African House Snake Species Profile & Care Guide

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The African House Snake (also known as the African Rainbow Boa) is a medium-sized snake native to Africa and Asia that can reach up to 6 feet in length and can live up to 20 years in captivity with the proper care. It’s one of the most beautiful snakes in the world, but it’s very docile and suitable for beginners, making it perfect as a pet! Here’s everything you need to know about caring for this snake if you plan on getting one.

What are they?

African house snakes (Boaedon fuliginosus) are one of about 150 species of snakes in Africa. African house snakes are sometimes referred to as brown house snakes, but they are neither brown nor do they live only in houses. They’re a type of colubrid snake, meaning they have round pupils instead of slits like vipers and pit vipers do.

They can grow up to 3 feet long. African house snakes are nonvenomous and not aggressive toward humans, so they don’t make good pets. However, they’re still interesting creatures that can be found throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Here’s what you need to know about African house snake care: African House Snake Facts
African house snakes are also known as African black snakes or African tree pythons. The name tree python comes from their tendency to climb trees when threatened rather than fleeing on land.

African House Snake Species Profile & care Guide

Things to know before buying an African house snake

There are a few different species of African house snake, but they share many of these things in common. Keep reading to learn more about how to take care of your new pet! African house snakes (Boaedon fuliginosus) can grow up to 6 feet long, so make sure you have enough space for them! They also need moderate temperatures between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you live in an area that gets colder than that during winter, be sure to provide supplemental heat. Like most snakes, African house snakes are carnivores—they eat rodents like mice and rats! Make sure you feed them at least once every 5 days or so, as they don’t eat much per feeding.

Also remember that even though African house snakes don’t get very big, their enclosures still need to be large enough for them to move around comfortably. An adult African house snake should have at least a 20 gallon tank with plenty of room for climbing and hiding spots. Be careful when handling African house snakes because their bites are toxic!


When selecting a vivarium for your African house snake, it is important to note that they can grow to upwards of 6 feet in length. As such, you will need a spacious enclosure capable of housing a snake of that size. Glass aquariums are ideal for housing African house snakes, though there are many other options out there.

Be sure to do your research before purchasing an enclosure in order to determine what size and style best fits your snake’s needs. One important thing to keep in mind when buying an enclosure is ensuring that there are no gaps or holes which could allow your snake to escape. It may be helpful to place a screen cover over top of your tank if you have concerns about small openings.

You should also ensure that any ventilation systems (such as fans) cannot be reached by your pet, as African house snakes may get injured if they come into contact with them.


While African house snakes are normally somewhat aggressive eaters, care should be taken when introducing new food items to them. Because these snakes may have a tendency towards digestive issues, they should be fed as infrequently as possible at first, working up to weekly feedings once a good feeding routine has been established.

A good rule of thumb is one large rodent per week for juveniles and every other week for adults. When it comes to insects, African house snakes can consume crickets, mealworms, and super worms without issue. However, it’s important that you avoid wax worms or fireflies because they contain chemicals that could harm your snake.

Feeding frequency: Feed your African house snake as infrequently as possible while still maintaining good health (no more than 1x/week). It’s better to underfeed than overfeed!

Health care

African house snakes are fairly low-maintenance pets, but they require annual veterinary checkups. It’s best to take your snake to a herp vet familiar with African species. If you don’t have a vet nearby, try reaching out to local herpetological societies or calling an exotic pet shop—they may be able to refer you to someone in your area who is knowledgeable about these reptiles.

African house snakes typically need to shed their skin at least once per year; if your snake doesn’t shed on its own, it could indicate that it isn’t getting enough humidity. This can lead to other health problems, so it’s important to keep tabs on how often your African house snake sheds.

The only way to know for sure is by looking at its skin every day; if you notice any loose patches of skin, give them a gentle rub until they come off on their own.


African house snakes are not recommended for handling by novices. While care level is a personal preference, these snakes can be difficult to handle if they do not know you. If you’re trying to build a relationship with your pet African house snake, it’s a good idea to handle it regularly, but always exercise caution. These snakes are usually fast-moving so patience is key when handling them.

When you first start to hold an African house snake, make sure that both of your hands are wrapped around its body. Once you feel comfortable holding it, let go of one hand while keeping one hand on its body at all times. This will help keep control over your African house snake as well as prevent injury in case it decides to move quickly or bite unexpectedly.

You should also never grab an African house snake from behind or from underneath; only pick up an African house snake from above its head.


For a step-by-step guide on how to care for your African house snake, check out our African house snake care guide. We have in-depth information about pet stores, their history, and of course an explanation of what makes them great pets! Click here for more! While there are many different species of African house snakes available as pets, one thing they all have in common is that they are highly active during both day and night hours.

They also grow to be very large over time, with some adults reaching up to 7 feet long! If you’re looking for a reptile that requires little attention yet still provides entertainment value as it grows into adulthood, then you should consider getting an African house snake as a pet. The best way to get started is by reading through our African house snake care guide!

Buying an African house snake

African house snakes are popular pets because they’re small, non-venomous, and relatively easy to care for. In addition, they can be readily found at pet stores or online reptile vendors. Before you buy an African house snake, you should research its needs carefully so that you know what to expect in terms of housing requirements, feeding habits, and behavior patterns.

We’ve put together an African house snake care guide based on scientific studies of captive specimens as well as first-hand experiences from snake owners. The information below is meant to serve as a general guideline only; each individual snake has unique needs that may differ from those outlined here. Please note that we do not recommend keeping African house snakes as pets.

They have complex social structures and require specialized diets and environments that make them difficult to keep under typical home conditions. If you choose to purchase one anyway, please take all necessary precautions when handling it (see Handling Your African House Snake). Always use proper safety equipment when working with any venomous species!

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