Content Rating

Crocodile skins

First grade Nile crocodile skins

As the natural home of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), crocodile Crocodylus niloticusSouth Africa produces top quality, first grade skins. Males crocodiles are mature at about 3 m (10 ft., approximately 10 years of age), females at about 2 m (6.5 ft., approximately 10 years of age). Females nest in November and December on sandy shorelines, dry stream beds, or riverbanks. A female can lay 25 to 100 eggs, which she covers with sand, then guards until they hatch 3 months later.


Our typical product has a belly width of 34 centimetres (measured on the third scutle), produced from a 1.5 metre crocodile. Cull sizes are typically:

  • 95 to 105 cm;
  • 120 to 170 cm ( to give a 34 cm belly width), typically 10 to 15 kg live;
  • 180 to 200 cm;
  • above 2 m


The Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) needs to be fully complied with in the trade of any part of the crocodile. Both the seller and the purchaser need to comply with CITES requirements and certification.  Compliance is required to export skins from South Africa. CITES permits and tags on skins demonstrate that the skins are from farm bred animals and not illegally poached. Under CITES regulations all skins must be tagged. These tags give details of country of origin, year of skinning and an individual number. This is necessary for the protection of wild crocodile populations.

An approved CITES skin tag needs to  to be attached to each skin as soon as is practicable after its removal from the crocodile carcass. This tag remains attached whether the skin is in an unprocessed or tanned state (that is, the tag remains attached to a whole skin during and after the tanning process).

Tags are be locked to the final 5–10 cm (approximately) of the tail. To minimise the potential for tag ‘loops’ getting caught and tearing free of the skin during tanning, a hole is punched through the skin (not cut with a knife) and the tag attached and locked in a manner that reduces the size of the resulting ‘loop’.

Each skin must bear a skin tag upon export. A skin tag may be removed when the skin is cut into two or more major segments. A ‘nick’ cut in the side of a whole skin would not warrant tag removal — a skin cut into two equal halves or into multiple watch-strap strips would.

Exporter certification and requirements for purchaser

Customer requirement checks

The customer (purchaser, importer) requires to ensure they have the necessary documentation for hei country. This will include:

  1. A CITES import permit;
  2. Some form of registration permit may be needed to deal in skins (e.g. farm registration);
  3. Countries may have specific restrictions, such as the banning of the import of live species, so some country-specific permit may be needed;

Supplier certification:

As necessary, the supplier will provide:

  1. A CITES export permit and the correct tags on all skins;
  2. A veterinary health permit if required;
  3. A certificate of origin;

The transport of live animals usually requires that a farm expert accompanies the crocodiles so as to reduce the incidence of transport mortalities.

Live crocodile transport

Live crocodiles are typically transported on pallets holding about 80 animals (120 cm to 150 cm size). Such a pallet will be roughly 1.6 m x 3 m x 1.8 m (h x l x w). Transport temperatures need to be above 14 degrees Celsius and preferably around 18 degrees Celsius. Cooler temperatures reduce movement and stress.

Crocodile meat

crocodile tail meatCrocodile meat can be prepared in many forms, the simplest being loins, tail and body. As meat is a secondary product, it is generally prepared according to specific orders. Note from this vacuum packed tail how white the meat is. Crocodile meat is seen by many as a desirable, low fat, low cholesterol, red meat alternative to beef.

South African regulations now stipulate that crocodile meat be processed in the same manner are export quality red meat such as lamb or pork. This requires that the product be processed in a HACCP certified processing plant. All crocodile meat products exported from South Africa will need to include the “Establishment Number” of the certified processing plant where the crocodile product was prepared and frozen. In addition to this, exported frozen products are monitored and certified by the “Perishable Products Export Control Board” (PPECB).



Full Carcass


Whole Tail


Body Meat


Frozen Leg Meat (with skin)


Frozen Leg Meat (without skin)






Chest Fillet




Neck Shops


Strip Loin


Tail Fillet




Spare Ribs




1 Carcass - about 10-12 kg.
Frozen meat packed per 10,15 or 20 kg.


E-mail me at for further details.

crocodile for skins

crocodile for skins

crocodile for skins

crocodile for skins


[Home] [Nature's Holism] [Email Me] [Aquaculture] [HACCP] [Web Design]