Black mambas are fast, lethally venomous and can be highly aggressive when threatened.
They are also, however, very nervous and shy, almost always seeking to escape when confronted. This makes black mamba sightings pretty rare.
That’s why this close up and prolonged sighting of two males entwined in a battle for mating dominance is as good as it gets.
The black mamba is widely considered the world’s most deadly snake and contrary to popular belief their name doesn’t originate from the colour of their skin, which is normally an olive to gray, but rather from the blue-black colour of the inside of their mouth.
Read the FAST FACTS from National Geographic:
Average life span in the wild: 11 years or more
Size: Up to 14 ft (4.3 m) Weight: Up to 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)
Did you know? Black mambas use their incredible speed to escape threats, not to hunt prey.
Relative: Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man