Ready For Anything Now Survival Skills


Venomous Snakes Of Africa
Boomslang: The Boomslang is found in sub-Saharan Africa. This snake varies in color from green to brown and is found in forested areas. The Boomslang spends much of it's time in trees or bushes. This snake is considered to be timid but will bite if harassed. It's venom is considered to be very potent. It's name means "tree snake". More...
Bush Viper: Found in most of Africa, particularly the central region. The Bush Viper or Leaf viper can be found in trees, on low hanging branches and bushes as well as on the ground. They inhabit tropical Rainforest and swamps and woodlands. Bites from this snake are rare because of it's remote habitat. Read this note if going remote central Africa.
Egyptian Cobra: Sometimes called an Asp. The Egyptian Cobra can grow to eight feet in length. When agitated the front part of it's body rises from the ground and it spreads it's hood, just below the head. This Cobra is responsible for many deaths. It's Neurotoxic venom can cause paralysis and death within 15 minutes. Colors range from grey, yellow to brown and black. Some Cobras can spray their venom into the eyes of their prey, for close to seven feet, causing permanent blindness. Often hisses loudly as a warning. The sight of this snake standing erect can stop elephants in their tracks. The Egyptian Cobra can be found in most any location of it's range and is even found in and around homes. Range includes almost all of Africa and much of the Middle East.  Read More
Gaboon Viper: The Gaboon Viper resides in sub-Saharan Africa. The Gaboon viper is a fairly docile snake, but it's poison is very dangerous. Any bite by this snake is a medical emergency. Nocturnal by nature, these snakes can be found in dense forest, near by grasslands or farm buildings. They often lay motionless for long periods of time. Patterned pink to brown coloring common.
Green or Black Mamba: The Black Mamba is the second largest venomous snake in the world. The Mamba is also the fastest moving snake in the world. Color from green, olive, grey to black. The Black Mamba is considered one of the most dangerous snakes. It is much feared and very aggressive. Most of Africa is home to the mambas, avoid these snakes.  Read More
Horned Desert Viper: Inhabits northern Africa and the Middle East. The Horned Viper often has small horns on it's head but not always present. The coloring of this snake varies as with most. It's colors often fit well into it's environment making it hard to notice. During the day this snake burrows into the sand making it easy to step on, which usually results in a bite. It snake prefers dry sandy areas but is sometimes found around a desert oasis. Active in the open at night. Uses a side winding action to travel.
Levant viper: Also called a Sand viper. This viper and it's relatives inhabit north Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. It can be found from farmlands to mountains and varies to most all areas. This snake bites quickly and it's venom is very dangerous, causing many deaths. Often hisses loudly when threatened. Colors vary from grey to brown to olive green. Both lighter and darker with a pattern.
Mole viper or burrowing viper: The Mole viper lives in sub-Saharan Africa. It is not an aggressive snake but if harassed or touched it can turn with great speed and bite. This snake has very long fangs that extend out of the side of it's mouth when biting. It can envenom it's victim simply by swing its head to one side or the other, even when being held behind the head. Black to dark brown color. Inhabits farms and dry areas.
Puff Adder: The Puff Adder is one of Africa's most common snakes. The Puff Adder inhabits most of Africa, Saudi Arabia and part of southwest Asia. It readily bites if approached, sometimes provides warning with a loud hiss. It prefers not to live in true deserts or rainforests. Nocturnal but has good camouflage and is difficult to see in the day. Can strike very quickly to the front and sides.
Rhinoceros viper or river jack:  This snake inhabits the equatorial portion of Africa. It prefers to live in rainforests or in swampy areas or along and near water ways. It has a horn on the end of it's nose and very rough scales. It strikes readily if surprised or agitated but is not considered to be aggressive. Nocturnal, it spends it's days laying on the jungle floor motionless and hard to see. A dangerous snake.
Sand viper: This snake resides from the northern half of Africa to southwest Asia. It is a nocturnal desert dweller. The Sand viper has a short temper and will strike without hesitation or warning. Will partially bury itself in the sand and lay motionless and very difficult to see. Easily stepped on. Very rough scaled with a large triangular head.
Saw-scaled viper: Responsible for many snake bites and deaths. The Saw Scaled viper produces a rasping sound with it's scales. Small at 18 to 24 inches but very short tempered. This snake has very potent venom. Common in dry areas, farms, barns, rural villages and rocky areas. It often hides under loose rocks or other items. Nocturnal, it buries itself in leaves or sand if not hidden. Sometimes climbs trees and bushes, especially when it rains. Uses it's scales to produce a raspy sound when threatened. Very aggressive, will readily strike.


  • The most feared snakes of Africa include the Green and Black Mamba, the Cobra, the Boomslang and the Adders.

  • The Green or Black Mamba can move incredibly fast, avoid these snakes don't take chances.

  • The Cobra can spit it's venom into the eyes of its victim from a long distance

  • Some Cobra's will play dead if startled so be careful.

  • Snake bites are not uncommon and can be life threatening, unfamiliar territory can be distracting, when in Africa be alert to this danger.

Hints To Avoid A Bite

  • Don't try to pick up or trap a snake! It sounds strange, but many people are bitten trying to grab or trap a snake they have encountered.

  • Walk around a snake giving it plenty of room.

  • Don't try to kill the snake just because you have found it in the wilderness. This often ends in ways that are less than desirable and snakes are very important to the environment.

  • Don't put your hands or feet in places where you cannot see such as tall grass, holes or crevices in logs, rocks or in the ground. Don't pick anything up without first flipping it over with a small tree branch, hiking pole or other item.

  • Do not go bare foot or wear sandals when exploring the outdoors. Always wear leather hiking boots or other suitable footwear and clothing.

  • Watch where you step, especially around trees, brush or tall grass. Be alert to your surroundings. Remember, Snakes often lay motionless and may be unnoticeable.

  • If sleeping outdoors without a tent, don't lay next to rocks, tall grass, brush or logs. Use mosquito netting to create a barrier around yourself. Tuck mosquito netting well under your sleeping bag and anchor it well away from your body with logs, rocks or other items. Sleeping on a cot is preferable.


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