“Would you please shoot that snake?”

Bucket List item:  Go on a Safari 

A cool, dry breeze blew the sand all around as we piled into the jeep with our guide Karl.  It was the first full day of our holiday in Namibia and my husband and I were enjoying a tour of the grounds. The sunny winter day was warming up a bit more than we expected, and I was ready to get out of the sun when we stopped short of a stand of trees.

Smart thinking, Karl, I thought as he shut off the jeep’s engine just before we reached the shade of the trees ahead.  Of course you wouldn’t want to park the jeep under a community birds’ nest that is nearly as large as the tree. Bird droppings may be good luck in some cultures, but I used up the last of the morning’s hot water to shower and there wouldn’t be anymore until the evening.

Mamba gets bang before click in Namibia
Green Mamba heading into birds’ nest (see middle of photo) Namibia
The chattering nest in front of us fluttered with excited birds, as their chirping reached a fevered pitch.  The sun was beginning to burn, and I was about to ask Karl to pull the jeep to the inside edge of the shade when he turned to my husband and calmly asked, “Would you please shoot that snake?”

It took my husband and me a couple of seconds to process Karl’s request.  It was winter in Namibia and snakes, we thought, were not supposed to be part of our adventure.  Oh, and my husband really does not like snakes.

“There, right there,” Karl pointed.  “That green mamba going into the nest in the middle of the tree.  Would you please shoot it?”  Mamba was about to disappear into the giant nest.

My husband pointed his rifle, and we both squinted into the sun toward the tree.

“Wait!  Let me get a picture first!” I shouted.  But it was too late,  His gun went off.

He missed.  Yes!  Now was my chance.  I lifted the camera to shoot just as he lifted his gun to do the same.  Unfortunately for mamba –and me– the bang of the gun beat the click of the camera. I managed to get a nice shot, but not before mamba lost his head.

“Green mamba is one of the most poisonous snakes in Namibia, and kills many people each year,” Karl explained.  I figured we saved some birds too.

After the shot, mamba did the mambo. He began thrashing so wildly, that he thrashed himself right out of the nest up in tree top and onto the branches of a bush below.  My husband and Karl went toward the snake with a stick. Yes, a stick. 

Mamba fell from tree in Namibia
Mamba thrashed himself right out of the tree
Being the brave girl that I am, I screamed. Quite frightened at this point, I was reassured by both men that there was no possibility that we were in any danger from mamba without his head.  They got him in the back of the jeep where he continued his wild dance all the way back to the ranch.

Mamba rides back with us in Namibia
Mamba heading (be-heading :)) back to the ranch with us
That night at dinner we had a thick pea-green soup as an appetizer that happened to be the same color of green as Mamba.  Coincidence, I know(?!), but I simply could not eat it.🐍

Here’s wishing you safe & happy travels❤️✨  And no mambas in your shade trees 🐍 🙂

© 2017 jsf.