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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Black Mamba

Afrikaans name: Swartmamba

Black Mamba

Black Mamba

Photo © mgkuijpers - Fotolia.com

Dendroaspis polylepis

The Black Mamba is a large and dangerous snake. It is skittish, even aggressive at times, and can deliver a bite that needs treatment within a hospital urgently.

A large Black Mamba can be a length of 3 metres but most are a bit smaller than that.

Black Mambas are fairly variable in colour. They range from dark olive green to a dark grey. The head is large and coffin-shaped.

These snakes spend most of their time on the ground but they do sometimes venture into bushes or trees.

Black mambas feed on smaller mammals such as squirrels, dassies and rodents. They will also catch birds.

In South Africa it is found from the northern part of the Eastern Cape through to north-east Limpopo.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa - Author: V.F.M. Fitzsimmons - Year Published: 1970 - Page: 168

A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Graham Alexander and Johan Marais - Year Published: 2007 - Page: 162

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 118

Bill Branch's Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Bill Branch - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 95

Kruger National Park Map - 2010 - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: 2010 - Page: 10

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 350

Questions and Answers - Snakes and Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: John Comrie-Greig - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 27

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 406

Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa - Author: Warren Schmidt - Year Published: 2006 - Page: 34

Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Rod Patterson and Anothony Bannister - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 91

Sasol First Field Guide to Snakes & other Reptiles of Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Tracey Hawthorne - Year Published: 2016 - Page: 40

Snakes of Africa - Author: R.M. Isemonger - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 196

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 309

The Reptiles of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar, WD Haacke and NHG Jacobsen - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 215

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 252

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