The Addo Elephant National Park is situated in the heart of the malaria-free Eastern Cape and only 15 minutes drive from Kudu Ridge Game Lodge. The conservation area protects a variety of wildlife, including a number of reptiles. One of the Addo reptiles is the venomous puff adder.
Top 10 Addo Reptile Puff Adder Facts
The Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) is found in savannah and grasslands and probably the most common and widespread of Africa’s snakes. Here are our top 10 puff adder facts:
- Adult puff adders are about 40 inches (one meter) long.
- When disturbed they will coil into a defensive s-shaped position and hiss loudly. This is where they get their name “puff adder”.
- Puff adders’ colours and patterns vary geographically and can be yellow, light brown, orange or reddish brown overlaid with a pattern of dark brown to black with chevron or u-shaped bands.
- Puff adders use their coloration and patterns as camouflage for hunting.
- Warthogs, honey badgers and other snakes can prey upon puff adders.
- Puff adder venom is cytotoxic, considered one of the most toxic of any viper snake species.
- Puff adders are mostly nocturnal, and rarely hunt prey actively, instead they prefer to ambush their prey as it passes by.
- Their diet includes mammals, birds, amphibians and lizards.
- Although they are slow-moving snakes, they are highly aggressive and can make incredibly fast biting attacks.
- Young puff adders develop as an egg that hatches inside the female’s body.