What about snakes aroundo Cape Town!!!!!??

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What about snakes aroundo Cape Town!!!!!??

Post by Patiñio » Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:01 am

Hi, I'm from argentina, and i'll be there in jan, are there too many dangerous snakes around, should I have to take care with animals?

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Post by ClimbZA » Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:54 am

Here's all the info to read about what snakes you could potentially see (Read about Snakes). But, I’ve never seen a snake whilst climbing….only, once a dead puffadder in Bad Kloof, Montagu.


Post by T » Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:49 pm

I have come across snakes at silvermine twice.One at the top of the route and the other in a crack right next to a jug.Almost steped on a cape cobra at Keilnmond while hiking down from the crag.So just keep your eyes open.


Post by Rob » Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:20 am

I must be very unlucky. I have seen several snakes much closer than I would have liked. Two weeks ago I had the unpleasant experience of stepping on a puff adder. I think it really depends on where you are going. I am trying to climb more trad than sport, so the walk in's tend to be a little longer and more over grown. Most of the snakes I have seen have been on the False Bay side. Identifying the various species is pretty difficult, and rather pointless. I tend to try and avoid all of them. The puff adder is relatively easy to identify as it will be the lazy aggressive snake sunning itself on the path and waiting for me to step on it. The actual stats on snake bites are pretty good, and you are probably more likely to get hurt in a car accident on the way to your climb than you are to be from being bitten by a snake.

I have subsequently learned that the walk in to Elsies peak is know as Puff Adder Alley. I heard that there is a better walk in that avoids some of the over grown walk in (and hopefully most of the puff adders) if you go up to the watchman's hut. Can anyone give me better directions?

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Post by Guy » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:02 pm

The only people who are not scared of snakes are those people who have never seen them up close and personal. The two that you most need to watch out for in Cape Town are the Cape Cobra (long golden snake) and puffadder (short fat bastard with triangular head).

However, the most sensible approach is to work on the basis that all of them can kill you - all of them. I have it on good authority that even the little \"grass\" snakes sometimes carry rucksacks modified to carry deadly poison.

Whatever you do, do not bite a snake.

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Post by MarkM » Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:26 pm

Another option is just to never walk in the front of the group! I know Guy never does. Rather let someone carring nonessential items 'clear the path', so that should they get bitten you can still have a good days climbing. I good idea is to head out with more than one 'friend' so that way you'll always have a spare path clearer, plus they can reduce their risk since the amount of time spent clearing the path will be reduced.
Open hand, open mind...

Panty Python

Snakes need love

Post by Panty Python » Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:08 pm

You guys should all run for Tourism Minister - I'm sure all the foreign climbers are all gagging to cancel their tickets and FOREX to SA. Maybe ClimbZA can give prospective visitors a couple of tips on how not to get chomped and stats on how few people have died from snake bites in SA.

Love, hugs and hisses - Panty Python.

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Post by justin » Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:59 pm

For those of you who haven't read the article aboce - it starts like this...

A few points to remember

Humans kill many more snakes than snakes kill humans.
You are statistically more likely to be struck by lightning or kicked to death by a donkey than to die of snakebite. More people die of human bites in South Africa than of snake bites.
Climb ZA - Administrator

Derek Marshall

Post by Derek Marshall » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:24 am

One of my climbing mates was bitten on the ankle by a puff adder a year ago. Not a fun experiance. He is still having some trouble doing extreme exersise.
Aparently 80% of snake bites in SA are from puff adders & most of these at ankle height. So boots will help. I often wear snow gaiters as well. This may help.

Post by » Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:33 pm

Snakes are ridiculously unpleasant! I'm the founding member (and president for life) of ARSE (All Snakes Require Elimination). Quite simply, they fall into the same bucket as mosquitos - animals that the world would be nicer without.

