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Twig or Vine Snake

Snakes | Namibia

Introduction: Twig are very thin, twig-coloured snakes that live in trees, hence the name. They have characteristic lance-shaped heads with large eyes and 'keyhole-shaped' pupils. They have large back fangs and an unusually long tail. They are active in the day mainly because they have to rely on identifying prey by colour, which they have to ambush. Only 1 subspecies is found in Namibia.

This subspecies of the twig or vine snake (Thelotornis capensis oatesii) is characteristically thin. Their colouration combined with their shape affords magnificent camouflage. They have stereoscope vision due to the shape of their pupil as well loreal grooves. They ambush their prey, striking them from above and then hanging upside down to swallow after poisoning their victim. Symptoms of a bite are similar to that of a boomslang. Victims can expect to experience a 24 to 48hr period before any symptoms surface. Fatalities are known but rare.

Distribution: Northern Namibia including Etosha National Park.

Diet: Frogs, lizards, small birds and at times other snakes.

Colouring: The body is a grey-brown 'twiggy' colour decorated with black and pink flecks and diagonal pale blotches. The top of the head is green and the belly is pink-grey with dark blotches.

Breeding: Females lay between 4 to 18 elongated eggs between December to January and hatch in March, with a maximum of 2 clutches per breeding season. Males will fight other males in the mating season.

Size: Max SVL male 1.1m, female 975mm.

Emanya at Etosha

A blend of African excitement & luxury are the order of the day at this luxury lodge

Etosha Aoba Lodge

Small mid-price lodge close to the park gate - situated of the private Fischer's pan reserve

Mokuti Lodge

Large lodge situated at the Namutoni entrance gate to Etosha. Excellent facilities but expect to share these with large group tours

Mushara Bush Camp

The latest edition to the Mushara Collection offers mid-range tented accommodation

Mushara Lodge

Good accommodation at a reasonable price, close to the park entrance

Mushara Outpost

Small intimate tented camp built on raised platforms, good for privacy and a 'luxury outdoor' feel


Inside the park borders, built around Fort Namutoni. Recently upgraded to appeal to more 'up-market' visitors

Onguma Bush Camp

Newly renovated, good mid market option for self-drive tourists

Onguma Tented Camp

A tented camp just outside Etosha

Onguma The Fort

Luxury lodge built around a fort on Fischer's Pan. Easy access to the park

Onguma Tree Top Camp

Small exclusive camp, built on raised platforms - a popular option with those seeking an exclusive new perspective

Onkoshi Camp

The first new accommodation to be built inside the Etosha National Park in over 30 years. The camp sits on a wooden deck on an isolated peninsula overlooking the pan

Villa Mushara

Very exclusive private suites, all mod-cons and luxuries