Contrary to popular belief, there still are snakes slithering about in cold weather…Last few night’s trailcam treasures!!!…

There are no captions on today’s photos. They speak for themselves!

Many locals and visitors to Marloth Park perceive that they won’t encounter snakes in cold weather. But, this is not the case, as illustrated below from local Juan de Beer’s Facebook entry, which he posted yesterday. Juan is a young, highly skilled rescuer of reptiles and other animals found in the bush and nearby outlying areas.

It astounds us how successful and experienced he has been. We knew him when he was a teenager, and many of us here in Marloth Park feel safer knowing he is at our beck and call if we encounter a snake in the house or on the veranda.; Of course, if a snake is spotted in the garden and wandering off, there’s no need to call Juan.

Snakes and other reptiles are a part of Marloth Park and have as much a right to be here as we do, if not more. They were here long before humans inhabited this area. It is sad to see snakes driven over by vehicles on the roads and the countless wildlife killed on the roads here. More on that tomorrow. We were horrified to read the latest update on how many animals have been killed on Olifant Road, the main paved road in the park, in the past week.

So, here is Juan’s update on how many reptiles were captured and transferred to parkland and wildlife areas in the past two months, and June isn’t even over yet.

Juan’s Reptile Rescue

April and May 2022🐍🦎 🦂🐊

Rescue’s for this month from the Unit⚠️☠⚠️
1.Black mamba= 25
2.Puff Adder= 24
3.Mozambique Spitting cobra= 25
4.Rock Monitor= 17
5.Spotted bush snake= 14
6.Eastern Tiger snake= 1
7.Common wolf snake= 1
8.Olive grass snake= 2
9.Boomslang= 7
10.Southern Twig snake= 2
11.Southern African python= 1
12.common file snake= 1
13.Brown house snake= 4
14.Crocodile= 1
15.Chameleon= 1
16.Marbled tree snake= 1
17.Eastern bark snake= 1
18.Tree agama= 1
19.Short snouted grass snake= 1
Rescue’s in total ~ 130
Juan’s Reptile Rescue Unit 🐍🐊🦎🦂🕷
Safe removal and release of all Reptile’s❗❗
(Marloth Park, Kruger National Park, Komatipoort, Hectorspruit and surrounding area’s)
Juan’s Reptile Rescue Unit:
060 665 5000📲
Available 24/7
No charge for a call out❗❗
To know that he rescued 25 black mambas, one of the most dangerous snakes in the world, leaves one a little more cautious when walking in the garden, on the dirt, in the bush, and even in the house. When snakes seek warmth, they may enter the house. We’ve heard stories of highly venomous snakes being rescued from homes on many occasions.
Of course, we must remain vigilant every day and evening, keeping doors closed, especially since the veranda is on ground level. We keep our bedroom door closed, day and night, mainly to keep mosquitoes and other insects from entering. But, this measure is also vital to keep snakes from entering a bedroom that may have snuck into the house when occupants weren’t watching.
We shout out to Juan and the other reptile rescuers residing in Marloth Park and surrounding areas, who also provide superior support and handling in this area.
Here’s some good advice for anyone who encounters a snake such as a black mamba or many others:
“Black mambas are territorial, so don’t go looking for a fight. If you see or hear one, leave it alone. Do not go near the snake; if it tries to escape, let it. If it feels cornered, you’ll face its wrath.”

There are countless reliable sites online that can be useful regarding safety when encountering snakes or other dangerous reptiles. For example, this site from Kruger National Park is a good source of information, as many others. For those living or staying in Marloth Park and other conservancies and camps in Africa, it’s imperative to conduct research and become educated on safety around all forms of wildlife, even those who appear to be gentle and non-combative.
Enjoy today’s photos from our trail cam taken over the last few days. We were thrilled to see the visitors that arrived when we were either inside making dinner or later in the evening, during the night or in the early morning.
Be safe. Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, June 11, 2021:

Tom stayed busy for quite a while tossing pellets to these five wildebeests. For more photos, please click here.

How many snakes did Juan’s Reptile Rescue capture in January, 2022?…Unbelievable!…

Juan de Beer is an expert snake handler in Marloth Park and the surrounding area. He now has a team of snake handlers working with him when many sightings have been reported, especially this time of yearg.

Yesterday, when Tom spotted the following information on Facebook, I knew I had to post a story about this crucial skill required in this and many areas of South Africa. Snakes come out of hiding, although they don’t specifically hibernate, as stated here from this site:

“Hibernation has been described as an inherent, regular and prolonged period of inactivity during winter. Hibernation is associated with warm-blooded animals (endotherms) such as mammals. It refers to a period of inactivity and a shut down in the metabolic system to save energy. On the other hand, Reptiles are said to brumate – become less active but do not shut down and will be active with a slight increase in temperature. The term brumate was coined by Wilbur Waldo Mayhen back in 1965 and referred to research he was doing on Flat-tailed Horn Lizards – he found that even if he heated these lizards in winter, unlike other lizards, they would still not feed and become lethargic. Strangely, Mayhen’s term does not technically apply to the standard period of inactivity in our reptiles as our reptiles will become active with a slight increase in temperature on a warm winter day.

Snakes in cold regions of the world go into a state of torpor (inactivity) for long periods, up to 8 months, and often in dens where hundreds or even thousands of snakes may share the same winter shelter.

In Southern Africa, it rarely gets cold enough for snakes to truly go into torpor, and although they are far less active in winter, snakes may emerge from their winter hide-outs on a warm winter day to bask in the sun and drink water.”

It’s astounding how much we can learn about snakes. They aren’t simply slithery, dangerous, venomous creatures roaming in the bush to bite and frighten unsuspecting humans. Most snakes prefer to stay away from human interaction and only bite when threatened.

Sure, there are cases where a human accidentally steps on or runs into a snake and is bitten. But, when reading about most snake bites, it appears they could have been prevented. But snakes are not all about our fear and trepidation. They are a vital part of the ecosystem and must be revered for their role in our environment. Well, volumes have been written on this topic which is more than we present today.

But, the value of safe snake and reptile rescue and relocation is an art in itself. We’ve been impressed by the quality of the work done by Juan and his team. Of course, there are other expert handlers in Marloth Park, but, in most cases, we’ve interacted with Juan, and thus he is highlighted in today’s story.

Both of us were shocked to see how many snakes and reptiles Juan and his team rescued.

