Our Resident Giant Tortoises

de Charmoy Estate Giant Tortoises

On arrival at de Charmoy Estate, guests often remark that they feel like they have arrived in a tropical paradise! Not far off the mark, co-founder Bernard’s love for tropical plants, fruits and flowers is emulated in the de Charmoy Estate gardens to bring a little of his birthplace, the Seychelles, to KwaZulu-Natal. But what would a Seychelles inspired garden be without a Giant Tortoise? Or three!

In 2005, after receiving a cites permit, our three beautiful tortoises (hatchlings at the time) made the journey from Seychelles to Pretoria where they would spend some time in quarantine. When the time was right, founders, Cathy and Bernard, who took along their daughter, Lauren, excitedly drove up to fetch them and bring them to their new home at de Charmoy Estate.

No longer hatchlings, the three tortoises have grown in leaps and bounds over the last 12 years and now closely resemble the “Giants” after which they are named. The three tortoises are scientifically named: The Aldabra Atoll Giant Tortoise. These tortoises can weigh as much as 417 kg (919 lb) and can grow to be 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) long.

Today, the Giant Tortoise is listed as an animal that is vulnerable to extinction in the wild. However, the Aldabra atoll (island) has now been protected from human influence after having been declared a World Heritage Site, and is home to some 152,000 Giant Tortoises, the world's largest population of this species!

The de Charmoy Estate Giant Tortoises were originally named after three Islands in Seychelles: Aldabra, Alphonse and Aride, but as they have grown and developed awesome little personalities we recently renamed them:

Smallest of the three Giants: Esio (After Roald Dhal’s Fictional Character Esio Trot)

Middle: Shelly/Shelldon (A nod to the notoriously beautiful shells of the Seychelles)

Biggest of the three Giants: Coco (Tribute to both the coconuts from Seychelles and her Cocoa Colour)

The roaming Giants of de Charmoy Estate look forward to welcoming you!

The roaming Giants of de Charmoy Estate look forward to welcoming you!

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