Kenyan sand boas are fascinating, although they aren’t given the recognition that they deserve. Breeders have created new Kenyan sand boa morphs with beautiful patterns and colors. Many are unusual, and they don’t tend to be too expensive to buy either.
A normal specimen costs between $65 and $75. For a morph like an albino or anerythristic, prices range from $75 to $200. Remember, you’ll also have to pay for your pet snake’s enclosure, substrate, hides, and food. These can cost hundreds of dollars on top of the initial price.
Since Kenyan sand boas aren’t as popular as other species of snake, there are fewer breeders. You might have to get your pet shipped to you from a breeder across the country, or even in another country, if you want to own one of these stunning reptiles.
How Much Do Kenyan Sand Boas Cost?
Kenyan sand boas are good pets for beginners and experts alike. They’re a fantastic gateway snake, since they’re so calm, docile and fun. So how much do they cost? And what about if you want to get an exciting morph—what’s available, and how much should you pay?
Here’s a table with a brief overview of different Kenyan sand boa color morphs. Afterward, we take a look at each of the morphs, in turn, explaining what they look like and what makes them so unique, as well as why they command that price tag.
|Kenyan Sand Boa Morph||Description||Price (Average)|
|Normal:||A short, thick snake with an orange-yellow background color and brown spots.||$65-75|
|Albino:||A pinkish-cream color, with red eyes.||$140|
|Paradox:||Albino snakes but with irregular, small black spots.||$140-180|
|Anerythristic:||Black and white color, with a regular pattern.||$100|
|Striped:||The same colors as usual, but with a rough and irregular stripe along their back, and perhaps thin light vertical lines along their sides.||$75|
|Splash:||The same colors as usual, but with very irregular spots, sometimes merging into large sections of color.||$75-100|
|Aberrant:||Some striping, some spots. Like a splash mixed with a striped.||$75-200|
|Hypomelanistic:||The same pattern as usual, but with less melanin in their skin. Lighter brown color than usual.||$175|
|Dodoma:||From the furthest south of the sand boa’s range, near Dodoma, capital of Tanzania. A lighter red-brown than other specimens. Unavailable for export.||Unavailable|
|Rufescens:||‘Rufescens’ is from Latin for reddish. Redder than a regular specimen, without a clear pattern—pixelated spots along their back instead.||Unavailable|
|Nuclear (or Nuclear Meltdown):||Not a morph but a line, bred for the fiery orange-red of its light pattern and the contrast of its dark black sections.||$75-100|
|Saharan:||From the western reaches of the sand boa’s range. A different subspecies entirely. Newly shed, they have a deep dark black back interspersed with horizontal yellow-orange lines.||$150|
|Snow:||A lighter pink than albino, but not as white as snows of other species.||$200|
|Tiger:||These snakes differ in their pattern. They have larger dark spots, which force their light pattern to look like stripes along their side. Their colors are like a tiger.||Unavailable|
|Calico:||Like a regular Kenyan sand boa, but with white spots mixed in too. Reminiscent of a calico cat.||Unavailable|
|Reduced Pattern:||These snakes are the same color as always, but have reduced dark pattern, the spots of which are smaller.||Unavailable|
|Russian:||These snakes are a different species entirely. They’re a sand boa from central Asia, physically similar, but with different patterns and colors. Some are all black, some have a pattern almost like a rattlesnake.||Unavailable|
Normal Kenyan Sand Boas
According to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Kenyan sand boas have short, thick bodies, small eyes, and no distinguishable neck. They look like big, overgrown worms because their tails are quite short too.
Its colors are white or cream bellies which merge into an orange-yellow and brown top half. The light brown sides of their body are interrupted with irregular splashes of the darker pattern.
These snakes are a little more expensive than corn snakes or ball pythons. That’s because they’re not as popular, so fewer people breed them. Here’s some advice on breeding Kenyan sand boas.
So, if you want one, the breeder or pet shop can charge more because they’re less easy to find. For a regular specimen like this, you might bay between $65 and $75 plus shipping.
Albino Kenyan Sand Boa
Albino Kenyan sand boas are like other albino morphs. Their patterns turn a deep pink, turning to beige on their underside.
The rest of their pattern can range from a basic cream color to a deep orange, depending on whether they have nuclear sand boa genes in them too. Their eyes are red or pink.
Albino Kenyan sand boas are less common than albinos in other species. You might expect to pay $140+ to get one, plus shipping.
