Matthew Hamer
6th May 2016

Apart from the big five animals, there were the reptiles and they were a big deal. Poisonous snakes were best dealt with through knowledge of their habitats and behaviours.


There were a couple of incidents where I learned from having a close call. I was working as a guide at Rainfarm game and lodge near Balitto on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal when I accidentally trod on the head of a black mamba which started to wrap its body around my lower leg. I reacted instinctively and kicked it off and ran. That was too close.

I’ve seen seven different species of poisonous snake in the wild, rock pythons, black forest cobras and vine snakes when I was working at Bonamanzi Game reserve in the heart of Zululand on the outskirts of Hiuhluwe, puff adders, night adders, and black mambas at Rainfarm and a Mozambique Cobra up near Ananda dam.

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Matthew Hamer

Game park nature guide and photographer

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© Matthew Hamer