January 2022🐍🦎 🦂🐊
Rescue’s for this month from the Unit⚠️☠⚠️
1.Black mamba= 16
2.Puff Adder= 7
3.Mozambique Spitting cobra= 19
4.Rock Monitor= 14
5. Spotted bush snake= 13
6. Olive grass snake= 4
7.Eastern Tiger snake= 1
8. Herald snake= 4
9. Brown house snake= 9
10.Boomslang= 2
11. Western yellow-bellied sand snake= 1
12. Southern African python= 3
13. Marbled tree snake= 4
14. East African shovel-snout= 1
Rescue’s in total ~98
Juan’s Reptile Rescue Unit 🐍🐊🦎🦂🕷
Safe removal and release of all Reptile’s❗❗
(Marloth Park, Kruger National Park, Komatipoort, Hectorspruit, and surrounding areas)
Juan’s Reptile Rescue Unit:
060 665 5000📲
Available 24/7
No charge for a call-out❗❗
May be an image of snake and text that says 'Juan's Reptile Rescue 060 665 5000'
“According to Professor Harry Greene, snakes consume between 6 – 30 meals per year, which is in summer. During winter, they do not eat at all or, if they do, very little. Most mammals will die within a few days if they are deprived of food, but some snakes are known to have survived for more than a year without a meal. Because snakes are ectotherms and require no food for their heat requirements, they can survive with very little food, and a large Puff Adder probably consumes less than 1 kg of food per year.”
The world around us continues to nourish our quest for knowledge. Living in the bush in Marloth Park has been a rich source of education, leaving us in awe at every turn. We thank Juan and his support staff, Marloth Park rangers, Honorary Rangers, and wildlife rescue professionals who help to make this a magical place.
Now, it’s up to all of us, blessed to be here, to honor and respect the wildlife, their habitat, and the people that make being here possible.
Be well.
Photo from one year ago today, February 4, 2021:
Bushbucks only like the banana peel. They are experts at removing the banana to be left with the peel to eat. It’s hysterical to watch how they manage to peel the banana with their mouths. Nature is amazing! For more photos, please click here.

Beware snakes in Marloth Park…Another snake bite here in the park…

Not our photo. Last Thursday, this photo of a Mozambique Spitting Cobra was taken by Juan’s Reptile Rescue here in Marloth Park when he rescued it from a local woman’s home who was bitten inside her house.

There is never a time we can relax about snakes when living in the bush in South Africa, although they are seldom seen during the cooler winter months. Now, in mid-summer, snakes who roam the bush searching for food in the warmer season can be found anywhere. Nowhere is safe from snakes with their ability to slither their way up any set of steps, railings, sides, and interiors of structures of any type.

Regardless of how diligent we may believe we are, a snake like this, a Mozambique Spitting Cobra (or many other venomous snakes) with whom we had a close encounter in 2014, as described and shown in this post, can appear anywhere, at any time, especially during the summer months. These particular snakes can spray venom and bite, but those attacks aren’t necessarily fatal, although, under certain circumstances, they can be.

Our second snake encounter was in January 2021, described and shown in this post, with a boomslang, one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa. A bite from these bright green snakes is fatal if untreated with antivenom within a few hours of being bitten.

Piglets suckling from Tail-Less Mom.

Snakes are seen during daylight hours and at night when it’s easy to step on a snake when walking indoors or outdoors accidentally. In the case of the main photo snake, the Mozambique Spitting Cobra, the snake bit the woman on her toe when she got something out of her refrigerator. Fortunately, Juan, a young expert snake handler here in Marloth Park, found at his Facebook page here came to her rescue. She didn’t require medical care in this particular case.

But that wouldn’t be the case with many snakes in Marloth Park, such as the Black Mamba, Puff Adder, and others, as described in this article here.

So, what is a person to do to avoid being bitten? There are numerous reliable websites dedicated to this topic, such as this one here, relative to snakes in South Africa, but it can also apply to snake bites in other countries. We certainly are no experts, but the one aspect and precaution we follow is to always be on the alert. We both wear closed-toe shoes and wear them in the house and outdoors.

In no time at all, piglets learn to search for pellets.

Our days of walking around on bare feet are long over. Plus, we watch where we walk, both indoors and outdoors. Whenever we walk under shrubs or trees, we check the surrounding ground and up in the tree to ensure no snakes are lurking there.

One night in 2018, when we began walking up the steps to Jabula, people nearby alerted us to a venomous snake slithering along the stairway railing. We immediately backed down, and in minutes Juan was there to remove the snake. That taught us an invaluable lesson to be on alert near stairs, railings, and any structures when we’re out and about, in a business, or visiting friends at their homes.

I now have the habit of saying, each time we walk out the door, “Watch for snakes!”  I never fail to say this when we are outdoors, even going back and forth to the car in our driveway or when going in and out of restaurants and businesses, at any time of the day or night. One can never be too cautious.

There were actually ten warthogs in the garden when I took this photo.

It’s our lives we are talking about. And, if you live in an area where there are snakes, it’s your life too.

Stay safe while enjoying your surroundings.

Photo from one year ago today, January 27, 2021:

The waterbuck is a large antelope found widely in sub-Saharan Africa. It is placed in the genus Kobus of the family Bovidae. Irish naturalist William Ogilby first described it in 1833. The thirteen subspecies are grouped under the common or Ellipsiprymnus waterbuck and the Defassa waterbuck. Please, visitors and locals, stay away from the fence while waterbucks are on the wrong side of the rising river. They are easily stressed and frightened and could become injured in a rush to escape from humans. For more photos, please click here.

Happy New Year!…No “year in review” this year, but excitement from the past 24 hours!!!!…

Chris, the instructor, and Tom were all smiles with the black mamba while attending a snake-handling class in March 2018. I took the classroom course and the test. I was grateful my job was to take photos and not handle the snakes. See the original post here.

Living in the bush always provides opportunities for exciting and unique experiences. Days may pass before anything pops up, but ultimately, something special happens. In this case, it was more than special. It was terrifying!!!

As we were getting ready to go to Jabula last night instead of our usual Friday night, due to the New Year’s Eve party that we’re attending this evening, Tom stepped out onto the veranda to feed a bushbuck in his bare feet and underwear. (Privacy is easy since we are far from other bush houses and dense bush surrounds us on all sides). It was so hot and humid. He didn’t want to put on his clothes until we were ready to go out the door.

I was busy in the second bedroom where I keep my clothes, freshening up and changing for the evening. I heard Tom let out a “Whoa!”

