Yesterday was a record day for me ……but I really hope that this record will never get broken – I had 3 snake encounters in one day.
Zebra and me went to Marloth for the day. When we got there this young Vine Snake was waiting for us.
(BTW, why is his body so full of bumps – is it always like that or did he eat something?
I tried to persuade it to rather get into a tree – was scared we will step on him. This is supposed to be a shy snake, but like I have said previously, none of my Marloth snakes read the book. First I hit the ground with a broom close to him, and even thought there was more than enough get-away space, he did not budge. Then I lightly touched him with the soft bristles of the broom and he just got angry – lifted himself up like this and flickered his red tongue.
Eventually I just left him. Only then he slowly made his way to a tree.
Later the day I went to have a look at our waterhole. While standing at the edge, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. There was a BIG snake on his way, at full speed, straight at me.
I responded with a few back flips, midair splits, and some other movement that I don’t think I will ever be able to redo again. My subtle screams got Zebra to run out. She was just in time to see a piece of him after he turned around and went back to where he came from. Unfortunately I was not able to ID him while I was busy with my acrobatic routine.
I was absolute shivers and Zebra found that quite amusing, but she got her chance later…
The afternoon Zebra went out at the front door onto the veranda. I just heard the scream “HEEEEEELP, big snake”. There a Mozambican Spitting Cobra was busy climbing the stairs to get onto the veranda. It wisely desised to retreat (at least one that read the book) and went through our carport to the back of the house.
Most of my photos I took of him came out like this - shivers
But miraculously I got this one while he was in the carport.
At the back of the house he went straight to our outside basin, climbed
the brick wall and disappeared into a crack behind the basin. I got the feeling he often uses this spot and could not leave him there – we frequently use this basin. I had to call the “snake-catch man” again and had to pay R50 out of my “snake-catch” budget again.
More info on the Vine Snake ( A complete guide to the snakes of Southern Africa, Johan Marais)
*Average size: 1.2m (max 1.47m)
*It is back-fanged
*They are mostly tree-living and are superbly camouflaged as a branch or twig
*It moves gracefully and swiftly when disturbed. It may remain in the same position for several days if not disturbed
*Thought to be timid and retiring, it will inflate its neck to display the bright skin between the scales when threatened. Lunging strikes usually follow this, while the bright tongue flickers in a wavy motion.
* Males engage in combat, intertwining their bodies while attempting to push one another’s heads down.
*The common name “Bird Sake” appears to be inappropriate, as birds do not make up the bulk of this snake’s diet, probably because they are not easy to capture.
*This snake usually strikes from above and often swallows its prey with the anterior part of its body hanging downwards
*Its venom is a dangerous haemotoxic and very similar to the venom of the Boomslang. Bites are rare, which is fortunate because at present there is no antivenom.