Tortoises, terrapins, and turtles belong to the oldest surviving reptile lineage. They have been around for 220 million years and witnessed the rise and fall of the dinosaurs.
Africa has a rich diversity of these reptiles, known collectively as chelonians. Tortoises are found in forests and deserts, savannah, and fynbos; terrapins inhabit marshes, rivers, lakes and ponds; and sea turtles swim in the oceans of Africa, coming ashore to nest on certain beaches.