I rushed outside to see what he had spotted. Fortunately, or unfortunately, (I couldn’t take a photo, nor did I see it. Now, you know what it was when I said it had slithered away. Nothing slithers like a snake.

It was a black mamba, the most venomous snake in Africa, described as follows from this site:

The black mamba has quite a reputation. It is one of the world’s deadliest snakes. It is the fastest land snake in the world and “the longest species of venomous snake in Africa and the second-longest in the world,” said Sara Viernum, a herpetologist based in Madison, Wisconsin. This snake’s potential danger has been the subject of many African myths, and it has been blamed for thousands of human deaths.

The black mamba’s reputation is not undeserved. “Black mambas are extremely venomous and very fast snakes,” Viernum said. They are highly aggressive when threatened, “known to strike repeatedly and [to] inject a large volume of venom with each strike.” Their venom is potentially lethal, and though antivenin exists, it is not widely available in the black mamba’s native habitat of southern and eastern Africa. For this reason, they are considered a top killer in a land where nearly 20,000 people die from snake bites every year, according to PBS’s Nature.

Bite from a black mamba:
Just two drops of potent black mamba venom can kill a human, according to South Africa’s Kruger National Park. “Like cobras and coral snakes, the venom of a black mamba contains neurotoxins,” Viernum told Live Science. She described the venom as “fast-acting.” It shuts down the nervous system and paralyzes victims, and without antivenom, the fatality rate from a black mamba bite is 100 percent. “Fatalities from black mamba bites have been documented to occur within as little as 20 minutes after injection,” said Viernum. “However, most known fatalities have occurred within 30 minutes to 3 hours or longer.”

No doubt, being in close proximity to one of these dangerous snakes is frightening. Although it wasn’t as close to him as the boomslang that visited us last January, as shown in the photo below from our post here,

I stepped out the door to the veranda to discover this scene, a highly venomous boomslang with a frog in its mouth. It was already too preoccupied to bite us! Perhaps the frog in its mouth was a blessing. See our post here.

As for yesterday’s black mamba, it was only a few meters from him but fortunately slithered away in record time. The snake handlers in Marloth Park don’t want to be contacted for snakes spotted in gardens since, by the time they would  arrive, the snake would  be long gone,

If a snake is discovered in the house or on the veranda (as was the case in the above photo), maintaining its position, the handlers can be called, usually arriving in five to ten minutes. Tom saw no reason to call with yesterday’s sighting. But, it certainly reminded us to be more diligent than ever in examining our surroundings when walking to and from the car or anywhere in the garden.

It makes sense to scour the bedroom, checking under the bed and in closets this time of year. Snakes are more active during the hot summer months, which may continue long after we leave Africa.

Last night Tom killed a horrible-looking insect on the kitchen floor before we went to bed, leaving it near the trash can to be swept up in the morning. An hour later, I stepped out of the bedroom to get ready for bed to find hundreds of ants were carrying the insect. It was moved no less than 10 meters in one hour. If I hadn’t turned on the overhead light, I would have stepped on the mess in my bare feet.

Tom then swept it out the door and sprayed the entire kitchen and lounge room floors for ants. This morning they are all gone. Surely, more such creatures will visit us soon, whether it’s freaky insects or snakes. We hope our mongooses, who visited in the dozens yesterday, continue to stay around. They are known to keep snakes at bay since they are resistant to venom. We’ll see how that goes.

Soon, we’ll cook the two beef roasts we’re bringing to the party. The rain has stopped momentarily, the humidity and dew point are still very high, but it’s much cooler today, much to our delight.

May all of our friends, family, and readers have a fantastic and safe New Year’s Eve and new year to come. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing yet another year with us.

Photo from one year ago today, December 31, 2020

This photo was posted one year ago today in the 2020′ year in review photos while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #281. Our guide, Amit, helped Tom fashion a turban required to enter the Golden Temple. I thought it looked good on him. For more photos, please click here.

We knew the risk, but it happened sooner than expected!…Terrifying visitor!..Exciting too!…

As I stepped out outside onto the veranda, this is what I encountered. Tom was sitting very close to this snake eating a frog and had no idea the snake was there.

When we wrote about the challenges of living in Africa, we mentioned three areas of concern; excessive heat, venomous insects (non-venomous don’t concern us), and snakes. Since arriving in South Africa last Wednesday afternoon, we’ve experienced the heat (over 100F, 38C, a few scary insects and yesterday, wouldn’t you know, a highly venomous snake within 1 foot, 30 cm from me, and 3 feet, 3 1 meter, from Tom.

This was quite an opportunity, to catch a snake in the process of eating a frog.

I spotted it first when opening the push-out screen door to return from inside the house to the veranda. I didn’t make a sound other than to alert Tom, who was very close as well. The first thing we noticed was that he had a frog halfway down his throat. That was quite a sight to see, resulting in today’s included photos. This wasn’t our first up-close and personal experience with a venomous snake, a Mozambique Spitting Cobra, while here in 2014. Click here for that post.

Our hands weren’t as steady as we’d have liked when we spotted this so close to us.

Gingerly, we both backed away, still keeping an eye on it. Of course, adding to the excitement was the fact he was eating the frog and his mouth was preoccupied. Perhaps, that fact was our protection. With his mouth full, he couldn’t bite us. Yikes!

We knew we needed to call Juan (pronounced John), the young master snake handler whom we knew from our past 15 months in Marloth Park in 2018-2019. His family owns Daisy’s Den, the local feed and supply store. We’d attended snake-handling school with Juan in 2018. From that class and more, he became the skilled handler and we became the knees-knocking neophytes. All we could think of was contacting him as soon as possible.

After swallowing his meal, he slithered up the chair where Tom had previously been sitting, drinking his coffee.

Our snake school experience in 2018 and the subsequent story we posted at that time, here, made us suspect it was a highly venomous Boomslang based on its bright green appearance. We took a photo and sent it to Louise knowing she’d respond quickly to our request for Juan to come out as soon as possible. Now, we have his business card in our possession at all times and his number on both of our phones so we can call him directly in the future.

Here’s a photo from our snake school experience at this link on March 12, 2018:

Chris, the instructor in March 2018, from this post here, was handling the highly venomous snake, the Boomslang. Males are green and females are brown. However, it’s nearly impossible to determine the sex of most other snakes when both genders are typically identical in appearance. “The Boomslang (Dispholidus typus) is an extremely dangerous, venomous snake species found in sub-Saharan Africa in the central and southern regions of the continent. The Boomslang is most abundant in Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, but the species has been reported as far north as southern Chad and Nigeria, and as far east as eastern Guinea. However, they are found here in South Africa as well.

