IMG_5551Stop reading immediately if snakes and other scaly creatures chills your blood!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have that option to run for the hills when the assignment of going to the new Reptile Garden in Bellville somehow landed on my desk.

Perhaps it was an editorial prank… Who will we send? Yes! André! Let’s all enjoy his squirming!

Alas… André did more than just squirm… But, let’s leave it at that…

Also, if you’re looking for snake names and technical terms, then this isn’t the place to find it. This review is all about what it was like to be surrounded by unnamed nightmares. When I arrived, the owner Bjorn Unger had no idea that my knees were shaking.

He jumped over one of the giant lizard’s wall unannounced, picked it up and stroked it lovingly. The admiration in my eyes was concealed behind a look of nonchalance. Yes. He’s stroking that beautiful thing. Nice. Take a photo André. Why is this camera shaking so much?

Next Bjorn accompanied me from exhibit to exhibit. There are more than 15 of these and always more than 30 specimens, including mambas, cobras, vipers, pythons, boas, chameleons, geckos, monitor lizards and terrapin on display. There are poisonous and venomous nightmares as well as non-venomous nightmares. He kept on talking about fangs and colours and habitats and reptile eyes and statistics and tried to smother my angst with information.

I don’t know exactly what he said, but I remember it as follows: “This is a snake snake snake and it bites bites poison ankle swollen snake reptile reptile poison snake bite bite.”

I resist the temptation to scream like a woman when a venomous nightmare strike at the camera which is zooming in on it.

I yelped, but quite impressively, I didn’t scream…

It is a very impressive park and is sure to fascinate all those who like these loveable creatures. (Spot the odd word out).

I will visit it again tonight. It will be a recurring visit. And I will wake up in a cold sweat every time.

***DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE AND PHOTO WERE PUBLISHED IN TYGERBURGER, A CAPE TOWN BASED MEDIA24 COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. NEITHER MAY BE DUPLICATED WITHOUT ACCREDITING THE SOURCE – TYGERBURGER, MEDIA24.***

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