In Southern Africa, the Forest Cobra is a shiny two-toned snake. The front half being a mottled yellow to brown, fading to black at around mid body. The neck is usually a mustard yellow to light brown with a feint cross bar on the throat and a lot of feint dappling. The head scales often have dark lining, giving the snake dark patterns on the face.
The Snouted Cobra is usually brown to mustard yellow in colour with a darker back or darker mottled back. (a banded form of this snake does also occur). The belly is off yellow with a lot of feint splotching and usually one feint crossbar. There is often a dark tear under the eye and they have a pronounced rostral (nose) scale.
It’s easy to confuse a Forest Cobra with a Snouted Cobra. The graphics below illustrates how to recognize the key differences between the two species.