snake phobia

Old Jul 1st, 2008, 08:50 PM
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snake phobia

My phobia is so bad, that I can't even look at pictures of them, so how can I go on a safari where by chance a guide will point them out? I'll have a heart attack.
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Old Jul 1st, 2008, 09:04 PM
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On almost every single safari, I have seen a snake or two ..... almost always, crossing the game drive track in front or sometimes hybernating on a tree (Python). Usually, Black Mambas, Puff adders, Cobras ....... You will be fine. Relax and go ahead!
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Old Jul 1st, 2008, 09:15 PM
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Oh forgot - At Mala Mala, our ranger really loved his snakes - so, when he came across an African Rock Python he was so into it handling it like a pro and holding him etc etc.,
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Old Jul 1st, 2008, 11:10 PM
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I would not worry too much, you will need to extremely lucky to see a snake. At the last count we have been on Safari for 244 days during that time we have seen 4 Pythons, 4 Cobras, 2 Puff Adders, 2 Black Mambas and 1 Vine Snake. Just tell the guide you do not want to have snakes pointed out.
 
Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 12:45 AM
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I have only twice seen a snake on safari.

In terms of guides pointing them out you can certainly make a request that this does not happen though, unless you pay extra for a private vehicle this might be difficult - certainly I'd be pretty annoyed to miss a snake sighting because someone else sharing the vehicle didn't want to see one!

And there is no way to guarantee you won't come across one in camp, though it's uncommon it's not exactly rare.

If you really want to safari you will do it anyway.

I can't stand spiders. Even typing about them is making me feel itchy and uncomfortable. But I won't let them stop me enjoying Africa.

My husband and camp staff help get rid of any spiders spotted in our accommodation and I just accept that I will not be able to avoid them completely.

A few minutes hyperventilating now and then is worth it to be able to experience the magic of safari.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 01:17 AM
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1441
i LOVE snakes and we have done at least 40 safaris in southern and east africa, spent countless nights in tented camps but maybe because i am always looking out hoping to see a sbake - i have twice seen a puff adder, ones a black mamba which was gone whthin a second stricing into opposite direction and twice a rock python.

so you can relax regarding avoiding snakeds - if you come with me

i definately would suggest you go on safari and forget about snake encounters!

BTW
on game drives you anyway see them - IF you see them - from the car. if you are scared - just avoid any game WALK!

happy planning!

div
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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 01:18 AM
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forgot
and tell your driver guide that you don't want to be pointed out to a snake - and stress that.

should be perfectly fine!

div
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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 06:04 AM
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Ken,

You maintain detail statistics of everything? I'm pretty impressed!

I'm surprised that you've seen so few Black Mambas and puff adders in sooooo many days on safari.

Cheers
Hari
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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 08:19 AM
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On 60 days of Safari including gamewalks i have only seen one snake!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 09:13 AM
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I consider myself lucky to have had an incredible black mamba sighting, numerous puff adders (3 on my last trip alone), night adder, boomslang, python, and a couple of other smaller non-venemous snakes. 2/3rds of these were while on foot so I suggest to anyone not wanting to see snakes to stick to game drives, plus I would imagine that being in the vehicle is much less frightening to one with such a phobia then being on foot. Unfortunately I would venture that a high number of snakes are killed annually because they wander into safari camps. It should be securing to know for many that as part of your tent/room turndown service while you are on your p.m. game drive staff look check your place for animal guests to help ensure that you will not bunk with them.

I agree with Kavey, unless someone has a private vehicle it is not appropriate to ever ask a guide to not show you something. Many of us make the large investment in safari to see everything possible. The impetus for special requests need to be paid for with a private vehicle.




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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 06:39 PM
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I guess like any other sightings, this is hit or miss.

But funny - At Kwara, I've had the same tracker jump off his tracker seat twice, when he saw a snake waaaay down the path. First time was a Mozambique spitting cobra and next time Mamba.

I think Murphy's law again - If you are not looking for anything in particular you could see them. But, if you are obsessed about having to see something you may just miss it. In my case, cheetahs.

