Our Venoms

African Reptiles and Venom is the contracted supplier of snake venoms to the South African Vaccine Producers (Pty) LTD. (SAVP) a subsidiary of the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS). SAVP uses these venoms for the manufacture of their polyvalent (SAIMR) antivenom. As snake venom is prone to attack from bacteria, great care is taken to keep the venom free from contaminants.

The snakes are milked into sterile beakers. The beakers rest on an ice brick, so the temperature of the venom drops from 25 degree Celsius to about 5 degrees Celsius. The pooled venom from a number of snakes of the same species is then centrifuged, to remove debris and salts and the clear venom is then placed into liquid nitrogen which freezes the venom and keeps it at -190 degrees Celsius.

The venom is then later freeze-dried, and in three days the venom is now a completely dry powder, which will retain its properties for many decades. The venom is placed in suitable sterile specimen bottles, weighed, labeled, and stored.

African Reptiles

We Extract the following Venoms

Jameson’s Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesonii)
Jameson’s Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesonii)
Snouted Cobra (Naja annulifera)
Snouted Cobra (Naja annulifera)
Puff Adder (Bitis arietans)
Puff Adder (Bitis arietans)
Green Mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps)
Green Mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps)
Cape Cobra (Naja nivea)
Cape Cobra (Naja nivea)
Cape Cobra (Naja Nivea) Description Slender in build when under 1 meter but can get quite robust when it reaches 1,5m and over in length. The head is slightly distinct from the neck. Large adults have broader heads with well-developed muscles in the temporal region that bulge over the venom glands. Average size is 1,2m…
The Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)
The Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)
Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) Description Black Mambas get their name from the inside of their mouths which are light grey to pitch black. Their true colors vary from light to dark grey, dark brown to an olive color. Venomous snake in the world next to the King Cobra. Not only are they super long  but…
Ringkals, Rinkhals (Hemachatus haemachatus)
Ringkals, Rinkhals (Hemachatus haemachatus)
Description: A small to medium size snake usually 90 cm to 120 cm in length, but can reach 1,5m. The snake is closely related to the true cobras, but differs from the true cobras in having keeled dorsal scales, in producing live young and in the maxilla bone only carrying the fangs. In all other…
Forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca)
Forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca)
Description: This cobra is of medium build, but becomes robust and thick set in specimens over 1,5m. Rears up high and spreads a long narrow hood. The head is distinct from the neck. Large specimens have very broad heads with bulging temporal muscles. This cobra can reach lengths of 2,7 m. Normal length is 1,5…
Gaboon Adder (Bitis. gabonica)
Gaboon Adder (Bitis. gabonica)
Gaboon Adder (Bitis gabonica) Description A large adder with adults reaching 1,2 – 1,4 meters in length in SA, but this snake grows to 1,8m in East Africa. These large individuals would have fangs up to 50 mm in length. The head is very broad and covered with small keeled scales and distinct from the…
Mozambique Spitting Cobra (Naja mossambica)
Mozambique Spitting Cobra (Naja mossambica)
Mozambique Spitting Cobra (Naja mossambica) Description A medium snake growing to 1,6 m in length, slender in build, but becomes robust when large. The head is distinct from the neck with a broad temporal area. The colour is light to dark brown or olive with some scales edged in black. The skin between the scales…
African Reptiles