Saturday, January 22, 2011

Night Walks

Lusaka is not a great place if you like hiking. Every square inch of land is owned and fenced with few exceptions and the topography is a pretty monotonous, with no mountains and few vistas, unless you love thick Brachystegia woodland. What makes the place attractive is the people and the nooks and crannies of wildlife and eccentricity. I often walk around the plot I live on, or range across the nearby farm that belonged to my late friend Mark Jellis. On these bits of land one can often spot Duiker and other small mammals and on the forest reserve Kudu and Waterbuck that have jumped the fence from the nearby game farm. Of course there are numerous birds and insects to be seen and this time of the year some of the breeding birds have glorious and brightly coloured plumage.

By night however there is more than just the stars to gaze at. I often wander around after dark with a torch and the dogs and and every now and then will come across a real beauty...

The first snake is a Herald Snake also known as a Red Lipped Snake (Crotaphopeltis Hotamboeia)  and the second darker snake is a Cape Wolf Snake (Lycophindon Capense). They are both small snakes, the Cape Wolf looks big but its body thickness is not much more than a biro pen! They have one thing in common...they love to eat lizards, the Cape Wolf in particular just can't get enough of them, while the Herald may make do with a mouse or hapless frog.  They look venomous, but the Herald's back fanged poison would only really make a frog's eye's water...the Cape Wolf just embraces its prey tightly like a large bosomy auntie or a python.     


  1. great shots huw! love the idea of you wanderin' around under the stars looking for treasures. nice. xxx j

  2. Nice photos, I can just visualize you patrolling the perimeters with your dogs, camera and mag-light.
    Good to know such beauties still survive even in the heart of Lusaka.