Kenyan Sand Boa

  • Common Group: BOA CONSTRICTORS
  • Common Name: Kenyan Sand Boa
  • Scientific Name: Eryx colubrinus
  • Distribution: Eastern Africa
  • Size: 2′ – 3′

Kenyan Sand Boas are a smaller breed of Boa native to regions in East Africa (hence the name Kenyan). They get their name “Sand Boa” for the fact they like to spend much of their time burrowed under the sandy soil in which they live. Because of the small size, thickness and relatively calm demeanor of this snake, they have increasingly been seen on the pet trade as a coveted type of Boa to own. They are now bread in large number in all different colors, even including a few unique morphs such as all white albino variations.

Males usually top out around 2 feet, with females topping out around 3 feet in length. Kenyan Sand Boas are very durable snakes to keep, with some examples living over 25 years in captivity with proper diet and environment.

Kenyan Sand Boa Housing

Size – Babies can be raised in a 10 gallon terrarium for the first year. After the first year, they should be moved to a 20 gallon enclosure with proper climate factors. Pairs should be given proportionately more size.

Substrate – Sand can be used as a substrate for this particular snake, while for most others it is not recommended. However, it is not recommended to feed your boa on sand, as ingestion of sand is bad for them. By giving your cage a high ground area this avoids that problem, or move them to a separate feeding cage.

Temperature – Temperature gradient (95°F for the warm end and 80° for the cool end); recommend radiant heat (like a UTH).

Habitat – No hiding area is necessary since this is a relatively inactive burrowing snake. Low humidity is a must. Maintain 0 to 40% humidity; can be a tad higher during their shedding period.

Lighting – Provide 8 to 12 hours of light daily, preferably with an automatic timer so you don’t forget to turn on/off. Don’t leave white light on at all times; a nocturnal or infrared light can be used at night.


Because these are very inactive snakes, they may be a bit spastic when taken out of their enclosure and handled. They are not aggressive by nature, and regular handling will ensure they stay tame. Over-handling though may cause your snake to become stressed, and could cause unusual aggression or development of a lack of appetite.