Dendroaspis – Mambas
Fast, aggressive & lethal
Comprising four of the most captivating yet feared groups of snakes in the world: the mambas. These reptiles are renowned for their speed, agility, and potent venom.
These snakes are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and are known for their preference for residing in various habitats that offer warmth and cover. They can be seen enjoying the African sun in low, open areas. When it’s time to rest, they retreat to their shelters, which could be hollow trees, cozy rocky outcroppings, abandoned animal burrows, or even vacant termite mounds.
Mambas are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. This is when they hunt for food, primarily birds and small mammals. Their incredible speed, which allows them to move faster than most humans can run, aids them in catching their prey and escaping threats. This speed, combined with their highly neurotoxic venom, which can cause paralysis and is life-threatening to humans without prompt medical treatment, has led to an exaggerated fear in African folklore where their power is often overstated.
Despite their formidable reputation, mambas generally prefer to avoid human contact. When confronted, a mamba’s first instinct is to flee. However, if cornered or threatened, they can become very aggressive, displaying a fearsome defensive behavior where the Black mamba is known to spread its narrow cobra-like neck-flap, hiss, and deliver repeated strikes.