Going forward, we’ll always keep at least one of our phones outside with us on the veranda at any given time, instead of charging in the house. Based on the fact the snake was hovering near the door to the house, it would have been impossible to get inside to get the phone without serious risk. He’d finally swallowed the frog whole and we could see it waiting to be digested in his body as a big bulge.

At one point, he crawled up the window but came back down to rest on the back of the chair.

(I am referring to the snake as a “he” when in fact, the male Boomslangs are green and the females are brown).

Louise immediately responded asking us that we take a photo which she’d forward it to Juan. In less than, two minutes, Louise informed us that Juan was on his way. It was the dreaded Boomslang, the third most venomous snake in Africa, the first being the Black Mamba, the second, the Puff adder, and the third, the Boomslang.

He preferred the chair over the window.

In a matter of minutes, Juan pulled into the driveway and headed directly to the back of the house to the veranda, where we still stood a distance keeping an eye on the snake to ensure it wouldn’t get away. Handlers never kill a snake.

Once he arrived, immediately confirming it was a Boomslang, he grabbed the snake several inches behind its head with the snake grabbers, and with his free hand, he grabbed the snake’s tail. He then placed it in a plastic container with air holes, and tightly positioned the lid to take the snake to an even more remote area than Marloth Park.

Mr. Boomslang was posing for the camera.

Juan’s service is complimentary, but like most, we insisted he accepts a generous tip for his professional efforts, so perfectly executed. In less than 10 minutes Juan was on his way with the snake firmly ensconced in the plastic bucket. Of course, we were a little startled by the presence of the snake, which reminded us to be all the more careful and observant going forward.

Juan is capturing the snake with his grabbers to later be relocated to another wildlife area.

A snake could lie in wait anywhere; on a wall, on the ceiling, on a railing or piece of furniture, under a bed, in a bed, or simply slivering across a floor. Nowhere in the house or in the garden is exempt from attracting a snake. Caution must be exercised at every turn, every moment, and upon entering a room.

Juan positioned it so we could take this photo before placing him in the plastic bucket.

Last night while on the veranda in the dark, we placed two rechargeable lanterns at different spots on the floor to ensure we could see all areas of the veranda. We are more mindful now than ever.

To contact Juan’s Reptile Rescue and Identification, call 060 665 5000 or email: debeer.juan@yahoo.com

“Our” visitor in a large plastic bucket ready to be relocated. Bye, snake.

This is Africa. This is to be expected here and when careful, it’s all a part of the adventure.  I must admit, we were excited to share this story and photos with all of you today!

Stay safe from whatever comes your way!

Photo from one year ago today, January 19, 2020:

On our way to the alpaca farm in New Plymouth, New Zealand on this date in 2016, we stopped at a few scenic overlooks in the rain. For the year-ago story, please click here.

Upcoming week…A terrifying past experiences comes to mind…

One of several giraffes we spotted last night when dropping Rita and Gerhard back at the Hornbill house. The partial moon is shown in the photo.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

What are you looking at, Ms. Kudu?

There was an internet outage during the night and this morning, but it was repaired, and we’re back on. I certainly didn’t want to miss posting again after my 36-hour illness when I was too ill to prepare a post.

I was feeling much better today after somewhat of a sluggish day yesterday. As always, last night, we dined at Jabula with Rita and Gerhard for another excellent meal with enjoyable conversation and ambiance.

We often see people we know while there, and the interaction between us is fun and uplifting. Last night, we were particularly reminded of how little time is left until we’ll be leaving Marloth Park in a mere 32 days. We’ve begun to say our goodbyes.

Warthogs aren’t interested in eating the fallen marula fruit.

Today, we’re busy organizing things around the house for our upcoming house guests, Linda and Ken, who’ll arrive tomorrow afternoon. We’ve moved Rita’s birthday party to Wednesday when it’s supposed to be cooler.  

It’s simply too hot to cook right now. Today will be almost 40C (104F) once again, with awful humidity, and forecasts for Monday and Tuesday don’t look much better. Of course, the weather could change between now and Wednesday but, we’re committed to sticking with the newly planned date.

This mongoose is only interested in cracking this egg.

Last night, on the return drive from Jabula with Rita and Gerhard in the car, we spotted several giraffes near their house on Hornbill and in their garden. What a lovely sight to see in the evening! Thus, the above main photo.

We had many amazing experiences at that house five years ago, which prompted the balance of today’s story about a scary event in January 2014.  

Sometimes it takes a little ingenuity to crack an egg, including banging it on the ground or a tree stump.

Please see below:

It was a little over five years ago that Tom had the worst scare of his life in January. We were seated on the veranda at the Hornbill house while working on our laptops while watching for possible visiting wildlife.

The sightings had been excellent during the first month at the house, and our expectations were high. Now, no wildlife encounters particularly scared us, although we always remained diligent and cautious.  

When kudus and warthogs are in the garden, bushbucks don’t have much chance of eating any pellets when they’re easily scared off. Tom holds the container of pellets for her to ensure she gets a few bites.

Suddenly we both heard a “plop’ and began looking around to see what it possibly could have been. In a serious tone, Tom said, “Get up slowly and move to your left!”

Curious that I am, without giving it a thought, I quickly jerked to my right. Bad move. Lying on the ground, a short distance from Tom’s bare feet, lay a snake…not a huge snake but a snake nonetheless.

We’ve since learned a bit about snakes after attending snake school last March. A huge snake can be relatively harmless, and a small snake can be deadly. That size means nothing when it comes to venomous snakes.

I’ll feed gentle Ms. Bushbuck from my hand, one of few instances in which we do so.

This scene transpired in a matter of seconds, although it felt much longer. Tom was seated in a chair, much closer to the snake, while I was at the table a short distance from him.

The moment I realized what we had before us, I said, ”Get the camera!” This was and still is a normal response of mine.  

Handsome male impala in the park.

In a flash, we both saw the snake, staring at Tom, flaring his hood, and instantly we knew it was some cobra. What type of cobra was it? We didn’t have a clue. 

(Anyone living or staying in Marloth Park for extended periods should attend snake school. Had we known then what we know now, we would have responded differently). 