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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 06:59 PM
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A snake sighting sounds interesting and agree with the, get a private vehicle, if you don't want to see them.. Nice thread, learning alot about the local snakes, but I sure don't want to step on one as we have some rattlesnakes where I live and that can be bad.

So how bad are the walks? really? I know we don't want to jog thru the jungle.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 10:05 AM
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I'm not a big snake fan but Africa means snakes and most of them are not to be messed with. That said, as long as you take normal care it's not a problem. It does help to go in the winter when it's colder. In addition, you've obviously got less of a chance of running into one at close range if you stay in the vehicle and I would suggest staying at lodges, not tent camps. We were in S.A. near Krueger last July and never even saw one. You just never know and always watch where you're walking - I mean this is Africa, not a zoo.

Bob
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Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Why would staying in a tent camp be more snake friendly than a lodge safari? We are talking about the possibility of coming across snakes while out on game drive as a sighting.
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Old Jul 4th, 2008, 08:21 AM
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Uh, on safari you are rarely anywhere near jungle. There are a few trees, lots of bushes, lots of open sand and/or grassy plains. If you were in a jungle-type of area, I doubt they'd take you on a walking safari, unless you were tracking gorillas, which takes you into a whole other kind of terrain than ordinary safaris.
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Old Jul 6th, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Several posts were removed from this thread.

I apologize to all for the slow response time on the posts made by the "imposter" screen names.

To report future issues, please write to us at [email protected] as I receive those directly. [email protected] is a larger box where incoming mail is sorted and then distributed appropriately. I apologize for not checking that particular box sooner though (and for not spotting this thread as well).

Best to all,

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Old Jul 6th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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ooooh, I missed the impostors

But, we LOVE snakes - could we expect to see any onour trip to the Makgadikgadi, Kalahari in December? I know, during the rains, everything will be overgrown, so chances are less, I guess.

How open are the guides to folks who want to see other fauna - reptiles and insects mainly, which we are very interested in. Luckily, our group is big enough, 7 people, that I think all our vehicles will be essentially private. Although, as has been mentioned above, for these smaller animals would a walk be a better way to see them?



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Old Jul 6th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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When are you going? If it's winter there South Africa? (late summer here), you're not going to see snakes out and about.

We've been to Africa on safari 10 times and have seen only 1 snake which we almost missed because it scurried across the road so fast.
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Old Jul 6th, 2008, 07:01 PM
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Momliz: your chances are good for snakes being in the Kalahari & Makgadikgadi during a hot time of year. I have seen a snake every time I have been to those areas. I believe it does help a lot if you do some walks.

Most guides if they are skilled will be very excited to have a group that wants to see reptiles, insects, etc. The majority of people focus on Big 5 and the like which covers a minute amount of the guides knowledge. When I requested at Lebala to stop the vehicle to get out and watch dung beetles at work the guides were pleased to do something different. With the vehicle to yourselves you can set the priorities and I would think the guides will happily respond.
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Old Jul 7th, 2008, 04:23 PM
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1441, Your phobia sounds as bad as mine. I can't look at pictures either, or TV nature shows. However, if you are considering trips to these areas, you are much braver then I am.

I can't bring myself to go on this type of trip no matter how much I'd love to see the other animals. I just can't do it. I'd die if I saw one.
As a fellow sufferer of this phobia, I'd say Don't go. But that's not fair of me. But sure as shooten, you'll see one.. THey always appear when I go to 'risky' places.

Yes, I even did the 'cure' 15 years ago and handled a 16 foot snake after many weeks of therapy watching videos of snakes.
But I've totally regressed. It required daily homework with a partner and I'm not ready to devote that much of my life to snake therapy.

SO I'm gack where I started.

Please let me know what you decide to do and how you handle it.

FOr those of you that say it's not a big deal, it really IS. Remember , phobias are UNREALISTIC fears. NO amount of saying it's silly will make a bit of difference.
IT's not just a few minutes of going hyper , it's months of being afraid of closing my eyes and seeing them.

Sorry to go on about it... but I can sympathize and relate to 1441.

Good luck to you.

GO to Ireland . Go to New Zealand. GO to Newfoundland in Canada. NO worries.
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