Stretch Moonman catches a Western Stripe-bellied Sand Snake at the Namutoni Camp in Etosha - quite a feat as this is probably the fastest snake in southern Africa. It's mildly venomous but not dangerous to man.
I was taking pics when he released the creature - it came speeding between my legs before I could focus a shot.
This incident occurred about a hour before our Elephant Adventure.
Back at the Snake park where Stretch is the curator, he took me into the cage containing a Western-barred Spitting Cobra which he coaxed into spreading it's hood and spitting.
Naja nigricollis also injects a potent venom for which there is no anti-venom.
Nadine, a Brown House Snake - Lamprophis capensis - named after one of my two daughters who worked at the Lodge for awhile.
Harmless to humans, the House Snake feeds mainly on rodents, birds and lizards, which it kills by constriction.
A Puff Adder - Bitis arietans - this is the only snake I loathe with a passion, mainly because, unlike other snakes who usually move off when they detect the approach of humans, the Puffy is lazy and just stays lying where it is, often well camouflaged in long grass or under dead leaves - a trap waiting to be stepped on.
It strikes easily and has a potent tissue-destroying venom which can cause terrible disfiguring injuries or death if untreated.
Stretch took a hit from a Puff Adder about four years ago and I took these pics about three days after the incident. I must admit I expected the worst, I thought that he was going to lose his thumb. These are the 'nice' pics - they get worse as the venom spread.
Having witnessed the excruciating pain he went through I have great respect for Stretch - I believe it was only his attitude and mental strength which saved him from losing his thumb and, indeed, his whole hand.
I fear that under similar circumstances I might have cracked.
A Cape Cobra, (not sure of ID), eating eggs after chasing one of my hens off her nest - the bird was lucky because often the Cobra strikes at night, killing the hen when she refuses to move off the nest in the dark.
The snake was lucky too - a few years ago I would have reached for my shotgun, not my camera.
I was alerted to it when the birds started making an unholy racket outside.
See the egg in it's throat? - he got away with two.
Spirit was frolicking around my feet as I was taking pics, unaware of the danger.
Afraid that he'd accidentally pounce on the snake I grabbed him and chucked him into the house - when I returned the snake had disappeared into a thick Privet hedge.
What with snakes, mongooses and bush-cats, it's amazing that I have any chickens left at all.
Cape Coral Snake - Aspidelaps lubricus lubricus
Horned Adder - Bitis caudalis