10 most venomous snakes in Africa – Part Two

Interesting facts about some of Africa’s most dangerous and most venomous snakes.

Egyptian Cobra

  • The Egyptian Cobra (Naja haje) is most commonly found in Egypt, but is in fact the most widespread of African cobras.
  • Average size is 1.5-2 m, though some can exceed 2.5 m (8 feet) in length.
  • The snake has the third most toxic venom of any cobra, just after the Northern Philippine Cobra and Cape Cobra.
  • In fact, its venom is so potent it can kill a fully-grown elephant in as little as 3 hours.
  • Some people believe that Cleopatra committed suicide using an Egyptian Cobra.

Saw-Scaled Viper (Carpet Viper)

  • Found North of the African Equator, Saw-Scaled or Carpet Vipers (Echis carinatus) are small yet viciously efficient and badly tempered snakes.
  • Average adult vipers reach a length of less than a meter (20-30 inch).
  • Gets its name from the “sizzling” warning sound it makes as its scales rub together.
  • The snake’s venom is hemotoxic and very virulent.
  • According to some researchers, the Carpet Viper’s venom is 5 times more toxic than that of the cobra, and 16 times more toxic than the Russell’s Viper (one of Asia’s most deadly snakes).
  • Better left alone! 🙂


  • The Boomslang (Dispholidus typusis) is the most venomous rear-fanged snake in the world.
  • It is found in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • “Boomslang” comes from the Afrikaans word “tree snake”. It is therefore a “tree-dwelling” snake species.
  • Unlike the Gaboon Viper, the Boomslang’s fangs are much shorter, yet it can open its mouth at a full 180 degrees to bite.
  • While fatalities are rare since the species is very timid, its venom is haemotoxic and results in internal bleeding .
  • Sexual dimorphism is particularly apparent in Boomslangs: females are brown, whereas males are light green with black highlights.

Check out more ridiculously venomous snakes in part three.

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