Skip to Content

Snake: Black mamba

Find, identify & discuss the marine species of SANParks
User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 854
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:48 pm
Location: between a lot of green in Holland

Unread post by Nico » Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:06 am

We saw a little scrub hare and we made photo's and film of the little one.
Than I saw something moving about 3 meters away from us and when I looked carefully, I saw a big black mamba coming for the little scrub hare.
When I put my camera in his direction, the black Mamba came up and disappeared away in full speed into a bush and climbed higher and higher.
Probably the BM saw my camera moving and got afraid for it.
Then we made this great pics and the little scrub hare disappeared into the field. :wink:
Lets change the world of mankind into the world of kind man.[White Bull]

Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: South Africa

Black Mamba

Unread post by naomirsa » Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:10 pm

We were on our way back to camp - Crocodile Bridge and it was just before they close the gates when we came across a black mamba in the road.
I almost drove over it.
Came to a screeching halt - grabbed my video cam and started filming.
The mamba raised itself off the ground.
My sister-in-law was having a fit saying we should drive off as it would 'chase' us and it is fast!
I think I came upon it so fast it got a fright and also I was slam bang in it's path where it wanted to cross the road.
I never realised they could lift themselves up so high off the ground.
Sorry, can't post the video here.
But, yes, seen one and so close to camp - the guard at the gate even shouted to us to drive!
I wasn't sure whether he was telling me to drive as he was closing the gate or drive because of the snake hehehe!
Appreciate life, don't take anything for granted.


Unread post by Jumbo » Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:29 am

One for the snake experts:
I’ve heard the sound a puff adder makes to warn you not to get too close…it is something you will hear from quite a few meters. I would like to know whether a black mamba that feels threatened also produce a sound. Say for argument sake I have a black mamba inside my house: will I only know it is there when I see it or will it make a sound? :?

User avatar
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14519
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?

Unread post by DuQues » Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:28 pm

It will display like a cobra, albeit with a smaller hood. Good time to leave then.
The black mamba is so secretive, quick, shy and alert that your chances of getting bitten are almost non-existent.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


Unread post by Jumbo » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:08 am

Pilane wrote:The only sound you'll hear is when the fangs pierce your skin :twisted:
Yes they do bite more than once (not neccesary 3X) and each bite is as lethal as the previous!
Then you might be lucky and get only one bite.

:big_eyes: Best I do not repeat what I said when I first read this…..eish wena!!! :big_eyes:

Pilane wrote:Getting it out of your house..... :sniper:

No serious grab it with a grabstick about 1/3 from the head.
Out of reach of your hands of course.... (like with a 4m boykie)
Hold on for dear life and kill it outside.
If you let go it will probably take you on.
This is if you have had no mamba experience or encounters before.

Or you can pitch your tent outside while you feed it until I can come catch it....... Which could take a while... :roll:

Ok, burning down the house seems to be the best option…I’m sure my insurance company will understand the predicament. :?

This is one scary snake.
My two encounters with BM this past year was with young ones….one was caught by a hornbill in Marloth and the other one I unfortunately had to kill in Maputo.
But a 4m snake that can move with 1/3 of his body lifted from the ground…that is not child’s play. :shock:

I remember one episode of Crocodile Hunter where Steve Erwin got hold of the tail of a Black Mamba….the next moment this snake used his own body to climb back towards Steve’s hand.
This was a creature that could not be played with! :twisted:


Unread post by Jumbo » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:38 pm

Blackmamba wrote: Do you or anybody else out there perhaps know of someone thats been bitten by a venemous snake in Kruger or surrounding areas :?: .

While we were talking about snakes, Stephen’s SO also told me that they now had a German tourist in Berg & Dal that was bitten by a Stiletto Snake.
To be bitten by this snake is actually quite a rare thing. :? There are no recorder fatalities from this snake, but its bite might cause the loss of a limb like a finger or toe. Apparently the guy's foot swell up terribly and he had severe pain. He ended up in hospital …I cannot remember how long she said he was there for.

I also know of a guy that was bitten by a black mamba a year or two (?) ago…incidentally this was also in Berg & Dal.
Apparently they resuscitated him all the way to Nelspruit and that saved his life!

The good news for snakebite victims is that even in the event of a bite from a snake like the black mamba, people are seldom killed within 4 hours.
However deaths within 30min have also been recorded…..I think that depends on how many times you were bitten (as Pilane mention about several strikes) and also where you were bitten.
They say that because of the black mamba’s length it may also bite at chest height.
As Pilane mentioned in another thread: then there are still hordes of other factors that might influence how you will react to the venom….your health, the snakes health etc.
I do however think that venom will have a much faster effect on a young child. :(

Blackmamba wrote:I read about that little boy int Tabazimbi that was killed by a Mozi that slithered into his bed :shock: , the day before that they found a black mamba in there house. Too terrible.

