In 2001, the SOPTOM opened a “Tortoise Village” in the classiﬁed Noflaye in the Dakar region.
This mission has a goal to protect and study the Senegalese tortoises, particularly the African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata)
This tortoise can reach up to 100 kg, and digs deep into the ground to provide itself with cooler temperatures when the weather is hot. Since 50 years, its’ population has been dramatically reduced. The principal dangers it faces are hunting for resale, desertiﬁcation and destruction of its’ natural habitat, but also is menaced by surrounding herds (zebus and goats).
An endangered species
In the past, these tortoises were found across the Sahara from Mauritania to Ethiopia, but can be found today in isolated areas in the North-East of Senegal, Chad and in Western Sudan
In the Tortoise Village, we have tortoises having belonged to private owners, seized tortoises and we have a breeding program. After agreement from various scientists and the government, they are transferred to Ferlo (near Ranérou) and are released in the Katané Reserve covering 1,200 hectares (2,965 acres). In the Village, there is a “Tortoise House” with a missions correspondent who studies the transmitter-equipped tortoises and informs the visitors.
Volunteers come to Noflaye to join the local team in caring for the animals and the park of 15 hectares (37 acres). The “Tortoise Village” is open year-round, plays a major role in the rehabilitation of tortoises in Senegal and is grandly appreciated by the Senegalese and locals.
Village des Tortues
Noflaye Km 11, route de Bambilor
(sortie N°10 sur l'autoroute en venant
de Dakar vers Rufisque)