Family: Elapidae
Latin Name: Naja nivea
English Name: Cape Cobra
Other Names: Geelslang (Afrikaans), Kaapse Kobra (Afrikaans), Koperkapel (Afrikaans)
Red Data Status: Least Concern (SARCA 2014)
Size: Average 1.4m, Maximum 1.6m
Activity: Active during the day and night

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).

Cape Cobras feed on rodents, birds, lizards, toads, and other snakes.

Oviparous, they lay 8-20 eggs in mid-summer.

Cape Cobra distribution map.


Some of the information on this website is sourced from the ADU Virtual Museum and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.