When should I start the hibernation process?

Always have your Hermann tortoise checked by a vet in either august or September to check for any illness disease before starting the hibernation process.

If this is your first attempt you should also seek professional advice on which method is best for your tortoise during hibernation.

Hibernation is usually started at the end of October or early November.

Your Hermann tortoise should also be fasted 2-3 weeks before hibernation. It is important to give fresh water throughout the fasting period.

What do I need?

There are two methods you can use if deciding to hibernate your Hermann tortoise yourself.

1 – The Box Method:

A good indoor enclosure can consist of a cardboard box or plastic box (well ventilated) with clip lid with a UV light and heater at one end to create a temperature gradient.

Dry garden compost or fine soil can be used to line the boxes no deeper than 30 centimetres.

You will also need a vivarium consisting of thermostatically controlled heating.

A UV light and some dry leaves can be used also for a natural environment for your Hermann tortoise.

2 – The refrigerator method:

This is a more complex method used in hibernation – if deciding to use this method professional advice should be sought.


Fully grown Hermann tortoises may hibernate for 4-5 months at a time, after this period carefully move the box to a warmer area where you can slowly heat the vivarium up to around 22- 24 degrees.

Your Hermann tortoise will slowly move around at which time you should bathe him in lukewarm water to begin the re-hydration process. It’s best to repeat this process for 10-11 days.

For more information, visit: Tortoise Hibernation

Happy Hibernating!