The Black Mamba is probably one of Southern Africa’s most feared snakes with good reason. They are known to be very aggressive when cornered or disturbed. This specific individual was trying to ambush birds in a Sekel Bush Dichrostachys Cinerea. We were driving around in the rain not thinking we will see anything when we heard the alarm calls from the Cape glossy starlings half way up a hill not far from the road. Scanning the trees with my binoculars I saw this Mamba having a go at the birds.
I don’t have many images of snakes so this was a great oppertunity to add to my portfolio. BUT THIS WAS NOT JUST A SNAKE it was the feared Black Mamba. The fact that yesterday was cold, windy and rainy helped a lot in the fact that the snake was docile and relaxed. He was quite inquisitive when I poked my lens through the canopy of the tree. I was wondering every second as the shutter went of when will his next move be. He never puffed up his neck or opened his mouth at me. I didn’t waste too much time on wondering further and just thanked the snake for allowing me to photograph him so closely, believe me I used every relaxed second with the snake.
Some interesting facts on Black mambas (Dendroaspis Polylepsis):
- Can get up to 4,3 meters long
- The mouth lining ins inside is black
- Coffin shaped head
- Diurnal snake, round pupils
- Diet : fledglings and small mammals
- Venom is neurotoxic and cardiotoxic and yields 100-400mg of venom per bite, 10-15mg of venom are fatal in humans.
- Up to 10 files of anti venom is required to counteract the venom.
- 12-17 eggs are laid in termite mounds or hollow trees.
- They grow up to 2 meters in length in their first year of growth.
It is always great to get a different subject to photograph. I have been working with snakes for 12 years now. Just remember that if you are not familiar with any dangerous reptile don’t attempt to capture or corner the animal. These animals are deadly.