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(Beach) Snakes alive! - Walk in Africa
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Walk in Africa / Other  / (Beach) Snakes alive!
28 Jan

(Beach) Snakes alive!

Lysanne & Stuart certainly looked well fed this morning when I arrived to collect them – and a little reluctant to depart the House at Pooh Corner.

I eventually got them onto the beach and we started walking. Lysanne decided to do a little “paddling” and quickly discovered that the water on the Atlantic Coast comes directly from Antartica – she was wishing that she was in the North Sea instead!

We all agreed that the walk across the beach was pretty damn beautiful. In the photo below you can see the Sentinel, Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak (Lysanne’s nemesis).

Imagine our surprise when we found a Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) on the beach, just above the surf line. This extremely dangerous snake is responsible for more fatalities than any other snake species in southern Africa, but it is not known for it’s fondness of surfing! So finding one here was most unusual. It was also a potentially dangerous situation. Many people walk along the beach, often with their dogs. There was little doubt that either the snake was going to be killed, or a canine or human passer-by was going to be bitten. So our expedition came to a halt while I moved the reptile to the scrub above the beach.

It was a good day for reptiles, because later we found a large male Angulate Tortoise (Chersina angulata). These guys have an extended plastron (the lower part of the shell) which forms a lever. This lever is used in combat between competing males in order to flip the opponent onto his back – tortoise wrestling.

Just as fascinating was this incredibly well camouflaged Phasmid (Stick Insect).

Its colours were perfectly matched to the most common restio growing in the area – right down to the “nodes” mimicked on its body.

After all this adventure Simonstown was a welcome destination.

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