Black Mamba * Swartmamba * Dendroaspis Polylepis

They are highly venomous. It is the second-longest venomous snake after the king cobra; mature specimens generally exceed 2 m (6 ft 7 in) and commonly grow to 3 m (9 ft 10 in). Specimens of 4.3 to 4.5 m (14 ft 1 in to 14 ft 9 in) have been reported.
By TimVickers - Own work, Public Domain,
Snake Slang
By Tad Arensmeier -, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Its skin colour varies from grey to dark brown. Juvenile black mambas tend to be paler than adults and darken with age. It is diurnal and is known to prey on birds and small mammals. Over suitable surfaces, it can move at speeds up to 16 km/h (10 mph) for short distances.
It is capable of striking at considerable range and may deliver a series of bites in rapid succession. Its venom is primarily composed of neurotoxins that often induce symptoms within ten minutes, and is frequently fatal unless antivenom is administered. Despite its reputation as a formidable and highly aggressive species, the black mamba attacks humans only if it is threatened or cornered.

The species prefers moderately dry environments such as light woodland and scrub, rocky outcrops and semi-arid savanna.
Notable bite cases:
  • In March 2008, 28-year-old British trainee safari guide Nathan Layton was bitten by a black mamba that had been found near his classroom at the Southern African Wildlife College in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, South Africa. Layton was bitten by the snake on his index finger while it was being put into a jar and first aid-trained staff who examined him determined he could carry on with lectures. He thought the snake had only brushed his hand. Layton complained of blurred vision within an hour of being bitten, collapsed and died shortly afterwards.
  • In January 2022, a former newspaper office worker and farmer from Zimbabwe, Peter Dube, died after getting bitten by a black mamba, due to the hospital he was taken to not having any antivenom to treat him.