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Johan's Books

Johan’s first book, Snake Versus Man, was written while in his early twenties, soon after he left Transvaal Snake Park. It sold very well and was one of very few snake books available at the time. He then wrote The Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa followed by Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa. In the early 1990s, Johan was approached by a French publisher, Hervé Tardy to put together a book on Snakes of the World, in which snakes had to be photographed on neutral backgrounds using a medium format camera. This project took Johan around the world, was translated into five different languages, and resulted in an international best-seller.

Johan’s book, Kids’ Snakes of Southern Africa appeared in 2018, and is very popular with both children and adults.

A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa has just been revised, and includes close on 800 new photographs, updated taxonomy, some new species, updated distribution maps and a lot of new information on snake biology, behaviour, first aid and the medical treatment of snakebite.


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Johan's Courses

The African Snakebite Institute courses are presented to corporate companies throughout South Africa as well as in several African countries. Public courses are held regularly in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban as well as Zululand, Hoedspruit, East London, Port Elizabeth and Kimberley.

The Snake Awareness course takes up a morning during which snake behaviour and biology, myths, identification, first aid for snakebite as well as the medical treatment of snakebite is covered comprehensively. Spiders, scorpions, bees, marine envenomation, ticks and malaria are included.

During the snake handling session delegates are taught how to use the correct equipment to safely catch and containerise venomous snakes. The methods taught are unique and developed by the African Snakebite Institute and are safe. Delegates that had done this course often asked how they could gain more experience in snake handling and two additional courses were developed. Bootcamp is a full day of practical snake handling during which various scenarios are created and delegates have to retrieve venomous snakes from buildings and toilets.

The Advanced Snake Handling course was specially deigned for snake park staff and delegates are taught how to neck and probe snakes, get them into acrylic tubes, use bagging systems and how to catch Black Mambas.

A variety of popular online courses have been developed and are very popular with overseas delegates. These include Basic Snake Identification, Advanced Snake Identification, and Snake Awareness and First Aid for Snakebite.

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