He’s here to save me from the deadly Black Mamba! This morning, on the grounds of our hotel, I came face-to-face with a red-eyed mongoose. Small but fierce, these predatory creatures can kill Africa’s deadliest snake. So this mongoose, who was smaller and possibly female, wasn’t afraid of me at all. When she heard me coming, she stopped, turned and stared me down.
She waited for me to move before turning and trotting away. This is what can happen when the mongoose faces the mamba. The venom from one black mamba bite can kill 15 adult men, and the snake can shoot forward at 22 feet per second.
I was worried about both the black and green mambas. My local guide Nashon says they’re everywhere. Both varieties are very well camouflaged, and regularly kill people in the bush. But now that I’ve seen Rikki Tikki Tavi, I know I’m well-protected. Go Rikki go!