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What Are the Most Dangerous Snakes in South Africa

 
By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Are the Most Dangerous Snakes in South Africa

Over the years, highways and skyscrapers have taken over some of South Africa’s big cities. However, what keeps attracting people to South Africa is nature, wildlife and adventure. Safaris and other open-air activities are booming in the area. People are coming to see lions, tigers and leopards and other animals in their natural habitat. If you don’t want to take a guided tour and prefer to embark on a solo hike trip, then you might want to be aware of South Africa’s most dangerous snakes.

In this OneHowTo article we share what are the most dangerous snakes in South Africa.

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Puff Adder

The Puff Adder is one of the deadliest snakes and vipers in South Africa that you may come across on human paths. It has a triangular shaped faced and can be recognized for its brown and yellow skin. With a length of more than one meter it tends to move very slowly and just a bite of this snake can cause severe pain and swelling. It is a master of camouflage and often surprises hikers out of the blue, which is why you must always be on alert for this venomous snake.

What Are the Most Dangerous Snakes in South Africa - Puff Adder

Cape Cobra

Like other cobras, the Cape Cobra will rise up, flare out and start to hiss. This is their defense mechanism when feeling threatened, but they will not strike if you remain still. They are mainly found in dry areas and tend to come out only during the day. They are red, brown and yellow depending on the region and may elongate up to a little more than one meter. The bite of this snake will cause symptoms such as nerve paralysis and difficulty breathing for which you must seek hospital care for anti-venom.

What Are the Most Dangerous Snakes in South Africa - Cape Cobra

Black Mamba

Most people fear the Black Mamba more than the Puff Adder given that it can reach a length of more than four meters and it moves very fast often surpassing 20 km/hr. However, this snake is often found only across coastlines and hidden in bushes away from human paths. They are dark brown, white and grey in color. These are highly venomous snakes that can kill you in as little as 25 hours, but people may survive from a Black Mamba bite when treated immediately.

What Are the Most Dangerous Snakes in South Africa - Black Mamba

Boomslang

The Boomslang is one of the most beautiful snakes yet a highly dangerous one. Male snakes tend to be bright green, blue and black in color while females tend to have stronger brown tones. They are considered to be very shy snakes that will not bite often. They tend to be found in bushes or trees and when menaced will inflate their neck. Their bite is toxic and will cause internal; as well as external bleeding. Sometimes the symptoms can take up to 24 hours to appear; but the sooner care is applied the stronger the chance for full recovery.

What Are the Most Dangerous Snakes in South Africa - Boomslang

Other dangerous snakes

It is worth mentioning the Gaboon Viper often found in rainforests and savannas. It can weigh up to 10kg and often strikes by surprise. Also, be aware of the Mozambique Spitting Cobra, which as it names says, it spits venom that can cause blindness on humans.

If you want to read similar articles to What Are the Most Dangerous Snakes in South Africa, we recommend you visit our The Animal Kingdom category.

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