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Snake: Southern African Python

Find, identify & discuss the marine species of SANParks
Friedrich von Hörsten
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Re: Strange Snake Behaviour?

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:01 pm

Saw a python doing the same thing near Red Rocks last year, and it moved off once it relaxed and was sure we meant no harm to it.

Your snake looks healthy.
It does not look like it is moulting.
It does not look like it has fed on anything serious -- no bulge, just a normal fatter body than head.
I don't think it is normal for a snake that size to bask in the sun out in the open where a big eagle could easily grab it.
I suspect it was crossing the road (straight body, relaxed, moving slowly), when it sensed your approach, and FROZE to conceal its presence.
Once it had decided that flight was the only option, it cleared off at lighting speed (NO injury...)

Whatever the real reason, a VERY special sighting. I have had ONE in 55 years of game viewing!

Thanks for sharing!

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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Re: Snake: African Python

Unread post by johanclassen » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:16 am

Almost missed this one near Skukuza earlier this year.


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Re: Snake: African Python

Unread post by anne-marie » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:01 pm

wow :D and what a camouflage :clap:
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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread post by ossendryver » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:02 pm

Is it a python or a puffadder?

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Re: There is a python on my engine!

Unread post by lion queen » Mon May 14, 2012 2:00 pm

The translation

First there was only a snake in the grass. And then it was under there engine cap…

“The snake came sailing out of the grass, and then headed directly towards us,” Marlene Swart and Leon Swanepoel from Brits commented, after a giant python ended up under the engine cap of their silver Renault Clio on their most recent visit to the Kruger National Park.

“We belong to the Facebook group Kruger National Park Sightings and got a message about lions close to where we were. On our way there we came across a pile-up of cars and thought they were perhaps having a look at the lions.”

The two of them were enlightened with the fact of the python being in the grass.

“Suddenly the python emerged from the grass and came right towards us. I signalled the driver behind us to reverse but he did not understand what I was trying to tell him,” Swart said.

The snake was by then already under their vehicle. Swart and Swanepoel waited for the snake to crawl out from under the car but no such luck.

“The people around us started to murmur because the snake had just disappeared.”

The driver of a wild exploring vehicle told the two of them he thinks the snake had crawled into the engine cap.

They immediately drove to the closest lookout point and stopped at Mathekenyane, about 10km from Skukuza. All the other tourists followed out of curiosity.

“I was petrified, especially when Leon mentioned the snake could have crawled into a space where it could be impossible to get him out from.”

Swanepoel opened the engine cap and saw the giant python curled up.

“There the snake was blessedly calm, busy warming himself,” Swart said.

Swanepoel took the snake by its tail and slowly started to pull the snake out from the engine. The snake sailed away unharmed and luckily the car was also not damaged.

In the meantime Swart and Swanepoel had long-gone forgot about the lions, and after the incident rather drove to Skukuza for some sugar water.

“Later that day we received a message on the Facebook group reporting a very relaxed snake in the grass near Mathekenyane,” Swart reported.

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Re: There is a python on my engine!

Unread post by Yorkie » Mon May 14, 2012 4:50 pm

Hi everyone

Leon and I absolutely love Kruger and we go there as often as we possibly can.

This was a once in a lifetime experience and at that time we never imagined the response we would get.

I was in total shock and terrified while we drove the 5 kilometers to Grano Hill and I was worried about damage to the car, because we didn't know exactly where the snake was.

Leon is a real 'Ace Ventura' and he was very exited about the episode.

I am just sorry I didn't take more pictures, but I was almost numb with fear. I have a picture of Leon helping the snake out by the tail, but I cut off his head…….lol.

That evening, while having a stiff drink, we had a good laugh at some of the reactions of the bystanders when the snake got out. It was hilarious to see the people scatter in all directions. Again, I never even thought of taking pictures.

Take care

Marlene Swart

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Re: There is a python on my engine!

Unread post by ruthp » Mon May 14, 2012 6:12 pm

Yorkie wrote : "That evening, while having a stiff drink" That's what I would have done too :P

the newspaper said you went back to camp and had had SUGAR WATER :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
I thought that couldn't be right :lol: :lol:

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Re: There is a python on my engine!

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue May 15, 2012 6:16 am

My goodness :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: what an experience. I would love to have been a bystander at Mathekenyane.

Very relaxed snake :hmz: my goodness, the snake was probably as high as a kite from the petrol fumes. Possibly having a "trip" of a lifetime.

I would rather have a Python than a Mamba, I must tell you. Your Python is very beautiful.
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Re: There is a python on my engine!

Unread post by Donny » Tue May 15, 2012 7:59 am

Hi Yorkie ,

What an unforgettable experience. Something that will be replayed around the Kruger campfire for years to come.

Really cool head on Leon's shoulders. Well done !!!

Reminds of an incident my brother had few years back when he stopped @ the petrol station @ LSabie and found a Boomslang sitting under the hood.
Need to get there soon !!!

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African Rock Python

Unread post by MPL » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:13 pm

African Rock Python


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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread post by DavenJan » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:30 pm

We saw this snake the week before last between Nkuhlu and Lower Sabie. We assumed it is a python, but it seems very dark. Is this a usual colour, or is it not well or something.

Long live Cricket@Skukuza

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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread post by BushSnake » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:49 pm

It's definitely a python, but pythons vary quite a bit in colour. If the pattern on a snake like this is not very clear, then it may indicate that the snake is getting ready to shed its skin. This one looks like quite a big one, and maybe around 3 metres in length?
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Unread post by bondm » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:45 pm


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Re: African Rock Python

Unread post by wyld@hrt » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:20 pm

We were lucky enough to come across a python that had just taken an impala along the Maroela Loop in December.
Almost impossible to tell the length as it was still in the process of squeezing its victim into submission and ultimate death however judging by the width of the coil (my thigh would have been embarrassed next to it)
I would safely say the length was between 4 and 5 metres or even longer.

Due to the lateness of the event we unfortunately had to leave and didn't manage to see the finale.

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Re: African Rock Python

Unread post by wyld@hrt » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:18 pm

Ok, let's try again... :doh:


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