The African rock python, scientifically known as Python sebae, is a large snake species native to sub-Saharan Africa. Here is some information about the African rock python:

Appearance: African rock pythons are one of the largest snake species in the world. They can grow to impressive lengths, with some individuals reaching over 20 feet (6 meters) in length. They have a robust body and a distinctive pattern consisting of dark brown or black patches on a lighter background color. The head is triangular and relatively large compared to their body size.

Habitat: African rock pythons inhabit a range of habitats, including grasslands, savannahs, forests, and even near bodies of water such as swamps and rivers. They are primarily terrestrial but are also capable climbers and swimmers.

Behavior: African rock pythons are predominantly nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night. They are excellent swimmers and can stay submerged for long periods. These snakes are ambush predators, using their camouflage to lie in wait for prey to pass by. They primarily feed on mammals, including antelope, rodents, and sometimes even crocodiles or small primates.

Diet: African rock pythons are constrictors, meaning they capture their prey and coil around it to suffocate it before swallowing. They have a broad diet that includes a variety of mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles. They are known to take prey larger than themselves.

Reproduction: Female African rock pythons are oviparous and lay large clutches of eggs. The number of eggs can range from around 20 to 100 or more. The female incubates the eggs by coiling around them and providing warmth. The incubation period lasts around 2 to 3 months, after which the hatchlings emerge.

Conservation Status: The African rock python is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, they are threatened by habitat loss, hunting for their skin and meat, and capture for the exotic pet trade. Some local populations may face more significant threats and are protected under regional laws.

It’s important to note that African rock pythons are large and powerful snakes that require specialized care and handling. They are not suitable pets for inexperienced or unprepared individuals. If you are considering keeping a snake as a pet, it’s essential to research and understand the specific requirements and legal regulations pertaining to that species.


Caring for an African rock python (Python sebae) requires careful attention to their habitat, feeding, handling, and overall well-being. Here are some general care guidelines for African rock pythons:

1. Enclosure: Provide a spacious and secure enclosure for your African rock python. A large custom-built enclosure or a sturdy reptile enclosure should be used. The enclosure should be escape-proof and have a secure lid. The size of the enclosure will depend on the snake’s size, but it should be large enough for the snake to stretch out comfortably and have room to move.

2. Temperature and Humidity: Maintain a temperature gradient within the enclosure. Provide a basking spot with a temperature of around 88-92°F (31-33°C) and a cool side with temperatures in the range of 75-85°F (24-29°C). Use thermostats and heating equipment to regulate temperatures. The humidity level should be maintained between 50-60%, with a slight increase during shedding.

3. Substrate: Use a suitable substrate that allows for burrowing and holds humidity. Options include cypress mulch, coconut husk, or a mixture of organic topsoil and sphagnum moss. Avoid substrates that can cause impaction, such as sand or small particles.

4. Hiding Spots: Provide multiple hiding spots throughout the enclosure using appropriately sized hiding caves or sturdy branches. These hiding spots help your snake feel secure and reduce stress.

5. Water: Ensure a large, sturdy water bowl is available at all times for drinking and soaking. The bowl should be big enough for the snake to submerge itself fully. Clean and refill the water bowl regularly.

6. Feeding: African rock pythons are carnivorous and primarily feed on appropriately sized rodents. Offer pre-killed or properly thawed frozen rodents at appropriate intervals based on the snake’s age and size. Hatchlings may require smaller prey, while adults can consume larger rodents. Avoid feeding live prey to prevent injury to the snake.

7. Handling: Handling African rock pythons requires caution and expertise due to their size and strength. It’s best to handle them with the assistance of another person. Avoid handling the snake alone and never handle during or immediately after feeding. Allow the snake time to settle and acclimate before attempting to handle.

8. Veterinary Care: Schedule regular check-ups with a reptile-experienced veterinarian to ensure your snake’s health. Veterinary visits can help detect and treat any potential health issues and provide guidance on proper nutrition and husbandry.

9. Legal Considerations: Ensure you understand and comply with any local, regional, or national regulations regarding the ownership of African rock pythons. Some countries or states may require permits or have restrictions on owning large constrictor snakes.

Remember that African rock pythons are powerful and potentially dangerous snakes. They require experienced and responsible owners. Always prioritize safety when working with these snakes and seek assistance from professionals or experienced reptile keepers if needed.


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