Oh my Mamba!!! - Madikwe Hills Menu

Oh my Mamba!!!

By Jaco on March 13, 2009

My little encounter with the most dangerous snake in Africa…

Is was busy working at the workshop one morning doing some vehicle maintenance when a huge noise got my attention. A group of Glossy starlings and some House sparrows were going absolutely bonckers not too far from me. At first I thought it was just another little fight that broke out between them, but when the noise continued I decided to go and have a look what was going on. The gathering was in a dead Sickle bush tree and I wen’t over too have a closer look. I walked around the tree once too see what it could be because they were so upset that they totally ignored my presence. Then I saw it and my blood instantly stopped flowing and my body froze like a statue…

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Black Mamba!!! not 3 feet from my face looking me straight in the eyes. His gray body perfectly camouflaging him in the dead branches of the tree.Not being able to move from the unexpected fright helped me allot. It enabled me to try and make a plan to get out of this close encounter without ending up six feet under. The whole time in the back of my mind I knew the aggressive yet shy nature of this snake and the fact that he did not flee upon my approach worried me. He is standing his ground and I must make my moves carefully or suffer the most venomous bite in Africa. Slowly I backed off stopping every time the snake made a move. Eventually I was a comfortable distance away and the snake relaxed a bit. That made me very happy. Eventually I got to a distance that was safe enough and I could feel my legs trembling and my blood defrosting. What a rush, but hopefully not one to be repeated again. But then it was time to get a photo or two. You don’t see this snake every day.

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5 thoughts on “Oh my Mamba!!!

  1. Really scary!! My fourth book (out in June or July)(http://www.liffeyrivers.com)is called In the Shadow of the Serpent and features a black mamba and a 13-year-old Irish dancer.You gave me the uneasy feeling I needed to do some serious snake writing today! Thanks! Very descriptive, great blog!

  2. Wow Jaco! What an exciting encounter and a great story. Thanks for the detailed account of your experience.

    I too have found myself face to face with a black Mamba many years ago. He was under a ground sheet in our boat house. I lifted the ground sheet and there he was – about 2.5 meters away from me.

    Luckily he got as big a fright as I did and instead of attacking (as they often do), he made a quick escape in the other direction. Believe me, I can imagine how you were trembling, if I think back to my state of shock…

    I am glad you survived to tell the story…

  3. Dear Jaco,

    ida’s from italy, writing! I hope not to make a mistake, but we were at the lodge since 13th march in the morning and we really enjoyed fantastic game drives,despite of the showers, with you and Vic but now I feel very lucky not to have met your friend mamba!!!!!!!

    I really hope to see you all again or write you some times to have south african news!!!!

    Thank you so much, say hallo to vic!!!!

    Ida & Gianluca

  4. Thanx for the comment Ida. We had a wonderful time but my friend the mamba is something to respect and avoid. He is a beautiful snake but demands our understanding and utmost respect. He is also known in Africa as the black death. Maybe I can show you one next time, SAFELY.

  5. Jy sal nog my hart gaan laat staan met al die nuwe vriende wat jy maak.Skitterende fotos seun. Ek is nogal bly ek was nie daar nie. Groete.

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