Dangers & Annoyances

Kenya's snakes: Geography and Hisss-tory

  • Most of the snakes on the Kenyan coast are shy and attack only in self-defence. But they do include black mambas, grass snakes (known as Kenyan spaghetti in Italian-influenced Malindi) and even deadly twig snakes, for which there is no antivenin.
  • Snakes with horizontal patterns are generally more deadly than those with patterns that stretch lengthways along their bodies.
  • When poured into a glass, cobra venom looks remarkably like Tusker beer. Do not confuse the two.
  • After a sexual encounter, some female snakes have the lucky option of storing sperm for up to three years until they're ready for motherhood.
  • If you're bitten by a snake, whip out your camera before you rush to hospital or call the guys at Bio-Ken Snake Farm. Identifying the snake will speed treatment. Oh, and don't panic or try to calm your nerves with a stiff drink: both adrenalin and alcohol will worsen your painful symptoms.