There are several hingeback tortoises in Africa, belonging to the genus Kinixys in the Testudinidae family. The hinge at the back of the shell can close to protect the back legs and tail from predators. The hinge consists of a broad band of flexible, connective tissue allowing the back part of the shell to move up and down, something like the engine hood of a Volkswagen.
Wide variation occurs among these tortoises throughout an extensive distribution range in the tropics and subtropical parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Bell’s hingeback tortoise (Kinixys belliana), a well-known species, once included many different-looking tortoises found from central Africa to southern Africa. Subdivision may now reserve that name for a tortoise of central Africa only, the southern hingebacks belonging to another (or several) subspecies or species.
Hingebacks become about 22 cm long, the females slightly larger. They are omnivores, eating many plants, insects, fungi and meat (carrion). It is in turn eaten by leopards, hawks, eagles and people; also under threat from fire. These animals are most active in early morning.
This one was seen in the Mjejane Game Reserve and may therefore be a Kinixys belliana subsp. zombensis or K. zombensis, the southeastern hingeback that lives in grassland and on rocky slopes (Wikipedia; iSpot; www.tortoisesanctuary.org).