Later I realized how dangerous it was to be bending down to take photos after Tom had somehow managed to get it into a corner of the veranda next to a big stingy mop where it stayed until the snake handlers arrived 10 minutes after I’d made the call.

An ibis tucked away in the vegetation in the garden.

Click here for the balance of the story with several photos of the snake, albeit blurry from my shaking hands.

Tonight will be our first night on the veranda since last Wednesday, and we’re hoping to see many of our wildlife friends, now beginning to return after the long holiday season.

Have a wonderful Sunday, wherever you may be!

Photo from one year ago today, January 13, 2018:

We walked to another part of Buenos Aires that day, looking for a jeweler who could replace Tom’s watch battery which we never found.  It took us over an hour to walk back to the Palermo district, our hotel’s location.  For more city photos, please click here.

We’re back!…First ever missed post due to illness…

Big Daddy was stopping by a few weeks ago to nibble on the lucerne we had delivered from Daisy’s Den. The bush is much greener after recent rains, and the wildlife seems less interested in the lucerne.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Oxpeckers eating ticks and fleas off the hide of a kudu.

Update on yesterday’s missing post: On Thursday night when it was still very hot, we all decided to forego our usual Thursday night buffet dinner at Ngwenya. Instead, since Rita and Gerhard had never been there, we decided to go to Phumula, a nearby restaurant we’ve visited a few times since we arrived last February.  

We didn’t love the focal lodge and restaurant food, ut it was always fresh and acceptable and they had aircon in the main bar/dining area.  It was a good choice. I didn’t drink much wine, only having a few glasses of light dry rose with ice in the hot weather. I ordered beef, veg, and salad, nothing too exciting but proved to be fine although my meat was way overdone.  I prefer it rare.  It was medium but tender so I didn’t complain.  

The four of us were so deeply engrossed in our conversations, not having seen each other in a week, we didn’t pay much attention to the food. We’d arrived at 1700 hours, (5:00 pm) and were out the door by 2030 hours, (8:30 pm).

Once back at the house, which was as hot as an oven, we decided the spend the rest of the evening watching “America’s Got Talent” on my laptop in air-conditioned comfort in the bedroom. 

Most of the wildlife groom themselves quite well.  Other than warthogs, they seldom appear dirty.

During the second episode I dozed off for a few minutes and Tom awakened me. A nap wasn’t good before going to bed for the night which would tend to make it hard to fall asleep later. I awoke from his gentle nudge with a shudder.  A wave of nausea washed over me that literally made me jump up and run to the bathroom. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I felt so dizzy I could hardly stand.

Something was terribly wrong. Was it food poisoning? What could it be? It was 2200 hours, (10:00 pm) and I knew I had a long horrid night ahead of me. I had never in my life felt so nauseated and dizzy.  

No doubt, I put Tom through hell with me when I was up and down all night, stumbling my way to the bathroom only to (gross, be prepared) have the dry heaves. I hadn’t puked in 20 years nor was I going to now.

I even found myself groaning and moaning (how disgusting) when the dizziness and nausea were almost more than I could bear. What was going on? The night was so long. I literally watched the clock on my phone waiting for it to be over.  Things are always worse at night, aren’t they?

As much as the kudus eat the vegetation, they still enjoy pellets and an occasional marula that falls to the ground from the tree in our garden.

At certain points throughout the night,  I imagined having to go to the hospital in Nelspruit, over an hour’s drive away. But I couldn’t imagine sitting up and riding in the car.  It was entirely impossible to sit up.  The room was spinning.

After a while, I took a Tylenol (aka Paracetamol or Panadol, here in SA).  It didn’t help at all. I knew I just had to wait it out.  

In the morning, I contacted Rita.  She’d eaten the same meal I had but hadn’t suffered any consequences. Thus, it wasn’t food poisoning—more than anything, I wanted to know what was going on and why I was feeling this way. I was too sick to look it up on my laptop.

In the morning, still as awfully ill, I managed to shower and get into a comfy nightdress, heading straight back to bed.  Tom brought me my usual first-thing-in-the-morning lemon water and a large mug of iced Sprite Zero. No doubt, drinking a lot of fluids was important, regardless of the source of this scourge.

Kudus are good at making woeful eye contact indicating they are looking for pellets.

During the day, I had so much on my mind. On Monday afternoon, longtime friends Linda and Ken were arriving to spend the upcoming week with us, staying upstairs in the house. On Monday evening, we had Rita’s birthday dinner party planned at our house with an extensive menu for 10.

The weather predictions for Sunday and Monday were over-the-top, expected to be well over 40C, (104F). The thought of cooking all that food in such high temperatures was daunting particularly if I wasn’t going to be fully recovered from this awful bout of nausea and dizziness.

On Thursday night, unprompted by me, Rita suggested we move the party to later in the week when cooler weather was predicted. This thought stuck in my mind all day yesterday when I trashed about in bed in a dreadful dizzying state.

I didn’t eat a morsel of food all day long. Tom had taken a container of great leftovers out of the freezer for his dinner with enough should I decide to eat. By 1800 hours, (6:00 pm) I knew eating was vital to my recovery. Not eating alone can cause nausea and dizziness.  

Recently, we’ve seen less helmeted guinea fowl in the garden. WTheymay has found better areas to search for grubs and worms than in a dry garden. with recent rains

Tom made each of us a bowl of the food, heated in the microwave and we ate in air-conditioned comfort. It was hard to sit up to eat so I managed small bites, using a spoon to get it down. Much to my surprise, I ate most of the food, leaving only about 25% which I managed to finish a few hours late. I began to feel a little better.

We watched a few episodes of the show, and by 2200 hours (10:00 pm), I took an over-the-counter Somnil and slept straight through for a full eight hours. I awoke this morning weakly and bleary-eyed, but nausea and dizziness were almost completely gone.

Today will be a resting day but at least I can write today’s post with my head up. That was the first time out of 2359 posts, over a period of 6 years, 9 months, 29 days, that I failed to do a post due to illness. We didn’t begin posting daily until sometime in the first year.  

Thus, there’s been 2495 days past overall since we started doing the post on March 15, 2012, which may be found here at this link. But we didn’t leave Minnesota until October 31, 2012, with the link for that day’s post found here.

Frank and The Mrs. and some friends stopped by for a visit.  Frank is on the far right, the Mrs. on the left.

I deliberated over whether or not I should go into the details of my 36-hour illness but thought perhaps someone out there has experienced something similar and could offer some insight. Please feel free to write a comment at the end of this post or write to me via email.

