A quick trip out on the Elandsrivier road outside Port Elizabeth meant that I had to do a little bit of dirt road that morning.  On the way back I noticed something on the road which looked like a stick and I have it a wide berth not wanting to damage a tyre. As I flew by I noticed the stick wasn’t a stick at all but a puffadder crossing the road.

The puffadder (Bitis arietans)  is probably one of if not the most common snake in South Africa.  They are most often associated with rocky grasslands and the bush but not found in true deserts, rain forests, and (tropical) alpine habitats.  Puffadders are responsible for more fatalities than any other African snake.  This is due to a combination of factors, including its wide distribution, common occurrence, large size, potent venom that is produced in large amounts, long fangs, their habit of basking by footpaths and sitting quietly when approached.  The venom has cytotoxic effects and is one of the most toxic of any vipers.   About 100 mg is thought to be enough to kill a healthy adult human male, with death occurring after 25 hours.  Now that’s hectic.  Thus I stayed in the car and took the pictures from there.  For more info on puffadders visit Wikipedia.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Janet

    Oh wow! Definitely not someone you'd like to stop and chat to! Wise move, staying in the car, but fabulous photographs you still managed to take.

  2. Nat

    Eeeks! That was quite a spot and great photos… wise to stay in the car, though 🙂

  3. Gaelyn

    The car makes a perfect place to photograph this snake. Glad I missed seeing it while there.

  4. The last one I saw was in our house in what is now Zimbabwe, the cats gave us warning that it was around. My husband shot it in the spare room through the window. It did nothing for the wall effects I might add!! Glad you stayed in the car. Enjoy your weekend Diane

  5. Andrea

    For some reason I don't know, I like very much this snake.Maybe because it's ugly and poisonous…Bye