Ok, lets be fair to our legless friends. They are much more likely to do psychological damage than actual damage. For every bite, there must be 100 or 1000 sitings (I really hope that it's a 1000 or I'm due for a peck pretty soon). But don't underestimate the \"excitement\" of nearly stepping on a puffadder!!!

As a comparison to other countries - I saw more snakes in the USA in 6 months than I've seen in SA over the last 20 years. The difference is that their snakes have to carry little bells (rattles) to let you know they are near.

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Post by Guy » Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:47 pm

Sorry, the last post was from me - I seem to have some problems staying logged on.


Post by Cheryl » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:54 pm

The only snakes I have seen on the peninsula have been in the company of Guy.......

He is a snake attractor. Don't go bouldering with Guy and you'll be fine from a snake point of view. :D

Otherwise stamp loudly as you walk down the path (in front where Guy always insists I walk....) - the snakes supposedly senses the vibrations and moves on. Unless its a really fat lazy puff adder......

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Post by JonoJ » Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:02 pm

Cheryl wrote:
Otherwise stamp loudly as you walk down the path (in front where Guy always insists I walk....) - the snakes supposedly senses the vibrations and moves on. ......
Dead right! Or rather - Alive right!! The noise made by a group of people verbosely tramping up the path with bits of gear clanging, will generally frighten off all but the laziest (and maybe hungriest) of puffies.

I took a walk to the bottom of Slangolie Buttress on my lonesome, to pick up my helmet from the base (which is a story for another forum topic completely :roll: ). In my silent solitary state, I almost stepped on three mid-sized puffies, and a couple of other unidentified slitheries. :shock:

Noise definitely convinces most snakes to move elsewhere!

G u y

Post by G u y » Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:23 pm

Right, that's it. I'm starting a brass band. I'll play the trombone. I need a couple of trumpeters, someone to play the tuba, several drummers and some to play the triangle. Who's keen?

With luck, we can chase every snake in SA into Zim - as if they don't have enough problems already... Then we'll install an electric fence along the border to keep the bastards out (the snakes not the Zimbo's - who will obviously want to leave Zim fairly rapidly).

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Post by Fool » Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:58 pm

Ja puffies are the worst..... they think they own the place. they never move for anything unless its to bite you....

Jokes aside: if there is a log or obstical in your path, it is always wise to check whats hiding on the other side before stepping. But in general they are normally most scared of you

Greg Hart

Post by Greg Hart » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:47 pm

Aaaah! Summer a great time of year for viewing snakes; Cobras, puffadders. Mmm Mmm! Of course a little later in the season is even better when they wriggle up cracks to shed their skins, then u can get really up close and personal

G u y

Post by G u y » Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:10 pm

Here’s a great practical joke – but if you do this to me, I will kill you slowly with a soggy noodle.

Get a small rubber snake from any toyshop. Coil it up and place it out of sight on top of the PASSENGER sun visor in your car. When a mate flaps the visor down, the snake lands in his/her lap. Watch them try to get out the car, without removing their seatbelt or opening the door. I used to do this all the time, until I caught myself…

Post by » Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:53 am

good idea Guy, I will try this out. It reminds me of the old snake in the bushes trick I used to play as a kid.
These days, the hungriest, most active snake in the cape is luckily neatly tucked away in my trousers. Ladies, watch out, it's a python sized monster with a real hunger.

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Post by Rastaman » Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:02 am

I must be very unlucky (or lucky) when it comes to spotting snakes.
In many years of bundu bashing I have seen only a handfull of them. Perhaps its my enormous size that causes huge vibrations and chases them away. I also seem to have this problem with my trouser snake.

G u y

Post by G u y » Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:13 pm

If you could get a hand-held snake detector that beeped every time a snake was within 10m, it would beep almost continuously and we would all give up climbing.

This was proved a few years ago. I had not seen a snake at Topside in 4 years. Then there was a big fire and all the grass and fynbos was burned. Over the follow months, I saw snakes EVERY time I went there.

They are there - watching and waiting for a chance to latch onto your ankle...

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