Friday, August 08, 2008

The Black Mamba

Okay, so this post is a little out of order. I forgot that we went to Lake Manyara before we got to the Serengeti...but I didn't want to have to go get all the pictures again, so you'll have to live with it. :0)
As we were traveling into the Serengeti we stopped at a look out point to eat. We ate at the bottom of a hill, and then hiked up to the top to see a beautiful view of the Serengeti. As we were coming back down Bart noticed a snake trying to get into a hole in the side of the path. I was worried it was a poisonous snake, so I stayed back and encouraged Bart to do the same. Bart said, "I think it's just a garter snake," He thought the snake must be hunting, so he got out his camera to take pictures. But it wasn't a small animal the snake pulled out of the hole, it was another snake! The snakes started wrapping around each other. They were mating! I decided they probably wouldn't strike while they were mating, so I pulled out the video camera and got some video of it too.

Right after I turned off the video camera, there was a loud popping noise and one of the snakes just disappeared! It was so crazy. I blinked and he was gone! I finally persuaded Bart to come down the mountain with me (I didn't want to risk finding out unwittingly where the other snake was).

When we got down, and showed the pictures to our guide and asked him what kind of snake it was. He said, "WHERE DID YOU SEE THAT?!?! IT'S A BLACK MAMBA!" Garter snake my foot!!! I was so mad at Bart. We both felt very unnerved at our close brush with such a poisonous snake.

Later we asked our guide if we could see one of his books that had some snakes in it. We looked up the picture of the black mamba...yeah, we're pretty sure the snake we saw wasn't the black mamba. We think it was an African Sand Snake. I wish I could have found a picture on the Internet, but it looks exactly like the picture in the book.

On our way out of the park we had lunch at the same look out point again. One of the girls on our trip wanted to see where we had seen the snake. We went up to the top to show her. On our way down we saw another snake...fortunately much further away this time. That snake, however, looked exactly like the picture of the black mamba in the book. Bart's camera was in it's case, so he wasn't able to get it out quick enough for a picture. Oh well.

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