Kgalagadi and CKGR snakes and scorpions





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  1. #1
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    Default Kgalagadi and CKGR snakes and scorpions

    Hello,

    This year late dec / jan we are going to the CKGR ( Kori, Sunday) and the Kgalagadi ( Mabua, Rooiputs)
    I read a lot of tripreports lately and now I'm a little concerned about the snakes and Scorpions.
    We have only camped at Mana Pools, Chizarira and the Kwai, so not very experienced.
    One evening in Mana Pools when it was getting dark out of now where there were hundreds of leeches and we did not know it this where the dangerous ones, so we went in our RTT.

    How do you do it in the CKGR and the Kgalagadi with snakes and Scorpions?
    When it gets dark do you go into the RTT?
    When you spot a scorpion, what s the best you can do?

    Maybe you have some good tips for me?

    Offcourse we have torches, but we are from Europe so we can not bring the big flash lights etc.

    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Snakes are unlikely to come into a busy campsite, they are mostly pretty shy.
    Scorpions - none of the southern African ones are deadly. The parabuthos granulata gives a nasty bite, very painful. Best is to invest in a couple of scorpion torches - torches with UV lenses. The scorpions literally glow a bright neon green in their beam and are very easy to spot at night (which is when they are active).
    Also, always shake out your shoes before putting them on, never walk about barefoot, and hang trousers up, don't leave them on the ground.
    I wouldn't be too concerned about them. Have a look at forum member Jonathan Leeming's website www.scorpions.co.za - he has published a very useful little scorpion and spider first aid book, and he also sells scorpion torches.

  3. #3
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    Wear closed shoes at night to avoid being stung by scorpions, if you are in a ground tent always keep the door zipped up, apart from that relax and enjoy your trip. My husband was stung recently by a small scorpion - pain was not unbearable (similar to a bee sting) and lasted a couple of days. He is fine.
    “Marry an outdoors woman. Then if you throw her out into the yard on a cold night, she can still survive.” -
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  4. #4
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    Kgalagadi has lots of scorpions and cobras as Tony says UV torches are useful for spotting scorpions. Celesti on this forum sells a powerful UV torch - expensive though.
    I find our small ones we use underpowered.

    I can't recall anyone being stung or bitten.

    If you are camping lift up your tent and walk 20m with it to make sure nothing is underneath. Snakes can seek refuge under ground sheets etc for the warmth.

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  5. #5
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    Hello,

    Thanks Tony for the adress of the website.
    Thank you all for the advise.
    We sleep in a rooftent.
    What do you do when it s getting dark?
    Do you stay outside by the fire or do you go in the tent?

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    This one was sleeping under the hand basin of the mens loo picnic spot just before Nossob. I sneaked in with my fixed zoom and with my back against the opposite wall caught it just before 2 brave men carted it away on a tent pole
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  7. #7
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    Because I like snakes, I usually have a wander around a camp site looking for them. Check all the possible hiding places and if not sure look for tracks in and out.

    I am more scared of ticks, and scorpions than big animals.

    peaceful sleep and always wear boots.
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    Sylvia, to take refuge in your rooftop tent every night when darkness approaches will be pretty miserable. We sit around the campfire until bedtime and try to avoid having camp lights that are too bright as they spoil your night vision. We enjoy leisurely drinks and a good supper around the fire in the evenings and in the dark. It is a lovely time of the day!

    One should always be relatively alert in camp, day or night. Arrange your camp so that when sitting it is not so easy to be approached from behind. Lions will usually approach via the easiest path, usually the road into the camp. Have your vehicle parked nearby, unlocked and also have your rooftop tent ready for rapid entry. Often it is easier to seek safety in the vehicle if a rapid refuge is needed. There have been times when it is obvious that lions are approaching as evidenced by their roars getting closer. At these times we have taken to the rooftop tent a little earlier. If you have sighted lions in the near vicinity then you may feel better if you go to bed a little earlier. I find that the biggest risk is that as one becomes used to the bush, you tend to become too relaxed and complacent. There are not always warnings that lions are in the vicinity.

    Hyenas are much more timid than lions and will usually run away if you stand up and shout at them. They do need watching though. They usually only enter camp once you have gone to bed. Be sure to pack absolutely everything away in your closed vehicle every night. The real "fun" begins when you have to empty your bladder in the dark. Then two of you should go, with one shining a torch.

    Snakes and scorpions are present but we have never been bothered by them. Just be sure to wear closed shoes in camp at night when the scorpions come out.
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  9. #9
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    Hello Stan,

    Nice to hear from you again.
    Thank you very much for your comment and good advice.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistral View Post
    If you are camping lift up your tent and walk 20m with it to make sure nothing is underneath. Snakes can seek refuge under ground sheets etc for the warmth.
    As noted in previous posts, snakes are generally shy. If you need to move anything large in the bush (firewood, your tent, your boxes) you should try to move the item toward yourself, so if a snake is hiding underneath it they will be able to move AWAY from you.

    Botswana scorpions are generally very small (although we had a pair about 8 cm long on our porch many years ago), and when inside our house (yes, we've had a few) they are quickly dispatched by anyone wearing shoes; in the garden they're left alone. Snakes require rather more respect: I for one don't ask it whether or not it's venomous, I just freeze and let it move off.

    Always have a charged torch at night, and consider packing an old ice cream box or similar in your tent should the need arise to visit the rest facilities in the dark of night.

  11. #11
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    Hello Jode,

    Thank you very much for your reaction and good tips.
    I like the tip from the ice cream box !!! Good idea

  12. #12
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    Get yourself a pair of gumboots . They will protect you from snakes scorpions and mozzies.

  13. #13
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    Default Rooftop tent safety?

    Have you had any of these nasty visitors, like scorpions, snakes, etc.in your rooftop tent, or heard such stories?

  14. #14
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    Tomasz,

    No, never had them in the tent.
    We generally only put up out tent in the evening before making the fire and we keep it closed until we are ready to go to bed.
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    Nah. Not really. Best though to make sure that you have no nasty bed partners but in general scorpions and snakes keep to the ground. Spiders are a different lot altogether and often seek high places to build their web.

    Stan and Tony have given sound advice. Jonathan Leeming's site on scorpions and spiders (www.scorpions.co.za) as well as Johan Marais' (http://www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com/) has some excellent advice and tips on the subject and advises without scaring the daylights out of one.
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