Color Variations of the Cape Cobra

Deadly Beautiful

Cape Cobras come in a large array of colors.  These colors range from black to various shades brown, copper, orange or yellow. 

Most are uniformly colored but speckled specimens can be found in any color form. Occasionally the speckles can combine to form blotches, especially in the Kalahari region.

Hatchling and juvenile Cape Cobras usually have a dark colored throat band which will fade as the snake grows. This throat band can be seen from the front when the snake spreads a hood.

The color forms are not geographically distinct, but the brighter yellow forms tend to be more common in the northern parts of the range including the Northern Cape and North West Provinces in South Africa, as well as Namibia and Botswana. The Kalahari region is especially know for bright yellow Cape Cobra’s.

Keep in mind that ANY color form, speckled or not, can be found over the entire range.

Know colors of the Cape Cobra include:

  • Black
  • Dark Chocolate Brown
  • Brown
  • Mahogany
  • Light Brown
  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Dark Orange
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Butter Yellow
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Pale Yellow


  • Common Names: Cape cobra, Yellow Cobra, Geelslang, Koperkapel.
  • Scientific NameNaja nivea
  • Family: Elapidae
  • Distribution: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana
  • Size: 1,2 m – 1,8 m
  • Diet: Rodents, amphibians, other Snakes, lizards, nestling birds, bird eggs.  Famous raiders of sociable weavers nests and chicken eggs and chicks.
  • Reproduction: Oviparous
  • Venom: Potent neurotoxin 

Read more on the Cape Cobra profile page:

Read about Cape Cobra VENOM variations here: