5 Most Poisonous Snakes in Zambia

Zambia is home to all sorts of dangerous snake species. Some of them are docile and carry no venom. Others are poisonous and will not hesitate to strike when confronted. If you happen to visit the home the Victoria Falls, watch out for the 5 most poisonous snakes in Zambia.

5. Rhinoceros viper

The rhinoceros viper is one of the most snakes found in Zambia. It is a very docile snake and chooses to spend its life motionless, waiting for prey. It has distinct horn-like structures on its front. Bites are not common but they can be very fatal.

The snake likes to hide among leaves and along fallen logs. Although it is docile, it can strike really quickly. Fortunately, the rhinoceros viper hisses loudly when it senses a person approaching. This is one of the few snakes that give birth instead of laying eggs.

4. Green mamba

The green mamba is a very close cousin of the black mamba although it is less venous. It is one of the most dangerous snakes in Zambia and Africa as a whole. It can grow up to 2 meters in length.

3. Puff Adder

The puff adder is a type of viper that is abundantly found in Zambia. Of all vipers, it is the most venomous. Although it is not the deadliest, it still causes the largest number of snakebite deaths.

What makes it particularly dangerous is that it is widely spread across the country, and it is large in size. It likes to bask along footpaths and does not move when it senses people approaching. 10% of those bitten die without treatment but the rate can go as high as 52%.

2. True Cobra

The true cobra is a group of cobras that can be found in Zambia. They are highly poisonous. Within the species can be found the spitting cobra that can shoot its venom through front openings in its fangs.

The spitting cobra squirts the venom up to a distance of 2 meters. If the venom land in the eyes, it can cause temporary and even permanent blindness if it is not washed out quickly.

80 percent of those bitten by the true cobra die if they are not treated. But even with anti-venom, the mortality rate is still high – at 30% compared to less than 1% for Asian cobras.

1. Black Mamba

The black mamba has a reputation as the most deadly snake in the world, but it is not the most venomous. That honor goes to the Inland taipan (Read about the Inland Taipan here).

Before anti-venom was invented, the death rate from black mamba bites was 100%. Black mamba colors range from grey to dark brown. They are called black because of their black mouths.

How long does it take for a black mamba to kill you?

How long it takes for the black mamba’s venom to kill you depends on where it bit you, your sensitivity to the venom, and how many times it bit you.

Black mambas are known to bite multiple times in rapid succession. Death from a black mamba bite can occur in as much time as 6 hours, and as little as 30 minutes. Fortunately, black mambas are not known to live among humans and they always try to avoid any confrontations.

Note: The correct term is “Most venomous snakes in Zambia”

Snakes and most animals in general, carry ‘venom’ and not poison. However, if you eat a snake and die from its toxin, then we can call the snake ‘poisonous.

Poison works when ingested, touched, or inhaled. Venom enters the body system via injection.