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Scared to encounter a snake on your trip in Africa??
 7 Jul '23
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If you are planning to visit some African cities, you might be wondering about the risk of encountering snakes and how to avoid them. Some people might make fun of you for asking such questions, but they are actually very important for your safety and enjoyment. Let’s try to answer some of the most common questions about snakes in African cities and give you some tips on how to deal with them.

How big is the risk to encounter a snake and to be attacked?

The risk of encountering a snake in an African city depends on several factors, such as the location, the season, the habitat, and the human activity. Some cities are more prone to have snakes than others, depending on the climate and the availability of food and shelter for the reptiles. For example, cities near forests, swamps, or rivers might have more snakes than cities in dry or urban areas. Also, some seasons are more favorable for snake activity than others, such as the rainy season or the breeding season.

The risk of being attacked by a snake also varies depending on the type and behavior of the snake. Some snakes are more aggressive than others, and some are more venomous than others. According to Wikipedia, there are over 600 species of snakes in Africa, but only about 200 of them are venomous. Some of the most dangerous snakes in Africa include spitting cobras, puff adders, black mambas, boomslangs, and vipers. These snakes can cause serious injuries or even death if they bite you.

However, most snakes are not aggressive and will try to avoid humans as much as possible. They usually only bite when they feel threatened or provoked. Therefore, the best way to avoid being attacked by a snake is to avoid encountering one in the first place.

How to avoid all trouble concerning snakes?

There are some simple precautions that you can take to reduce the chances of encountering a snake in an African city. Here are some of them:

– Be aware of your surroundings and look where you step or sit. Snakes can hide in bushes, grasses, rocks, logs, or piles of rubbish.
– Wear closed shoes and long pants when walking in areas where snakes might be present. This can protect your feet and legs from snake bites.
– Do not touch or disturb any snake that you see, even if it looks dead or harmless. Some snakes can play dead or have delayed venom effects.
– Do not attempt to catch or kill a snake unless you are trained and equipped to do so. You might end up hurting yourself or making the snake more aggressive.
– If you see a snake in your house or hotel room, do not panic or try to chase it away. Instead, calmly leave the room and call for help from a professional snake catcher or animal control service.
– If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Try to remember the color and shape of the snake that bit you, or take a picture if possible. This can help identify the type of snake and the appropriate treatment.

How to be best informed about this topic?

If you want to learn more about snakes in African cities, there are some sources that you can consult online or offline. Here are some of them:

iNaturalist is a website and app that allows you to explore and share observations of wildlife around the world. You can browse through pictures and information of different types of snakes found in Africa and other regions. Get the app on Google Play or Apple
Birdwatchinghq.com – Snakes of Africa is a website that provides information and tips on birdwatching and wildlife watching. It has a section dedicated to snakes of Africa, where you can find descriptions and images of 36 common types of snakes in Africa.
– Books and guides on snakes of Africa are also available in libraries, bookstores, or online platforms. Some examples are A Field Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa by Johan Marais, Snakes & Snakebite in Southern Africa by Johan Marais & Mike Perry, and Snakes of Africa by Bill Branch.

What are some other dangerous animals in Africa?

Snakes are not the only dangerous animals in Africa. There are many other creatures that can pose a threat to humans, either by attacking, biting, stinging, or spreading diseases. Here are some of them:

– Mosquitoes are the most deadly animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 1,000,000 deaths per year due to malaria and other diseases.
– Hippos are the second most deadly animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 3,000 deaths per year due to their aggressive and territorial behavior.
– Crocodiles are the third most deadly animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 300 deaths per year due to their powerful jaws and ambush attacks.
– Lions are the fourth most deadly animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 250 deaths per year due to their predatory instincts and territorial disputes.
– Elephants are the fifth most deadly animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 200 deaths per year due to their size, strength, and occasional aggression.
– Buffaloes are the sixth most deadly animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 150 deaths per year due to their unpredictable and defensive behavior.
– Leopards are the seventh most deadly animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 100 deaths per year due to their stealthy and opportunistic hunting.
– Black mambas are the eighth most deadly animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 20 deaths per year due to their fast and venomous bites.
– Scorpions are the ninth most deadly animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 5 deaths per year due to their painful and toxic stings.
– Tsetse flies are the tenth most deadly animals in Africa due to their transmission of sleeping sickness. However, tsetse flies are not deadly themselves but they are vectors that transmit sleeping sickness which can be fatal if left untreated. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 977 reported cases of sleeping sickness in 2020.

I hope this blog post has answered some of your questions about snakes and other dangerous animals in African cities and has given you some useful tips on how to avoid them. Remember, these animals are not evil creatures, but fascinating ones that play an important role in the ecosystem. Respect them and they will respect you.


[List of snakes of Africa] [iNaturalist.org] [Safarisafricana.com – Most Dangerous Animals Africa] [Worldatlas.com – The Most Dangerous Animals Of Africa] [Lowvelder.co.za – 10 Dangerous Animals Africa] [Wildlifeexplained.com – Most Dangerous Animals in Africa] [Animalvivid.com – Dangerous Animals in South Africa] [Africafreak.com – Most Dangerous Animals in Africa] [Sleepingsickness] [List of deadliest animals to humans – Wikipedia] [Trypanosomiasis, human African (sleeping sickness)] [Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)]

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