Non-Venomous Snakes:

Boaedon capensis (Brown House Snake)

The Brown House Snake is a common animal found throughout all of South Africa.

The white V-shaped markings that run from the tip of their snout through their eyes are very distinctive and make them easy to identify.

Read more here.

Dasypeltis scabra (Rhombic Egg-Eater)

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.

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Duberria lutrix lutrix (Common Egg-Eater)

Also known as a "Tabakrolletjie" in Afrikaans, this relatively common little snake can grow up to 43cm in length. Common Slug-Eaters prefer damp localities near grassland, but can also be found in moist savannah, lowland forest, and fynbos.

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Lamprophis aurora (Aurora House Snake)

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.

Read more here.

Lamprophis inornatus (Olive House Snake)

Olive House Snakes prefer moist habitats and can often be found in rubble and debris near human dwellings.

They feed on lizards, rodents, and other snakes.

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Lycodonomorphus rufulus (Common Brown Water Snake)

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.

Read more here.

Pseudaspis cana (Mole Snake)

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.

Read more here.

Ramphotyphlops braminus (Flowerpot Snake)

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.

Read more here.

Mildly Venomous Snakes:

Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia (Herald Snake)

Herald Snakes are common in our area, and can often be found seeking shelter under rockeries or compost heaps in gardens.

They prefer marshy areas, fynbos, lowland forest, moist savannah, and grassland.

Read more here.

Homoroselaps lacteus (Spotted Harlequin Snake)

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.

Read more here.

Psammophis crucifer (Crossed Whip Snake)

Found mostly in lowland forest, moist savannah, grassland, and fynbos, this fast-moving snake tends to hide quickly when disturbed.

Crossed Whip Snakes feed on small lizards as well as frogs. Oviparous, they lay 3-13 eggs.

Read more here.

Psammophis notostictus (Karoo Whip Snake)

Often found in fynbos, grassland, arid savannah, and karoo scrub, the Karoo Whip Snake is alert and quick-moving.

It feeds mainly on lizards, mice, and other small rodents.

Oviparous, they lay 3-8 eggs in the summer.

Read more here.

Psammophylax rhombeatus rhombeatus (Spotted Skaapsteker)

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.

Read more here.

Venomous Snakes:

Bitis arietans arietans (Puff Adder)

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.

Read more here.

Dispholidus typus typus (Boomslang)

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.

Read more here.

Naja nivea (Cape Cobra)

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).

Read more here.