Top 10 Most Dangerous Snakes in Nigeria

Nuelson Penuel Sunday, October 22, 2023 Basis



Nigeria is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including several venomous snake species. These slithering creatures can pose a significant threat to humans and other animals due to their potent venom and aggressive nature. In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 most dangerous snakes in Nigeria, shedding light on their characteristics, habitats, and potential risks.

1. Nigerian Cobra (Naja nigricollis):

The Nigerian Cobra is considered one of the most venomous snakes found in Nigeria. Endemic to West Africa, it inhabits various regions, including forests and grasslands. Recognized by its long, slender body and distinctive hood, the Nigerian Cobra delivers a potent neurotoxic venom that can result in respiratory paralysis and even death if left untreated.

2. Puff Adder (Bitis arietans):

The Puff Adder is the most common and widespread venomous snake in Nigeria, often found in both rural and urban areas. With its stout body, dark coloration, and distinctive triangular-shaped head, the Puff Adder relies on its excellent camouflage to ambush its prey. Its venom is highly toxic, causing intense pain, swelling, tissue damage, and even fatalities if not treated promptly.

3. African Rock Python (Python sebae):

The African Rock Python is one of the largest snake species in Nigeria and is known for its immense strength and aggression. Found in forested areas and near water bodies, it is capable of crushing its prey to death. Although humans are not the usual targets, encounters can be fatal if provoked or inadvertently stumbled upon.

4. Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis):

The Black Mamba, although more commonly associated with East Africa, can also be found in certain parts of Nigeria. As one of the world's deadliest snakes, the Black Mamba possesses potent neurotoxic venom, capable of causing rapid paralysis and respiratory failure. This highly agile and aggressive snake's bite is often fatal without immediate medical intervention.

5. Western Green Mamba (Dendroaspis viridis):

The Western Green Mamba is a highly venomous snake primarily found in the rainforest regions of Nigeria. With its vibrant green coloration and slender body, it is often mistaken for a harmless vine or branch. However, its venom contains potent neurotoxic components that can quickly lead to paralysis and potentially fatal consequences if untreated.

6. Forest Cobra (Naja melanoleuca):

The Forest Cobra, also known as the Black and Yellow Cobra, dwells in the forested regions of Nigeria. It displays an aggressive nature, capable of delivering quick strikes when threatened. Its venom is highly toxic, causing severe tissue damage, swelling, and multiple systemic complications.

7. Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica):

The Gaboon Viper is a venomous snake famously recognized for its large, broad head and distinctively patterned scales. It prefers forested areas with dense vegetation and exhibits a calm and sluggish demeanor, making it difficult to detect or avoid. Its venom is powerful, causing tissue necrosis, organ failure, and potentially fatal consequences if not treated promptly.

8. Boomslang (Dispholidus typus):

Although not as widely distributed as other species, the Boomslang can be found in parts of Nigeria. This arboreal snake has a slender body, large eyes, and distinctly keeled scales. While its venom is primarily hemotoxic, causing internal bleeding, the Boomslang is non-aggressive and seldom poses a significant threat to humans unless cornered or handled.

9. Rhinoceros Viper (Bitis nasicornis):

The Rhinoceros Viper is often renowned for its unique horn-like scales on its snout. Found in Nigeria's rainforests, this snake employs a sit-and-wait strategy, camouflaging itself among leaf litter to ambush unsuspecting prey. Its venom, while rarely fatal to humans, can cause excruciating pain, severe swelling, and tissue damage.

10. Jameson's Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni):

The Jameson's Mamba, also known as the West African Green Mamba, is a highly venomous snake found in Nigeria's forested regions. It possesses a robust build, vibrant green coloration, and lightning-fast speed, making it a formidable predator. Its venom contains potent neurotoxins, leading to rapid paralysis and potentially fatal outcomes.


Encountering any of the top 10 most dangerous snakes in Nigeria can be a life-threatening situation. It is essential to exercise caution, avoid provoking these creatures, and seek immediate medical attention if bitten. While snakes play a crucial role in the ecosystem, understanding their characteristics and potential dangers they pose helps individuals coexist with these fascinating yet perilous reptiles. Stay vigilant and appreciate the beauty of Nigeria's wildlife while prioritizing personal safety and well-being.

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