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