How often is the Black Mamba encountered?

jeffb

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I have just finished reading the thread "Black Mamba" and I was wondering How often does Black Mamba encounters happen? I don't really care for poisonous snakes at all. I am really excited to be putting my first trip together for Ozondjhe Safaris in Namibia and this being my first trip to Africa (most likely not my last) the Black Mamba stories I have been reading quite frankly scare the hell out of me. Can anyone answer this? Is it that common?
 
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BRICKBURN

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I have a similar aversion as what you appear to.
It will likely be winter when you are there. Significantly decreases your chances of even seeing a snake in Namibia.

Most snakes run from you.
Do not bug them or corner them and you should be fine.
Most bites in RSA are Puff Adders. They don't run (Concealment to hide). People step on them with bare feet.

Plenty of research available on the subject to be read.

I read several good snake books before my last trip.
After reading them I was convinced the chances of being bitten were absolutely minimal.

I saw one snake track in 7 weeks.
 

TOM

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As stated above, if you are hunting in the winter months you will not likely ever see a snake. The black Mamba I ran into last year was in October and it was nice and hot out already.
 

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In three wintertime trips to Namibia, I have yet to see my first snake. In one summertime trip to Zimbabwe I saw a Puff Adder, a Cobra, and two Black Mambas. They are FAST!
 

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Yes sir that is 100% genuine RSA black mamba that shared my bow blind last may. I had the jitters all day. Nothing like the shouts of "MAMBA" to let you know how fast your almost 50 year old legs can run, open a truck door,
and close it. It was the best seat in the house to watch the trackers dispatch it with sticks. They giggled and called me a sissy. I would have worn a pink tube top if thats what it took to get inside the cab of that truck. My hair had just grown back from chemo and I was glad to have it stand on end inside the truck.

-snakeless in seattle
 

garyleach

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2 trips over the RSA the last 2 yrs (May/Aug), seen a black mamba, spitting cobra and at least 4 puff aders and i agree the mamba can really move ..... the other canadian in the truck with us almost fainted.. and that was after our outfitter said he doubted we would seen any snakes at all:crazylol:
 

jeffb

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I will be there the last week of June through the first week of July. Is that considered winter there?
 
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Count yourself very lucky if you can observe a Mamba in a relaxed way. They are extremely interesting to look at. Hollywood and the media are big contributors to the bad name of a Black Mamba. The same as with the Great White Sharks in our waters. They are both pure perfection in what they do and it is not to see how many humans they can kill.
There are no snakes in the world more intelligent than a Black Mamba.
If you mess with one, you will only do it once. Never twice. If you encounter them or ever see them mating, it is one of the more impressive things you will ever see. They truly are beautiful.
 

JNHall

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I'd be thrilled to encounter a black mamba, from a safe distance mind you. I think it'd make for a a great fireside embellishment story.
"So there I was, having crawled 300 yards through the broken unforgiving brush. Sun at our faces and sweat clouding our vision. We made ourselves scarce at 200 yards from the herd under an acacia I carefully positioned my rifle and silently retracted the legs of my bipod. The Gemsbok slowly presented themselves one after another from the treeline. I nestled the stock to my shoulder and peered through the scope. My lungs emptied and the crosshairs hovered so steadily over the heart I could nearly see his hide pulse with the last peaceful beat. My finger softly curled around the trigger when my back was blanketed by the drop of a giant virulent Black Mamba. I rolled to the side as if being draped in gunfire and grasped the mambas head heroicly, wresting the serpent to the ground as the dust and thorns erupted from their peaceful rest. Hands constricting around the beast, my PH lunges forth and severed his head with a mighty joust, the mamba dropped at my chest and cold black blood dripped across my torso." "Or, you know.. we just ran it over with the truck and took these pictures." You get the gist...
 

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I have seen one.

While driving a trail out looking for the ever elusive bush buck. The tracker and i were in the back of the land rover, we were on look out, looking up and down the countryside, when we spot this green snake about 10 ft long slithering down the road (on my side) as we are going slowly up this rutted trail.

As we near the snake the snake rises up and it head is above the bed of the truck (about 4 feet) and the snake looked like it wanted in the truck with us. As it was on was my side of the truck and i had a very good eye to eye look at the bugger as it just rose up looked at me, and as we were driving at an even pace the snake brushed along the side of the truck just looking in.

I forget the name of this one. I did see a twig snake or tree snake and with it's green head looked just like a branch on a tree. We spotted it and watched it go up the small tree and walked over to have a look at the little bugger, snapped a few pictures and we went on our way.
 

