation added to your tub. People have successfully housed pairs as well as females together. Males should never be housed together.
Because Kenyan Sand Boas are from the desert, they need to be kept dry. The humidity should never get above 40%. If the humidity stays high for too long, the snake can develop an upper respiratory infection. No misting is required.
We always recommend using spring water, but, if you need to use your own tap water, you will need to use de-chlorinator in order to remove any impurities from the water. Because they are from an arid environment, the water bowl should be small and only for drinking. Kenyan Sand Boas are also burrowers, so their water bowl should be heavy. We prefer ceramic bowls, that way they cannot tip over the bowl.
Kenyan Sand Boas predominantly eat mice. We feed all our snakes frozen mice. Be sure to feed appropriate sized rodents. Mice should be no bigger than the widest part of your snake. We start babies on small pinky mice. The largest prey item a Sand Boa will ever eat is a Jumbo mouse. Keep all mice in the freeze until it is time for feeding. We thaw our mice out in warm water. Once the mouse is completely warmed up, we dip the mouse in warm water and give it to the snake. Because Sand Boas are burrowers, we feed them outside their enclosure. We feed them in a heated shoebox. Some snakes are pickier and need to be taunted into constricting around the mouse, while others will go after the mouse after sitting it into the tub. If you decide to feed live instead of frozen, be sure to supervise the entire time. Mice can easily bite and critically injure your snake if left unsupervised. We feed our babies every 5-7 days and our adults every 10 days.
Kenyan Sand Boas are not climbers, so branches will not be utilized. However, I have seen people put branches or silk leaves in the tank to add some interest in the tank. Personally, we use half cut coconut hides or half cut logs in the tank to provide hides. Some Sand Boas will utilize hides and some will not. Be sure the hides are lightweight. If the snake burrows under the hides, you want them to be lightweight enough that the snake doesn't get trapped under the decor.
LIGHTING & HEAT:
Kenyan Sand Boas do not require any additional light. They spend most of their time burrowed in their bedding, away from light. Kenyan Sand Boas like it warm in their tank, but do need a cold side, so that they can regulate its temperature. The warm side of the enclosure should be between 90-95 degrees. The cold side should be between 80-85 degrees. We like using belly heat to warm up the tank, such as heat tape, heat rope, or a heat mat. Be sure to use a heat mat on all heating elements. These heating elements can reach 130+ degrees if not regulated by a thermostat. We recommend inkbird thermostats or JumpStart Thermostats. If you cannot maintain a high enough temperature with belly heat, we recommend getting a ceramic heat emitter to increase the heat. The 40w Zoomed Nano Ceramic Heat Emitter should work nicely in a Sand Boas enclosure and will help raise the temperature without adding additional light.
Kenyan Sand Boas are one of the more docile snakes. They are unlikely to strike at you and will easily become used to your touch. They may appear spastic the first couple of times you hold them, but that is because of the way they move. Because they are a fossorial species, they move differently than snakes you may be used to. As they get used to your touch, they will settle down. These are one of the most docile snakes in the pet trade if you handle it once a month or more.
☐ 10 gallon long tank
☐ Appropriate Sized Frozen Rodents
☐ Lightweight plants
☐ Shredded Aspen, Play Sand, or Newspaper
☐ Cork Bark or Half long hides
☐ Heat mat
☐ Ceramic Heat Emitter (if needed)
☐ Foliage or Branches (optional)