Paradox Albino Sand Boa
Paradox albinos are the same as regular albinos, but with one key difference. They have irregular spots in places along their back. These spots are a dark black, contrasting against their pink and cream, and aren’t very big.
The name paradox applies because it doesn’t make any sense how they could have black spots when they’re lacking any melanin. There are a few ideas as to why this happens.
They might be chimeras, where the egg they hatched from had two yolks. These yolks pressed together a short way into their development, hence why they have the qualities of an albino snake with some of the features of a non-albino.
These snakes are harder to come by than other albinos. That’s reflected in their price, which is between $180 and $200 plus shipping.
Black and White Kenyan Sand Boa (Anerythristic)
Anery Kenyan sand boas are a deep inky black, which contrasts smartly with a light creamy white on their underside.
Depending on the pattern they’ve inherited, they may either be mostly white or mostly black. The white part of their pattern can become as dark as a dusty gray.
If you want an anerythristic Kenyan sand boa, it will set you back about $100 plus shipping.
Striped Kenyan Sand Boa
Striped Kenyan sand boas are a normal color for their species, with a contrasting pattern of dark brown/black and muted orange.
However, they’ve been bred so that their orange pattern runs in a line along their back. Breeders haven’t been able to make the stripe very distinct. It’s usually mottled, but can be either thick or thin.
It’s also possible to get striped Kenyan sand boas that have been bred with other morphs. So, you can get a striped albino sand boa, which is pink and orange instead of brown and orange.
These snakes are usually quite cheap, at around $75 plus shipping. However, a specimen with a more defined stripe could fetch lots more.
Splash Kenyan Sand Boa
Splash sand boas have a recessive mutation that alters the snakes’ pattern. While regular Kenyan sand boas have a fairly regular pattern, these snakes have anything but.
‘Splash’ is the perfect way to describe it, because it looks like they’ve been splashed with darker paint on some parts of their body, but not others. Their colors are the same as usual, unless you get a splash albino, splash hypo or some other crossbreed.
Their underside, though, is a regular cream/white. This gives them a nice contrast between the top and bottom.
This morph is common, so the price isn’t extortionate. You might expect to pay between $75 and $100, plus shipping.
Aberrant Kenyan Sand Boa
These sand boas have erratic patterns. A striped specimen has a clear stripe running along their back, while a normal specimen has spots.
An aberrant Kenyan sand boa has a mixture of both. There might be a few spots around their head, before a long stripe along their back. Then their tail might revert back to spots. Any combination’s possible, so you might pay more for the most interesting examples you can find.
These snakes sell for between $75 and $200. The variability in price comes from their variability in the pattern, because some specimens look amazing and unique, whereas others aren’t so interesting.
Hypomelanistic Kenyan Sand Boa
If a snake is ‘hypomelanistic,’ it means that they have less melanin in their skin. This causes their darker pattern to become lighter, while their light pattern stays about the same.
Hypo snakes are variable, in that sometimes they’re a uniform nut brown, and sometimes a uniform beige-brown.
These snakes are less common than equivalent corn snakes or ball pythons. They can cost $175 or more for good looking specimens.
Dodoma Sand Boa
Dodoma is the capital of Tanzania. Dodoma sand boas are an isolated population, since it’s about the furthest southern extent of their range. Tanzania is south of Kenya.
These snakes are very rare in the U.S. because only one shipment was ever made. After that first shipment, Tanzania passed a law preventing the export of their native boas and pythons.
As for the snakes themselves, they’re a slightly redder-brown color than regular sand boas. Their dark pattern is still mottled, but the mottles themselves are slightly smaller.
Their dark pattern is lighter than in regular sand boas. The light part of their pattern is somewhere between red-brown and orange, and is the main part of their overall coloration.
Because of their rarity, these snakes are almost impossible to find. If you do find one, the breeder could practically name their price, although that’s unlikely to be more than a few hundred dollars.
Rufescens Sand Boa
Rufescens comes from Latin, meaning reddening or reddish. Nobody’s sure what makes these boas the way they are. It’s not clear whether they’re a locality, a morph, or an entirely separate subspecies.
They’re a flat dark red color verging on brown, with hardly any distinguishable pattern. The only pattern they have are there orange scales, which dot their back like pixels rather than forming coherent spots or stripes. Their underside is white, and has an orange border along it.
These snakes are very hard to find for sale. The breeder will tell you what they want for it, and you would have to pay.
Nuclear Sand Boa
Nuclear sand boas are like regular sand boas, but more colorful. Their deep black contrasts with a vibrant orange, bordering on red.