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I'd be thrilled to encounter a black mamba, from a safe distance mind you. I think it'd make for a a great fireside embellishment story.
"So there I was, having crawled 300 yards through the broken unforgiving brush. Sun at our faces and sweat clouding our vision. We made ourselves scarce at 200 yards from the herd under an acacia I carefully positioned my rifle and silently retracted the legs of my bipod. The Gemsbok slowly presented themselves one after another from the treeline. I nestled the stock to my shoulder and peered through the scope. My lungs emptied and the crosshairs hovered so steadily over the heart I could nearly see his hide pulse with the last peaceful beat. My finger softly curled around the trigger when my back was blanketed by the drop of a giant virulent Black Mamba. I rolled to the side as if being draped in gunfire and grasped the mambas head heroicly, wresting the serpent to the ground as the dust and thorns erupted from their peaceful rest. Hands constricting around the beast, my PH lunges forth and severed his head with a mighty joust, the mamba dropped at my chest and cold black blood dripped across my torso." "Or, you know.. we just ran it over with the truck and took these pictures." You get the gist...

No way anyone can make up a story like that without living it.

Where was this? :)
 

BRICKBURN

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I have seen one.

While driving a trail out looking for the ever elusive bush buck. The tracker and i were in the back of the land rover, we were on look out, looking up and down the countryside, when we spot this green snake about 10 ft long slithering down the road (on my side) as we are going slowly up this rutted trail.

As we near the snake the snake rises up and it head is above the bed of the truck (about 4 feet) and the snake looked like it wanted in the truck with us. As it was on was my side of the truck and i had a very good eye to eye look at the bugger as it just rose up looked at me, and as we were driving at an even pace the snake brushed along the side of the truck just looking in.

....

You need to go buy a lottery ticket. Damn!
 

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Great Story JNHall....!!!! Had me sweating there for a while!!!! :thumb:
 

JNHall

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Great Story JNHall....!!!! Had me sweating there for a while!!!! :thumb:
Thanks EDD. I'm actually going on a 12 day plains game hunt in South Africa (Free State / KZN) in the next three weeks. While I hope I don't encounter much danger, I'll try to put together a cliffhanger of a hunt report!
 

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OK lets dispel the myths a bit!

A Mamba bite is not always fatal! 90 % of people survive them! The guy on the Duzi Canoe race is a point in case!Puff adders kill more people even though their venom is cytotoxic..the bites are often straight into veins or arteries which lie close to the surface on the feet and around the ankles...they are also the most widespread.
If a snake is seen coming toward you...it is trying to get back to known safety ...it's hole! Step sideways and out of it's way and move away in that direction.
A drop of mamba's venom is enough to kill 10 people if injected into veins or arteries!
Reportedly a man on a motorcycle ran one over and was bitten 6 times before the bike was over the snake completely! it is very fast!
They see you a lot more often than you see them! They get out of the way for people most often. That doesn't mean don't watch where you walk!
They are ectothermic and so are sluggish when it's cold. All the more reason not to step on him..he may not be able to get out of your way quickly enough!
Don't sweat the snake stories...because they are so few and far between they are sensationalised! You got more chance of getting mugged, raped or shot on the streets of yr home town!
 

BRICKBURN

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OK lets dispel the myths a bit!

A Mamba bite is not always fatal! 90 % of people survive them! .............
A drop of mamba's venom is enough to kill 10 people if injected into veins or arteries!

Most bites do not envenomate!
Bites vs envenomation! I'll bet you survive the bites, it's that envenomation that's the issue.

They are ectothermic and so are sluggish when it's cold. All the more reason not to step on him..he may not be able to get out of your way quickly enough!

Winter time!! :hail:

Don't sweat the snake stories...because they are so few and far between they are sensationalised! You got more chance of getting mugged, raped or shot on the streets of yr home town!

Like Gillette Hunter, A very exaggerated and over stated rape risk for you guys! :)

I have to agree, if a true chicken like me was still willing to run around where these snakes tread; Don't sweat the snakes.
Don't bug them either.
 

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Don't bug them either.

I think if you watch were you walk and don't screw around with snakes, you will have very little problems. They are more afraid of you and just want to be left alone.
 

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In four trips to the Okavango delta I have seen two puff adders, both from the truck. I wouldn't worry about it. Don't forget, as you walk through the bush you will be third in line, behind the tracker and the PH, the odds of a snake letting two men walk past while waiting to strike the third are rather slim. Further, your tracker is likely even more afraid of snakes than you are and is better able to see them, better eyes and he knows what to look for. If he jumps to the side avoid where he was walking.
 

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