South Africa is home to a wide variety of snakes, many of which are found in the Western Cape region where Table Mountain is located. Here are a few prime examples of some of the most common and/or noteworthy snake species found in the country:
- Puff adder (Bitis arietans) – a large, venomous snake that is found throughout much of southern Africa, including in the Western Cape. Puff adders are responsible for a significant proportion of snakebite deaths in the region.
- Boomslang (Dispholidus typus) – a highly venomous snake that is known for its bright green coloration and large eyes. Boomslangs are found in a variety of habitats throughout southern Africa, including in the Western Cape.
- Cape cobra (Naja nivea) – a highly venomous species of cobra that is found throughout much of southern Africa, including in the Western Cape. Cape cobras are known for their distinctive “hood” display and can be highly dangerous to humans.
- Rinkhals (Hemachatus haemachatus) – a highly venomous species of spitting cobra that is found throughout much of southern Africa, including in the Western Cape. Rinkhals are known for their ability to spray venom in the eyes of their attackers, causing temporary blindness.
- Berg adder (Bitis atropos) – a small, venomous snake that is found in the mountainous areas of the Western Cape and other parts of southern Africa. Berg adders are known for their cryptic coloration, which helps them to blend in with their surroundings.
- Rhombic skaapsteker (Psammophylax rhombus) – a non-venomous snake that is found throughout southern Africa, including in the Western Cape. Rhombic skaapstekers are relatively small and harmless, but they are often mistaken for venomous snakes due to their similar appearance.
These are just a few finer examples of the many different snake species found in South Africa. While snakes can be a source of fear for many people, they are an important part of the natural ecosystem and serve as an important predator and prey species in many ecosystems.