Kalahari Blog

Adventures of a field biologist and wildlife photographer living and working in the Kalahari.

Horned Adder.



By far my favorite snake I have found so far has been this Horned Adder. It is one of the 3 main venomous species that we get here and is pretty docile and the least venomous (the book describes the bite as “mild”). I also think it is the most attractive although a picture of a cape cobra with it’s hood flared would come pretty close! Although I have seen both the other venomous species (cape cobra and puff adder) neither presented a great photographic opportunity, the Puff Adder was in a bin about to be removed from the farm and the Cape Cobra lunged at me from a bush in semi-darkness as I was walking back from an evening session with the Meerkats.



When I found this snake it was waiting with it’s body half buried and it’s head sticking out, perfectly camouflaged against the red Kalahari sand. Horned adders are quite small snakes, this one was only 40cm or so and was probably fully grown whereas a Cape Cobra can grow to 2m and Puff Adders can get quite large too. Although it did hiss quite a bit and bluff strike a couple of times when I was moving it with a stick, once it realised we meant it no harm it sat quite happily whilst we photographed it.


Thanks to Adam for getting this picture of me photographing the snake:



Author: Robin Hoskyns

A field biologist and wildlife photographer from the UK who recently returned from working on the Kalahari Meerkat Project in South Africa. See main website for a full bio and portfolios: www.robinhoskyns.co.uk

6 thoughts on “Horned Adder.

  1. I see what you mean about the camouflage! Lovely pictures

  2. Your pictures give a great impression.

  3. Wow Robin – looks most impressive and I’m sure I would not be enjoying close proximity to this creature ( I was never very keen on snakes). Well done. Nice to know you’re getting interesting things to photograph.

  4. Very sweet pictures! No fear…

  5. It looks very scary dealing with venomous snakes at such close quarters, but it gives an amazing impression of the sandy ness of the desert.

  6. Non mi capita mai di fare commenti sui blog che leggo, ma in questo caso faccio un’eccezione, perch il blog merita davvero e voglio scriverlo a chiare lettere.

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