Hermann’s Tortoise Enclosure

Hermann’s tortoises are great pets that don’t require a whole lot of maintenance. However, it is important that you set up their enclosure to include all of their necessities to emulate their natural habitat. In today’s article, I will explain how to make the perfect Hermann’s tortoise enclosure.

Hermann’s tortoise enclosure

A Hermann’s tortoise enclosure should be at least 6 square feet and have adequate light, substrate, shade, and some decorations.

While Hermann’s tortoises prefer to be kept outdoors, they are perfectly fine in indoor enclosures as long as they have enough room and the right accessories.

Hermann’s tortoise enclosure size

Whether you plan on having an indoor or outdoor Hermann’s tortoise enclosure, it is important that their space is at least 6 square feet. This will give them enough space to roam around and provide stimulation.

An enclosure that is too small can cause your Hermann’s tortoise anxiety, as well as other conditions such as pyramiding if they don’t get enough exercise.

Below is a great option for an enclosure, and it can be kept both indoors and outside.


Hermann’s tortoise substrate

Hermann’s tortoises love to dig, so it is important to have a substrate in their enclosure. I recommend something that is easy to claw through, such as coconut fiber or forest bedding.

The key to a substrate is to make sure that it is good at holding moisture. You also want to make sure there are not any sharp splinters which could cut your tortoise’s skin.

In terms of quantity, I recommend that you have at least 3 inches of substrate in the enclosure. This will give your tortoise enough room to comfortably dig.

If you have an outdoor Hermann’s tortoise enclosure, you should put a wall at least 6 inches into the ground. This will help prevent your tortoise from digging a hole and escaping.


tortoise lighting

If you keep your Hermann’s tortoise in an outdoor enclosure that has access to sun light, there is no reason to add any other light to their habitat.

However, if your Hermann’s tortoise is kept indoors, you have to get a UVB light. UVB rays are important because they allow tortoises to synthesize vitamin D3, which helps their bones and shell grow and stay healthy.

A UVB light will also help provide extra heat to your enclosure, which will allow your Hermann’s tortoise to better regulate their body temperature.

Ideally you should have the light positioned so that it shines on just one corner of the enclosure.

You should make sure to regularly monitor the temperature of the enclosure. Hermann’s tortoises like to be kept in temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees fahrenheight. However, it is fine if their basking spot (where the UVB light is positioned) reached 90 to 95 degrees.

Shade/Dark room

While it is sometimes overlooked, it is very important that your tortoise has access to shade. This goes for both an indoor and outdoor Hermann’s tortoise enclosure.

Shade is important for many reasons. For one, it gives them a place to cool off and helps them regulate their body temperature. Secondly, it helps keep their natural circadian rhythm, which helps them sleep and digest food.

Luckily, many tortoise enclosures include a dark room which is perfect for shade. Just make sure that the dark room has a big enough opening so that your tortoise can easily access it.

Dark rooms are also important for outdoor enclosures, since they give your tortoise a place to hide.


While they aren’t absolutely necessary, I strongly suggest that you put some decorations inside your Hermann’s tortoise enclosure. Some good options include logs, rocks, and balls.

This will help keep your tortoise both stimulated and active. It also helps improve the aesthetic of your enclosure.

tortoise dark room

Another good addition to your enclosure is plants. They can help supplement your tortoise’s diet, and they make your enclosure more similar to a Hermann’s tortoise’s natural environment.

If you are interested in learning more about their diet, check out my guide on what fruits and vegetables you can feed a Hermann’s tortoise.

Water bowl

You should also make sure that your enclosure has a water bowl. The bowl should not be too deep, maybe 1 to 2 inches deep at the most.

This is because your tortoise will probably want to spend some time wading in the water bowl, and you want to make sure that it is not so deep that your tortoise could drown.

Make sure that the water bowl is firmly in the ground so that it doesn’t tip over when your tortoise climbs on it.

Hermann’s tortoises like to play around and soak in water to cool down and regulate their body temperature. If you notice that your tortoise is spending a lot of time in the water bowl, it may be an indication that their enclosure is too warm.

Make sure to replace the water in their enclosure at least once a day to ensure the water is fresh.


I hope this article helped you explain how to easily set up your Hermann’s tortoise enclosure. It is quite simple, and you can buy all of the supplies for under $200.

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