Although completely harmless, people often get a fright and kill Rhombic Egg-Eaters due to their defensive posturing - they coil their bodies and rub their keeled scales against each other to produce a loud hissing noise, then flatten their head and open their mouth whilst pretending to strike.
Aurora House Snakes are very secretive, seldom seen, and completely harmless. Adults average 45-60 cm, but can occasionally reach a length of 90 cm.
They are shiny olive green in color with a distinctive bright yellow to orange stripe running from the top of their head to the tip of their tail. On their bellies, they’re yellowish to light greenish white.
Nocturnal and aquatic, Brown Water Snakes can swim very well. They’re usually confined to damp localities near streams and rivers, and although mainly active at night may hunt along shaded streams during the day.
They feed on frogs, tadpoles, small fish and occasionally nestlings and rodents. Oviparous, they lay 6-23 eggs in mid-summer with young measuring 15-22cm.
Mole Snakes are found in a variety of habitats - even mountainous regions and deserts - but they're particularly common in sandy scrub-covered and grassveld regions.
They spend most of their time underground, pushing their way through soft sand in search of moles and other rodents.
Flowerpot Snakes are South Africa's only introduced snake species (originally from Australasia). They're often transported in pot plants, hence the common name.
It's interesting to note that this is an all-female (parthenogenetic) species, in which unfertilized ova develop directly into new individuals - females are able to produce viable eggs without having to mate.
Mildly Venomous Snakes:
Also knows as a "Gevlekte Kousbandjie", Spotted Harlequin Snakes average 40 cm in length and have very distinctive coloring.
They prefer fynbos, lowland forest, moist savannah, and grassland, where they can often be found in deserted terminte mounds and under rocks.
Spotted Skaapstekers average 45 - 85cm in length and can be found inhabiting fynbos, grassland, and moist savannah throughout most of South Africa.
They're mildly venomous, but pose no danger to humans.
Common throughout most of South Africa (excluding mountain-tops, true desert, and dense forests), Puff Adders are slow-moving and excitable snakes with potently cytotoxic (tissue destroying) venom.
Puff Adders rely on their camouflage to remain unseen, and when disturbed they coil into a defensive "S"-shape and hiss loudly (hence their name). They usually move in a straight caterpillar-like motion but may move in a more rapid serpentine motion when trying to get away.
Boomslang are known for their strikingly large eyes - the largest of any African snake. Females are light to olive brown with dirty white to brown bellies, whereas males may have a variety of colors.
Shy and diurnal (active during the day), they spend most of their lives in trees and shrubs where they hunt eggs, birds, frogs, chameleons, and other tree-dwelling lizards.
Also known as a "Koperkapel" or "Geelslang" in Afrikaans, the Cape Cobra is a common venomous snake that can range in colour from yellow through reddish brown to black.
When threatened or cornered, Cape Cobras are quick to spread a hood and won't hesitate to bite. Their venom is highly neurotoxic (the most potent of any African cobra), attacking the nervous system and causing respiratory collapse (the victim stops breathing).