Had I had a heart condition or some other serious type of condition, surely I would have sought medical assistance.  But, I must admit, I’ve had similar occurrences in years past, although not quite as severe as on this occasion, and recovered just fine. I’ve had recent medical exams and blood tests and all is fine. Go figure.

Tonight, we have plans to go to Jabula with Rita and Gerhard for dinner. Since it is so scorching, I have no desire to cook a meal. If I spend the rest of the day resting and recovering, I’m planning on being able to go out to dinner.  

Will I ever know what caused this? Probably not.  But, all I can do is move forward and pray this never happens again on a travel day! Traveling the world while taking good care of one’s health is no guaranty one won’t get sick or encounter situations such as this.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 12, 2018:

Chef Ramsey would be proud of this perfectly cooked medium rare 800 gram (28 ounces) sirloin steak at La Cabrera Restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The ribeyes looked good but had more fat, and Tom prefers less fat on his meat.  For more great food photos, please click here.

Yikes….Venomous snake at Jabula, as we walked up the steps!…Jaun, snake handler to the rescue…

Twig snake, also known as vine snake, was on the railing at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant as we walked up the steps to the restaurant. See the story below.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A praying mantis stopped by for a visit this morning. After it walked on the veranda table, it landed on Tom and then landed on me. Friendly little fellow.

When Uschi and Evan suggested, the four of us got together for dinner at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant last night. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to spend another evening with this lovely couple.

They suggested we meet at 6:30, but in our usual style, we planned to arrive by 1715 hours (5:15 pm) to have an opportunity to chat with owners Dawn, Leon, and assistant Lyn at the comfortable bar.  
Jaun, snake handler, captured the snake, placing it in this container and releasing it in Lionspruit, where other caught venomous snakes are sent to live out their lives.

We parked the red car in our usual spot, reasonably close to the stairway entrance to the restaurant. Clumsy me, I’m always a little tentative on the “open” wood staircase up to the restaurant and carefully watch my step with Tom behind me.  

When approaching the steps, a guest of the resort and one staff member hollered, “Look out! There’s a snake on the railing! Neither of us panicked.  Instead, we searched the railing for the culprit and waited to see what was going to transpire.

Young zebra in the garden.

Had no one alerted us, we easily would have been in striking distance of the deadly venomous snake, a twig, also known as a vine snake. Here’s some information on these dangerous creatures from this site:

“This perfectly camouflaged tree-living snake is seldom seen because of its excellent camouflage and habit of remaining very still in low shrubs, observing the ground below for passing lizards and snakes. Birds often mob this snake, inflating its neck with its bright orange tongue flickering – this leads to the incorrect assumption that they lure birds closer with their tongue. It is exceptionally placid but, if provoked, will inflate its neck and strike viciously. Bites are rare and most inflicted on snake handlers.

Like the Boomslang, this snake’s venom is haemotoxic, affecting the blood clotting mechanism and causing uncontrolled bleeding. There is no antivenom for the poison of this snake, and although a few fatalities have been reported, none were in South Africa.”

We’re treasuring every moment with the wildlife, knowing once the holidaymakers arrive, we’ll have considerably fewer visitors until well into January.

The hotel guest grabbed the swimming pool net and tried to capture the snake…not so bright. That didn’t work and was foolhardy. A degree of commotion ensued while Dawn contacted the young Juan, who’s fast becoming the best snake handler in Marloth Park.

In the interim, we gingerly climbed partway up the steps to take the above photo of the snake as it politely posed for us sticking out her pink forked tongue. Nice.

When I didn’t see Little on the veranda, he knocked over the chair where I sit when he visits—determined Little, trying to get my attention.  It worked!

Jaun arrived within 10 minutes and in moments captured the snake and safely placed it into a plastic container.  From there, he’d take it to Lionspruit (the game reserve within Marloth Park) and release it. There are no residences in Lionspruit, making this an ideal spot to transfer captured snakes or other venomous creatures.

We had a chance to congratulate Jaun on his excellent snake handling skills. He attended snake school with us many months ago, and now he is a volunteer snake handler. Glad we didn’t go down that road!

Pellets and ice-cold carrots were on the menu on a scorching day. He’s so exhausted in the heat he lays down to dine.

After the commotion died down and Juan was on his way, we entered the bar and engaged in enthusiastic discussions with staff and guests over the excitement we all experienced in seeing this scary snake.  

One might think that locals are used to venomous snakes, but many are equally apprehensive about them as us visitors. There’s no such thing as “getting used to” the risk of encountering a snake that may be deadly.
 
The evening commenced in its usual playful manner. We’ve seldom encountered such a fun bar anywhere in the world, even in our old lives. The African atmosphere, cozy lighting, friendly staff, good friends, great food and service, and our good friends Dawn and Leon make it an exceptional time for us.
Giraffe on the side of the road on our way to Jabula.

I sipped on one extra light wine cooler while Tom had his usual brandy and Sprite Zero. In no time at all, Uschi and Evan arrived, and they too were delighted to sit at the bar as the lively conversation ensued for the remainder of the evening.

Finally, we ordered our meals, and when the food was just about ready, we wandered outside to the veranda to dine. During our dinner and after Dawn and Leon joined us at different points, the four of us for more great chatter, laughter, and good times.

We didn’t walk out the door until close to 2200 hrs (10:00 pm), late for an evening out to dinner in this sleepy community. Within an hour, I was fast asleep, the cortisone no longer in my system, and slept no longer alluding to me.  

Another giraffe on the road in the evening.

When I awoke this morning and still had 80% battery left on my phone, I knew I’d slept well.  When I can’t sleep, I read books, play games, or read the news on my phone, which I’d avoiding last night. I feel like a new person today.

Tonight, we’re off to Ngwenya for river viewing and the buffet dinner. Rita and Gerhard won’t be returning for a few more days, so we’ll be off on our own. We always enjoy time with friends but being “just the two of us” isn’t bad either.

May your Thursday be pleasant, whatever you decide to do.

Today’s expected, high temp? 37C (98F)…A refreshing break from yesterday’s  
40C (104F).  

Photo from one year ago today, December 6, 2017:

A band was playing on the beach in Arica, Chile. For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…Yikes…We attended a full-day venomous snake handling course…Scary, but highly educational…

 Black Mambas are only black inside their mouths, not on their sleek skin. They are considered one of the most venomous and dangerous fast-moving snakes in the world. Tom handled one of these, as shown below.  No, thanks for me! Chris, our instructor, held the Black Mamba as we took this photo.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

During yesterday’s drive through Marloth Park searching for photo ops, we spotted this Hornbill, one of our favorite birds in the area. 

