Herping the Klaarwater Water Works

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Herping the Klaarwater Water Works

Yesteryear. A photograph of Gordon Setaro at the Klaarwater Water Works in Marrianhill near Durban in the early 80’s.

Gordon is hands down one of the very best field herpetologists I have spent time with and this was the Black Mamba spot. We got some Spotted Bush Snakes, Mozambique Spitting Cobras, a Spotted Rock Snake, Boomslang, Dusky-bellied Water Snakes and several Southern Vine Snakes at this spot but is was well known for its monster Black Mambas.

It has a west-facing cliff face with a buried pipeline going down the center of the cliff face and an abundance of Dassies, a favourite meal for mambas. On our best day we managed to catch six mambas there in a morning.

Note the spotting scope in a box and an old set of Pillstrom snake tongs – still in the days when they were well made and worth having.