Probably my biggest fear in life! :shock:
What do you do when you feel this thing slithering into your bed!!! :shock:
And on top of that, it appears that snakes often do this.
A few years back there were media reports of a boy that was bitten by a Cape Cobra that got into his bed in Nossob….BTW, that snake is more dangerous, IMHO, than the Black Mamba…it has one bad attitude. :twisted:

User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 854
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 11:48 pm
Location: between a lot of green in Holland

Unread post by Nico » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:15 pm

This is a little video of a Black Mamba that we saw at the S142 near Mopani. We saw a little Hare and just some meters away was a Black Mamba that disappeared into the branches of a bush. The little Hare got away for now.

Last edited by Nico on Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Unread post by Jumbo » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:54 am

Incredible video Nico!! :clap:
On the first scene where you see the mamba, it looks like there is already something in its stomach?
It is often said that other snakes might be confused for black mambas, but that head is so unmistakable to me.

User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:27 pm
Location: Bavaria

Unread post by Ludwig » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:10 pm

User avatar
Wild about cats
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1847
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 4:10 pm
Location: SA

Unread post by Wild about cats » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:05 am

I recently had a very close shave with a black mamba, and even though I have A LOT of luck with snakes, I still feel that people are wrong about this one.
It is not a vicious monster bent on the destruction of mankind.
It gets just as scared as we do, and will bite to defend itself, just as we kill to defend ourselves. I actually have a new view about this and all snakes, even though they scare the living daylights out of me.

*Note: this message is not aimed at anybody.
Back to Letaba in April, July and September

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14

Letaba Ladies, 3rd Edition - '14 - '15

User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:27 pm
Location: Somewhere

Unread post by Mfezi » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:54 am

I have been very fortunate to have seen 3 big Black Mambas in the wild of which 2 was in the KNP.

May 1999, there was a Black Mamba in a tree in Letaba camp and September 2006 on the S 82 just south of Lower Sabie. Two amazing experiences. For me, just as good a sighting as seeing a leopard. The third Black Mamba sighting was in Madikwe.

But I must agree, not a snake I would like to be bitten by if the closest hospital is 70km's away. And for that matter not even if I stayed next to the hospital.


User avatar
Wild about cats
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1847
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 4:10 pm
Location: SA

Unread post by Wild about cats » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:51 am

Try seeing one on foot, when its coming straight towards you and... you're CORNERED!!! Have seen 2 in the wild, both at Shimuwini Camp, which our family (after the incident) have now called Black Mamba Bushveld Camp.

In the reception there is a skin of a BM that they found at the Baobab, 3,03 meters long.
Back to Letaba in April, July and September

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14

Letaba Ladies, 3rd Edition - '14 - '15

User avatar
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4984
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread post by wildtuinman » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:19 am

Bennievis wrote:Apparently black mambas are known to move on top of sugar cane and even on top of fences (draad) and hunt from that height vantage position?

I am by no means a snake expert but I can say one thing: Mambas have incredibly strong bodies.
They are capable of raising their bodies quite a distance from the floor.
This ability is much needed to climb and maneuver between trees and branches, even cane and on fences if needs be.
Green mamba is also well adapted to trees and just like boomslang and twig snake can easily move from branch to branch even thou the distance is quite a significant one.

So yes, I can see that this is quite a possible feat for Black Mamba.
Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

Karl Jaacks
Posts: 542
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:01 am
Location: jhb

Unread post by Karl Jaacks » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:19 am

Living in the bush for 8 years i have seen quite a few of them.
the longest one must be close to 4 meter.
I have had on rear up next to me will i was sitting the open landy with out a door, I swear it was taller that me. I unfortunately had to shoot 3 of them in the lodge, they were all 3.5 meter.
I wish I did not have to but there where lots of children around, I have even had on in my house before, luckily it left quickly.
Being a field guide in PNP, I removed many snake out of rooms, lots of spitters.
Our last trip in Kruger we saw a long one, nearly the width of then road.
I tell you I would rather be bitten by a BM than a puffy, 3 of my Friends have been bitten by puffys, they went threw a lot of pain.
BM is painless and you just need to be put on life support, that is if you can get to one in time.

Nothing ventured nothing gained, so just do it!!!!!!!


Unread post by Jumbo » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:52 am

I have to say, this snakes makes shivers go through me. :shock:
Due to what I previously read, I was under a misconception regarding the temperament of a BM, but the youngster we had at our bush house quickly put that right.
I really think the only people who should attempt to capture a BM, are people who have had extensive experience with snakes (especially when the nearest medical facility is a distance away, as W@H pointed out)….the BM is incredibly fast.
IMHO, there is a huge difference between handling a snake that will bite because it is scared, and a snake that actually goes for you because it is “bedonnerd” (aggressive).
It is almost the same as the difference in temperament in certain breeds of dogs….some dogs will only really bite if they are threatened or hurt, but a dog like a pitbull will go for you without real reason.
Another snake that apparently also have such an aggressive temperament is the Cape Cobra.

Ok, one for the experts (maybe not 100% on topic, but will be interesting to hear):
Will pepper spray work on a snake?
If it does, will it just deter the snake or will it actually harm the snake (then not an option to use)?

Return to “Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Webcam Highlights

Submitted by Mellory at 20:23:50
Submitted by kkwm at 00:26:55
Submitted by MegganS at 00:04:50
Submitted by Foxy at 22:10:23