There are a known 184 species of snakes in South Africa. In years past, 151 species had been identified, but now, additional species have been discovered with the use of DNA.

Not all snakes are venomous. As for this area, referred to as the “Lowveld,” 60% of those species are found. The Lowveld is described as follows from this site: The Lowveld is the name given to two areas that lie at an elevation of between 500 and 2,000 feet (150 and 600 meters) above sea level. One area is in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Swaziland, and the other is in southeastern Zimbabwe. Both are underlain largely by the soft sediments and basaltic lavas of the Karoo System and loose gravels. They have been extensively intruded by granites. Other resistant metamorphic rocks also occur; these commonly appear as low ridges or what seem to be archipelagoes of island mountains. The higher western margins of both areas testify to the degree of erosion resulting from the flow of rivers running east or southeast.”

Tom was using the grabbers to grasp the highly venomous Snouted Cobra.

In South Africa, you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than being bitten by a snake. Annually, between 24 and 37 out of 100,000 population are bitten by snakes. Nearly all bites are on the extremities. The mortality rate is between 1% and 2%, resulting in an approximate 98% survival rate.

With these statistics, it’s evident the likelihood of dying from a snake bite is rare. However, in most cases, bites occur by accident (stepping on a snake), a surprise encounter while hiking, walking on one’s property, and other chance encounters. 

 Tom was bending over to grasp the tail of the Snouted Cobra, keeping the head down in the grass, to place the snake in the container.

Many snake bites could be prevented by the proper response when they are discovered. First off, snakes have no ears resulting in total deafness.  Instead, they respond keenly to vibrations. That fact is why we’ve always heard when one has a close encounter with a snake, DON’T MOVE…STAND COMPLETELY STILL! That still holds today.

What would determine a close encounter? It may be different for many snakes, depending on their striking distance. To be safe, if a snake is found within your immediate space, don’t try to guess its striking distance. Instead, STAND PERFECTLY STILL and wait for it to slither away. 

When “capturing” the Black Mamba, it is imperative to immobilize the head close to the ground and raise the tail. Tom managed to do this while it was desperately attempting to escape.  The Black Mamba is the fastest snake on the planet.

If a snake doesn’t sense ANY vibration,  generally, it will move away. If a snake is in another room or a distant area, get away as quickly as possible, securing your space in a closed place where it can’t enter. Chris explained, “Don’t bother to stand still if the snake is in the living room and you are in the kitchen!  Just get away as quickly as possible away from the direction the snake is moving.

If a person resides in an area with many snakes, it’s wise to have an emergency number available to have the snake removed from inside your property. If it’s in your yard or another outdoor area, it will move on…steer clear in the interim.


In Marloth Park, we can call Snake Removal at the following numbers: John Webb, 079 778 5359 or 071 480 6453 or Daniel Louw, 082 574 0186 or Field Security at 082 828 1043.

After over 16 years of snake handling experience, Chris didn’t hesitate to handle the deadly Black Mamba.

In the event of a snake bite, there are several vital steps to consider:

1. Immediately call Field Security at 082 828 1043 to arrange for the quickest means of transportation to a medical facility with anti-venom, which may be by ambulance or helicopter. Also, if no response call, Securicor Lowveld at 082 567 2350 or 086 111 1728.
2.  Don’t attempt to “catch” or take a photo of the snake. This could result in being a bit additionally.  Immediate medical care is more important than the type of snake. 
3.  Don’t drive yourself or have others drive you to a medical facility. Typically, trained emergency response staff has means of treating your symptoms en route to an appropriate hospital which ultimately can keep you alive until you arrive. (continued below photo)

Through years of training and experience, Chris can only handle this dangerous snake with such skill.

4.  Do not “cut and suck” the bite wound. This has been proven to be ineffective.
5.  Don’t panic – Although it is impossible to stay emotionally calm, one must attempt to stay physically calm.  The more the bite victim moves about, the faster the venom moves throughout their bloodstream.
6.  There’s no benefit to using heat or ice.
7.  Do not use a tourniquet unless you are three or four hours from medical care, and then it’s done so as a last resort.

A Black Mamba doesn’t have black skin as most assume.  Only the interior of its mouth is pitch black.

There are two types of anti-venom used in South Africa today:

  • Polyvalent contains antibodies of several kinds of snakes and is effective for most venomous snake bites.
  • Monovalent, which contains antibodies for only one type of snake in South Africa – the Boomslang.
Chris and Tom were all smiles with the Black Mamba. I’m glad my job was to take photos and not handle the snakes, although I took the classroom course and the test. 

Often, once the patient is in the hospital, the medical staff will immediately start various life-extending procedures while they wait to determine if anti-venom is necessary. A small percentage of patients are allergic to the anti-venom, which may result in severe anaphylaxis, which can be more deadly than the snake venom itself and may lead to death.

A the end of the course, around 4:00 om, the Black Mamba was elongated while Chris held its mouth in place.

It’s easy to become terrified when reading this information, but in areas where snake bites are a possibility for all of us. As laypersons, we cannot guarantee that all of the information provided today and yesterday would ensure safety from venomous snake bites. 

Please seek further information or attempt to educate yourself to the best of your ability by attending a course such as we’ve presented over these past few days or other resources that may be available in your area. For the Lowveld, contact Lowveld Venom Suppliers at 082 372 3350, email at reptile@mweb.co.za, or their website: http://www.lowveldvs.co.za.

Marloth Park Honorary Ranger Sandra took a Facebook “live” video during the “hands-on” portion of the course.

Our special thanks to Chris and his staff and Marloth Park Honorary Ranger Sandra. They facilitated an extraordinary experience we’ll never forget and have been excited to share with our worldwide readers.

In October 2013 in Kenya,  Tom handled several non-venomous snakes which may b found here.

In the event you missed yesterday’s Part 1 of this story, please click here.

Have a safe and bountiful day!

Photo from one year ago today, March 13, 2018:

Bob, our fantastic landlord, and a new friend came running to tell us the Kookarburros were on his veranda. We couldn’t believe our eyes for this up-close view of these vast, beautiful birds. Within a week, they were coming to visit us, eating ground beef out of my hand. For more photos as we settled into Fairlight, Australia, please click here.

