30 November 2017


Over the years I've recorded all sorts of "coldblooded" animals on my camera traps, from frogs to insects. Most of these critters didn't trigger the camera themselves but just happen to be in the background while another animal passed by, or was a pleasant surprise in a long sequence of false triggers caused by warm wind or vegetation.

When it comes to reptiles the lizards and tortoises have been the only groups I've managed to photographed. Some of these species even managing to trigger the camera trap themselves, with their own body heat.

However the snakes have always evaded me, until now...

Cape Cobra (Kaapse Kobra - Naja nivea) slithering past the camera trap at Paarl Mountain

There must have been snakes hiding in the background in some of my camera trap photographs in the past, but I never noticed them. This is the first time one is clearly visible in the photos.

The sequence of images showing the snake in action

In this case the camera trap has been triggering almost constantly for a while. The SD card was almost full by the time this Cape Cobra showed up. In fact it was one of the very last set of images the camera trap was able to capture.

I've stumbled upon these guys, and other snakes, a few time while doing my camera trap rounds. I remember one time in particular: I paused a while on top of a flat rock to take a scenic photograph with my cellphone. When I looked down to put my cellphone away I was shocked to see a huge Cape Cobra right in front of me, leisurely slithering away! In fact it was so close that it must have passed practically in between my legs moments earlier, without my knowledge!