Recently, two Mountainlands Nature Reserve staff members spotted a Southern African Python (Python natalensis) curled up in a stream. These snakes are opportunistic ambush predators and will lie in wait for their prey along trails, in burrows or trees. They can remain submerged in water for long periods and this may be part of their ambush strategy for larger mammals. Sipho Murupane and Bhutiki Masemula were quite lucky to see this one. They have came across a python in this vicinity before, but it was not clear whether it was the same one. They managed to take a few cellphone photos before it swam away and sailed into a thicket. The men estimated it to be about 3 m long.
Southern African Pythons (Python natalensis) or rock pythons are South Africa’s largest snake and can reach up to 5 m and can weigh up to about 60 kg. It feeds largely on warm-blooded prey such as monkeys, small antelope, dassies, but porcupines, crocodiles and leguaans have also been noted as being on the menu.