Friday, April 20, 2012

Reptiles of Africa.

There are more than 100 species of reptiles that inhabit the African continent. I'm not going to name them all but if you really want to, you can look them up here. African Reptiles.
Me holding a Cape Cobra I'd just caught
Snakes, everyone is afraid of these incredible reptiles. The Cape Cobra and the Mole Snake are relatively common here on the farm where I live. Of course the mole snake isn't poisonous to man, well it probably is, but since they are back fanged,  they can't get a good bite in order it inject their venom. Don't get me wrong, whereas a cobra will try to get away when threatened, a mole snake will attack if it can't find a hole to go down. Very scary snakes, and their bite is still extremely painful, even though it won't kill you.
I was bitten by a Cape Cobra, ( not the one in the picture), it must
have been a dry bite, no venom injected, just the residue already on the fangs. It was extremely painful. I wrote a blog post about it, here's the link, Snake Bite.
There are also some harmless reptiles that come to visit me, Tortoises come into the garden almost weekly and then there are the lizards and geckos.
Largest of the crocodiles, the Nile crocodile

So of you are fascinated by dragons are you? Well we have them right here in Africa, real ones. The reptiles are possibly the closest surviving remnants of the dinosaurs. Cold blooded, they rely on external factors to keep warm, like basking in the hot African sun. On very cold days they either hibernate or become extremely sluggish. Don't underestimate them though, they're still very quick and can, in some instances, be life threatening. The crocodile is our largest reptile, killing hundreds of people throughout Africa each year. Stealth and ambush is their preferred mode of hunting, big surprise.
This is what is written about the crocodile in the bible, in the book of Job chapter 40 verses 15 to 20. Translation from The New English Bible 1970.
Consider the chief of the beasts, the crocodile, who devours cattle as if they were grass: what strength is in his loins! what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail is rigid as a cedar, the sinews of his flanks are closely knit, his bones are tubes of bronze, and his limbs are like bars of iron.
He is the chief of God's works, made to be a tyrant over his peers; for he takes the cattle of the hills for his prey and in his jaws he crunches all wild beasts.
Chapter 41 verse 8 .
If ever you lift your hand against him, think of the struggle that awaits you, and let be.
Wise words indeed.
Come visit the dragons of Africa, but be warned, if you misbehave you may not return, for these are real dragons. Sub-Saharan Africa has lots of them.


  1. I'll stick to the Elephants, Zebras and Hippos...forget the snakes and Crocs....I just as soon not visit them .....

  2. Haha....I am not a fan of these types of reptiles. Probably because I haven't grown up around them.

    You are very brave to hold that snake! You would have to do a lot of coaxing and reassuring to get me to even touch it. ;P