African Rock Python

Python Natalensis

African Rock Python… Largest snake in Africa!

Python Natalensis
Southern African Python (Python natalensis). This snake was photographed in its native range.

The African Rock Python is the largest snake in Africa and one of the five largest snakes of the world. They grow up to lengths of about 4-5 meters and sometimes longer. It appears like a slimy creature but actually they are smooth and dry.


They are carnivorous and feed mostly on small crocodiles, pigs, birds and antelope. Their elastic-like jaws enables them to stretch it, and gobble up large prey like antelopes. Pythons do not crush their victims instead they constrict, i.e. they squeeze it, to death and then eat it whole. Sometimes the smaller preys like rodents are eaten alive. This large snake can to live up to a year without food if their last meal is big enough to nourish it throughout that period.

Baby Pythons

Hatchling Python sebae Tropicario
Just hatched Northern African Rock Python baby (Python sebae) at Tropicario – The Tropical Animal House, Helsinki, Finland. This picture is a donation of Tropicario, Finland (J. Lanki) by Tigerpython cc3.0

Large pythons can lay up to 100 eggs at a time. After hatching, the mother remains until the young have shed their first skin and takes off alone. Young pythons are in danger of been prey to other animals, like monitor lizards, pigs, crocodiles etc. But once it is an adult these predators become their prey.

Snake Bite

The rock python is not venomous but it does have sharp curved teeth that can cause major tissue damage. The victim is likely to get infected by the bite wound if it is not treated properly. Bags and shoes are made out of rock python skin. Adult rock pythons are in danger from humans as they are hunted for their meat and skin.

African Rock Pythons are featured in the following books:
25 Awesome Snakes
101 Facts… SNAKES!

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about African Rock Pythons. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Deadly African Rock Python can swallow a fully grown man whole by Inzaja
  2. World’s Deadliest : Python Eats Antelope by NatGeoWild
  3. African Rock Python Attacks Cameraman by southafricatvchannel


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