The African Side Necked Turtle often makes an interesting pet and is quite hardy.
In the wild, African Side Necked Turtles usually inhabit shallow ponds or streams with muddy bottoms. This way, they can burrow into the mud and aestivate if conditions become too hot or cold for them to tolerate. They tend to be good swimmers. When handling your African Side Necked Turtle, you should be sure that your turtle is aware of you before you pick it up. Because their necks are often carried to one side, movement on the other side of the turtle's body may frighten it and cause it to snap. Many become quite handleable in captivity, however.
At maturity, many African Side Necked Turtles often reach 8 inches in length. Usually, the carapace is slightly domed, and is dark in color, often black. The bottom shell, or plastron, is usually yellow with a dark edge, though the colors of the plastrons may vary from turtle to turtle. Most African Side Necked Turtles have brown colored heads with black or gray spots or dappling. The jaws are usually yellow or tan in color. Their long necks are pulled in to one side, rather than backward into the turtle's shell, and the front of the carapace is hinged.
African Side Necked Turtles are found in eastern Africa below the Sahara and much of Madagascar. They are fairly common in captivity.