Part 1…Yikes…We attended a full-day venomous snake handling course…Scary, but highly educational…

Puff Adders are commonly seen in Marloth Park.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

On Saturday morning, before leaving for the full-day Venomous Snake Capture and Handling Course, we had a total of 22 visitors in the yard, including 13 kudus, six warthogs, and three bushbucks. To be on time for our classes, we had to leave while they were still there.

On Saturday, we headed to the Marloth Park Municipality Offices boardroom at Henk van Rooyen Park to attend the Venomous Snake Capture and Handling Course offered by a highly qualified and experienced snake handler, Chris Hobkirk of Lowveld Venom Supplier and his staff.

This is an example of a nonvenomous snake mimicking the venomous Puff Adder. It is a baby Rhombic (common ) Egg Eater, harmless, not a Puff Adder. 

The event was beautifully orchestrated by Marloth Park Honorary Ranger Sandra Miler Dill-Franzen, who coincidentally lives two doors down the road from us. A few days earlier, we’d dropped off payment for our participation in the course at the cost of ZAR 950 (US $80.55) per person. There were a total of 18 trainees.

When placing a snake into a container, the container must include newspaper or some scraps that may prevent the snake from “jumping out.” When they see they have a place to hide, they may be more cooperative.

Why did we choose to take this course?  We weren’t necessarily considering becoming officially certified volunteer snake handlers who take calls to remove snakes from resident’s homes. 

Chris is an excellent presenter both in content and in interspersing humor to keep the audience engaged. The five hours we spent in the classroom learning the information and taking a test (no results yet) flew by. With my short attention span, I was pleasantly surprised by the easy flow of the exciting information.

However, based on our long-term stay in Africa, we felt such an education would prove to be highly beneficial if we encountered snakes while we’re on the continent.

Chris showed this slide as an illustration that there are countless varieties of venom.

Four years ago, while in Marloth Park for three months, we had a face-to-face encounter with a venomous Mozambique Spitting Cobra, as shown in this post.

Chris’s company, Lowveld Venom Suppliers, is involved in many aspects of snake handling, including milking the venom to manufacture antivenom.

After attending this vital course, we realize we handled that snake encounter on the veranda in a dangerous manner, mainly me, who bent down to take photos, not realizing it was a spitting snake. Whew! We sure dodged a bullet!  Lesson learned!

Bottled water, snacks, and lunch were provided throughout the day.  Since I had prepared a meal for our dinner that night, we chose not to eat anything.

That doesn’t mean we can’t take photos of snakes that “visit,” but at least now we know how to identify them. We would have proceeded with considerably more caution had we known. Knowledge is everything, as we all well know.

I was one of only two females in the classroom.

One of the most frightening aspects for most tourists coming to Africa is their fear of snakes and insects. We both have a fear of insects under control and can identify many venomous insects we may encounter. The goal here in Africa is not to kill insects, which play a vital role in the ecosystem.

As usual, Tom read every word of the “hold harmless” agreement we both had to sign to participate in the course.

On the other hand, Snakes may terrify visitors to the point they won’t hesitate to drive over them on the road or… kill them when found in or near their holiday homes. This human behavior can result in loss of life if handled carelessly or incorrectly.

Tom, preparing to capture a Puff Adder, one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa.“The Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) is a venomous viper snake species found in African savannah and grasslands. The species is probably the most widespread snake on the continent. When disturbed, the snake will coil into a defensive S-shaped posture and hiss loudly, hence its common name “Puff adder.” This is used as a warning signal. It’s best not to ignore it. You don’t want to find out why. “

Snakes, like all other creatures in the wild, play a valuable role in nature, and regardless of their ability to protect themselves using their deadly toxins in the process, this excellent course opened our eyes to understand that snakes are not intentionally seeking to bite humans, a misconception many may possess.

Although Puff Adders have a reputation for moving slowly, generally, they won’t bite unless agitated, as is the case with most venomous snakes.  Often people are bitten from accidentally stepping on them or encountering them unexpectedly, pr foolishly trying to handle them without proper knowledge.

In Chris’s detailed classroom course, which kept us inside in air-conditioned comfort until 2:00 pm (with periodic breaks and an included lunch), we learned more about snakes than we ever imagined possible in one day. The snake-handling portion of the course was conducted outdoors on the grounds from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. 

Chris was handling another highly venomous snake, the Boomslang.  Males are green, and females are brown.  However, it’s nearly impossible to determine the sex of most other snakes when both genders are typically identical in appearance. “The Boomslang (Dispholidus typus) is a hazardous, venomous snake species found in sub-Saharan Africa in the central and southern regions of the continent. However, they are found here in South Africa as well. The boomslang is most abundant in Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Still, the species has been reported as far north as southern Chad and Nigeria and east as eastern Guinea.” Not only did we learn about the anatomy of a variety of snakes, we learned about the various types of toxins, which include: neurotoxic – nerve acting venom; cytotoxic – cell destroying poison; haemotoxic – blood working venom.
Tom and Jim stood contemplated their subsequent “capture.”  To the far right is our new friend Pat overseeing a voter registration booth in the background.

Any bites from venomous snakes (or sprays from spitting cobras) may be deadly, especially without immediate medical care. Chris explained that recently, a victim of a black mamba snake bite was dead in five minutes. However, many have survived with medical care initiated within 30 minutes of the bite.

Chris shared a first-hand story when years ago, he was bitten by a Jameson’s Mamba and lived to share the story after utilizing his fast thinking and diverse knowledge to steer him in the direction of a successful recovery coupled with exceptional medical care. But, this isn’t always the case.

All of these bins contained crumpled newspapers and were clearly labeled as to the type of snake.  The first two he showed us were not venomous, but one must assume all snakes are venomous. Clever snakes! Some non-venomous snakes will “imitate” venomous snakes in appearance and behavior in an attempt to ward off predators.

Are we less fearful of snakes after the course?  In some ways, yes, especially in realizing snakes generally are afraid of us and want to be left alone. More on this in tomorrow’s post, including what we learned to do in the event of encountering a venomous snake and when being bitten, much of which is entirely different than many of us may have assumed. 

We’ll share the various types of antivenom and their potential effects, both good and bad. Plus, we have a shocking video we made of a black mamba!  Please check back!

German proverb: “Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep.”

Photo from one year ago today, March 12, 2017:

View of Sydney from the ship on disembarkation day. We were headed to drop off our bags and head to immigration to deal with our “illegal” status.  For more, please click here.