Snake Awareness, First Aid for Snakebite and Venomous Snake Handling – KwaZulu-Natal – PheZulu Safari Park – 2024-06-22

The course starts at 08:30 sharp. Please arrive a few minutes earlier to enjoy coffee and tea refreshments while the team signs you in.

We kick off with a Snake Awareness, Scorpion Awareness, Spider Awareness and First Aid for Snakebite/Scorpion Sting lecture that lasts around 3.5 hours. It includes scorpion and spider awareness and first aid, snake awareness, biology and behaviour, myths and superstition, identification, basic first aid for snakebite, as well as the medical treatment of snakebite and is followed by a written test.
This is a full-day course with a tea break at around 10:45, and a lunch break at around 13:00 with a light lunch provided. If you have booked for the Venomous Snake Handling, this will start at around 14:00.

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 course usually concludes at around 16:00. Kindly note that these are suggested times and may vary.

No prior studying or snake knowledge is necessary for the test and the format is multiple choice.

The course starts at 08:30 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 16:00 (suggested and not exact time)

Our minimum age requirement for both the Awareness and the Handling course is 12 years of age.

All course fees include coffee/tea refreshments and a light lunch.

Snake Awareness/Scorpion Awareness and Venomous Snake Handling costs R 1 695.00 per delegate.

Snake Awareness/Scorpion Awareness Only (no snake handling) costs R 1 035.00 per delegate.

Scholar’s Snake Awareness/Scorpion Awareness and Venomous Snake Handling costs R 1 200.00 per delegate.

Scholar’s Snake Awareness/Scorpion Awareness Only (no snake handling) costs R 595.00 per delegate. The Scholar’s rates apply to delegates under 18 years of age.

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 non-attendance on the day of the course we charge a 100% cancellation fee.

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 non-attendance on the day of the course we charge a 100% cancellation fee.

PLEASE NOTE. Occasionally we need to cancel courses. In this event, you will be notified at least 48 hours in advance, you will then have the option of moving the course to another date or for a full refund to be done.

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.

  1. Delegates doing the Venomous Snake Handling should wear long trousers and closed shoes and are advised to bring a hat.
  2.  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.
  3. The African Snakebite Institute will supply all equipment needed for delegates to use during the snake handling session (hooks, tongs, buckets, and tubes).
  1. No spectators are allowed during the Snake Awareness session, and this includes children. Spectators are welcome to watch the Venomous Snake Handling session from a safe distance but are not to interfere with the training in any way.
  2. Mobile phones: The use of mobile phones for text messages and calls is not permitted during the awareness or handling courses and may only be left on for emergency calls.
  3. Photographs that are taken by the ASI team during the course will be made available via Dropbox. Participants and spectators are also welcome to take photographs of the handling session but video recording is not permitted.
  4. Delegates that do the Venomous Snake Handling will have to sign an indemnity prior to the practical session. Parents/guardians must sign for delegates under 18 years of age.
  5. Should a delegate have any specific dietary requirements, they are welcome to bring their own lunch, or PheZulu Safari Park do have their own on-site restaurant.

Our courses are presented by Johan Marais or Luke Kemp.

Johan Marais is one of Africa’s leading herpetologists with over 40 years of experience. 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.

Luke Kemp graduated from Rhodes University with a BSc and Honours Degree and has been working for the African Snakebite Institute for the past five years. Luke is a passionate herpetologist, avid photographer, and has been presenting courses with Johan Marais not just in South Africa, but elsewhere in Africa also. He currently runs the reptile Virtual Museum with ADU, Cape Town University and is co-authoring a book on the reptiles and amphibians of southern Africa with Johan Marais.

This course is registered with the following bodies:
HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa) – registered health professionals earn 4 CPD points.
SAIOSH (South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) – registered participants receive 2 CPD points.
PCIPC (Pest Control Industry Professional Council) – registered members receive 3 CPD points when completing this course.
Our courses are accredited by the ISZS (the International Society of Zoological Sciences) and recognised by the AFGA (African Field Guides Association) and the NFTGA (National Federation of Tourist Guides & Affiliates).

Course Information & Booking

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African Snakebite Institute