Nuclear sand boas aren’t, strictly speaking, a morph. There’s no genetic mutation that’s given them their unique color. They’re descended from lines that were selected for their deep colors.
They’ve been selectively bred, with the breeder picking the one with the most striking colors from each brood. Over time, they’ve become more and more beautifully colored. They can be combined with stripe sand boas to change their pattern, too.
You can buy one of these snakes for between $75 and $100.
Saharan Sand Boa
This kind of sand boa is a different subspecies to your average specimen. It comes from the western part of their range. Newly shed, they have a deep dark black back interspersed with horizontal yellow-orange lines.
The colors fade as they approach the head. As is the case with all subspecies, they’re physically similar to normal specimens, with indistinct heads that look little different to their tails.
Since this subspecies is unusual, the price is a little higher. You can buy one for $150 plus shipping.
Baby Snow Kenyan Sand Boa
Snow sand boas aren’t pure white like some specimens of other species. They’re a light pink color—lighter than albinos, that’s for sure, but nowhere near pure white.
The dark part of their pattern is dull candy pink, while the light part of their pattern is maybe five shades lighter. They don’t have much contrast in their pattern, unlike many morphs.
Snows aren’t very common, and can fetch a price of $200 plus shipping. Albinos that are heterozygous for snow are about $150.
Tiger Kenyan Sand Boa
Tiger Kenyan sand boas have a slightly different pattern to your regular specimen. They’re a crossbreed between a regular Kenyan and a rufescens.
They produce a snake with a more dark pattern than usual. Most of their light pattern runs along their back, not quite as a stripe. The slight stripes that run down their side are reminiscent of a tiger.
These snakes are rare, since you need Rufescens snakes to breed them. It’s unclear what price they go for generally, so shop around and see what you can find.
Calico Sand Boa
Calico here refers to the calico cat, i.e., a house cat with white, orange and black fur. These snakes have the same color scheme.
Their pattern is roughly the same as a regular sand boa, although more irregular. However, their pattern is interspersed with small spots of white/cream.
Their undersides are the same white/cream color. According to the breeders who have bred them so far, they haven’t yet been proven to pass on their differences to their young.
These snakes haven’t yet been seen for sale, so how much they would go for is anybody’s guess. It would likely be within the same price range as other morphs, i.e., somewhere between $75 and $200, plus shipping.
Reduced Pattern Kenyans
These snakes have less dark patternation along their backs. Their color remains the same, but because they have fewer dark-brown spots, they look lighter overall.
The spots themselves appear in the same form as those of a normal Kenyan sand boa; it’s just that there are fewer of them. You may also notice a small amount of dark pattern showing up as flecking in between their spots.
Like other pattern mutations, you can breed these snakes with color mutations to produce new morphs, like an anerythristic reduced pattern sand boa, or an albino.
Like the calico, these snakes haven’t been found for sale yet, so they could cost anywhere between $75 and $200 plus shipping.
Russian Sand Boa
The Russian sand boa is a different species to the Kenyan sand boa. They’re in a separate genus entirely, only being two members of the same family (the boas).
In terms of appearance, they’re quite similar: they share small eyes, short heads, and tails, and are thick for their size. They’re also known as the dwarf sand boa, on account of them only reaching 18 to 20 inches long.
They’re from a different part of the world. You can find them in Russia, but not just Russia. They’re from across central Asia, places like Kazakhstan and China, and as far west as Iraq. They live around the Caspian Sea.
There are a few different subspecies. One is medium brown, with a beige underbelly and dark brown spots—almost like a leopard. Another is almost entirely black. Another has a mixed brown, black and beige pattern almost like a rattlesnake.
Where Can You Buy Kenyan Sand Boas?
If you want to buy a regular Kenyan sand boa, you could check at your nearest pet store. Failing that, if you live in a city or medium-sized town, there may be a breeder who has one or two of them.
There are sites like MorphMarket, where breeders come to post ads for their snakes. These are where you’ll find the most Kenyan sand boa morphs in one place. You can sort by price or by morph, whichever is most important to you.
You could also try finding specific breeders online from breeders, such as Jeff Holloway. He has pictures of lots of different Kenyan morphs in his collection. While the site may not have been updated for a while, you can get in touch through the site to see if there are any available.
Failing that, you could always try and find a pre-owned snake. Kenyan sand boas are an excellent beginner snake, so while they’re like a ‘gateway snake’ to some, there are plenty offered for sale by people who realized they didn’t really want a snake.