Victoria Falls – Zambia – Lions and Rhinos and Cobras, oh my

Midpoint of the trip: we stopped for 3 days to allow a dozen AIF travelers off and pick up 4 more. Pity. Wasn’t an even trade. Check the white rhinos we walked with on a tour and the slithering, Mozambique or black necked spitting cobra (Naja mossambica) that came through our campsite along the Zambesi River. A word about spitting cobras: they can bite but much prefer to spit, aiming for the eyes. I didn’t know at the time what sort of snake it was, but was willing to be this was a bad one. This is one of seven African spitting cobras (aren’t you glad there are none in your country?) plus six Asiatic species. Their venom can travel up to two meters (about where I was willing to photograph from but the idiot Dutch guy was half that distance but at least wore glasses).

Speaking of which, the Dutch crew (all decked out in their ever-so-stylish camo clothing) wanted to kill the snake. I said I thought that was unnecessary and Sue was semi-apoplectic even though the snake had almost crawled across her feet.

Six feet distance was my limit for photos

Spitting Cobra - Victoria Falls Camp

We also saw a green snake at the fancy lodge next door where you could get a latte (and snakes). The wait staff assured us this was a green mamba (and plenty bad medicine if true) but it surely was not. Also not about to get close to this bold little fellow. Further research shows this to be the spotted bush snake (Philothammus semivariegatus).

Taken with the small Canon A520

Green Snake Next Door To - Victoria Falls Camp


Terry enjoys a latte - Victoria Falls

We took a “drunken” cruise in which all you could drink was included. I’m afraid one alcoholic drink was my limit – besides the photo ops from the boat were exceptional. This was our last evening with several new friends to be replaced in the morning by a boorish group of Brits who I hope will never read this post, but if so, ah well.

The statue you see is David Livingstone who apparently was the first westerner to clap eyes on thisĀ  wondrous falls, now more Victoria Canyon than falls. I would also be willing to bet that this snake was poisonous (slightly swollen back of the head where poison glands could be) and not a mamba which can chase you up to 4 mph and so take a good run to avoid.

Eventually we packed up and off to one of the hidden gems of Africa: South Luangwa National Park replete with lions and leopards.

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2 Responses to “Victoria Falls – Zambia – Lions and Rhinos and Cobras, oh my”

  1. 1 Bob/Karen Staal
    September 7, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Terrific photos, as usual. We weren’t too sure about how we activated the slide show in the national park segment; it just seemed to take off on its own. Guess there wasn’t one for Victoria Falls or we missed the magic button to make it go. We wondered several times where you were, what you were seeing, who you were with, so you could have had more info tag lines. But you guys are really lucky to be globe-trotting, budget or not! (It’s a good thing Chiyemi’s knee operation turned out better than mine.) Bob

    • September 7, 2010 at 8:53 am

      I’ve tried to put the slide show into each post: it takes off on its own. My excuse for not putting captions on each picture is simple laziness and a rush to get LAST year’s travel pics out before THIS year’s Sept./Oct. travel takes place. I hope to get around to putting more verbiage and more captions and more pics embedded in what little text I came up with. I think I need a vacation…

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Dead Vlei - Namib-Naukluft National Park

Copyright 2010 – Terry Doyle

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