The course starts at 09:00 am sharp with a Snake Awareness, Scorpion Awareness, Spider Awareness and First Aid for Snakebite/Scorpion sting lecture that lasts around 3 hours. It includes scorpion awareness, snake awareness, biology and behaviour, myths, identification, basic first aid for snakebite, scorpion sting and spider bite, as well as medical treatment of snakebite and is followed by a written test.
We will break at around 13:00 for lunch and snake handling, for those doing it, will start at around 14:00 (these times are suggested and not exact).
Snake handling, depending on the group size takes around 1½ – 2 hours.
Snakes used for the handling session vary but we usually make use of the following species: Puff Adder, Snouted Cobra, Cape Cobra and Rinkhals.
The African Snakebite Institute will supply all equipment needed for delegates to use during the snake handling session (hooks, tongs, buckets and tubes).
As you will be writing a test just before the lunch break, please bring a pen and notepad (for those who wish to take notes).
No prior studying or snake knowledge is necessary for the test and the format is multiple choice.
The course starts at 09:00 am sharp.
We break for lunch at around 13:00 and snake handling takes place from around 14:00.00
The course usually finishes by 16:30 (suggested and not exact time)
Those doing the venomous snake handling should wear long trousers and closed shoes. On hot days please bring along a hat.
The Snake Awareness/Scorpion Awareness and Venomous Snake Handling course costs R1695.00 per person and includes coffee/tea and a light lunch.
For those who want to do the Snake Awareness/Scorpion Awareness and First Aid for Snakebite/Scorpion sting section without handling, the cost is R1035.00 per person.
Scholars under 18 years of age pay a reduced fee of R1200.00 for the full course or R595.00 for Snake Awareness.
The full amount will have to be paid prior to the course to secure your attendance.
Cancellation policy: There are no cancellation fees for changes or cancellation to your booking 48 hours prior to the course date. For cancellations or changes within 48 hours of the course date, we charge a 50% cancellation fee and for nonattendance on the day of the course we charge a 100% cancellation fee.
Certificates and course material
Each delegate will receive a course certificate, First Aid for Snakebite booklet as well as a full colour A3 Dangerous Snakes of Southern Africa poster.
PLEASE NOTE. All successful delegates will receive a certificate. Please ensure that we have the right name and surname as it will appear on the certificate. If details are provided incorrectly another certificate will have to be issued and sent by courier and will cost R250.00.
The minimum age for our Snake Awareness, First aid for Snakebite and Venomous snake handling course is strictly 12 years old – there is no maximum age.
- No spectators are allowed during the Snake Awareness session, this includes children. Spectators (including children) are welcome to watch the venomous snake handling session from a safe distance but please ensure that spectators, especially small children, do not interfere with the training in any way.
- Cell phones: The use of cell phones for text messages and calls is not permitted during the awareness or handling courses and may only be left on for emergency calls.
- Delegates that do the venomous snake handling will have to sign an indemnity prior to the practical session. Those below 18 years of age will have to have a parent or guardian sign the indemnity.
- Please note that Cradle Moon Lakeside Lodge has been incorporated into a conservancy and now charges a R30.00 conservation fee for anyone who enters their premises. Please go to reception on arrival and purchase your exit slip (the main gate does not let you out without one.)
- The course price includes a light lunch – usually mixed sandwich platters – for anyone with strict dietary requirements, you’re welcome to bring your own lunch or Cradle Moon do have an on-site restaurant you can make use of.
Accreditation and presenter details
Our courses are presented by Johan Marais, one of Africa’s leading herpetologists with over 40 years of experience. Johan is a Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) endorsed service provider and our courses are accredited by the International Society of Zoological Sciences (ISZS) and recognised by the African Field Guides Association (AFGA) and the National Federation of Tourist Guides & Affiliates (NFTGA)
This course is registered with both the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), and registered health professionals earn 4 CPD points, and the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (SAIOSH) and registered participants receive 2 CPD points. It is also registered with the Pest Control Industry Professional Council (PCIPC) and registered members receive 3 CPD points when completing this course.
Johan is a prominent author of snake books in Africa and has written the best sellers A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa, Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa and First Aid for Snakebite. He is also the snake expert for the Tygerberg Poison Centre and the Red Cross Poison Centre, as well as an advisor on snakes and snakebite to various hospitals and clinics throughout Africa.