Kruger National Park African Rock Python Distribution & Research
The African Rock Python is one of the Kruger National Parks most fascinating and elusive reptiles. The African Rock Python (Python natalensis) is becoming very rare, and the Kruger Park is a stronghold for these beautiful snakes. The Southern African Rock Python is a fangless and non poisonous snake that constricts and strangles it's prey. They can attain a length of up to and possibly over 6.5 meters.
The African Rock Python occurs throughout the Kruger National Park but is particularly common in the areas around Shingwedzi and in the areas above such as Punda Maria and Pafuri. In the park the African Rock Python prey on all sorts of animals, so far the prey items of this humongous snake recorded by the people at thekruger.com include the following:
- Various rodents; Angoni Vlei Rat, Greater Cane Rat, Climbing Mice and Pouched Rats
- Vervet Monkey
- Chacma Baboon
- Lesser Bushbaby
- Sharpe's Grysbok
- Black Backed Jackal
- Various ground nesting birds and occasionally water birds
There are, without a doubt, many more species the African Rock Python has successfully hunted, but not recorded personally by us.
Recently I heard an amazing story that happened close to the Orpen Gate in the Kruger National Park... An African Rock Python had almost finished eating a juvenile female Impala and a Spotted Hyaena showed up, as the Pythons do when in distress, it regurgitated the young Impala so it could get away from the danger. This unfortunately did not happen, as it was regurgitating the Impala the Hyaena killed the Python. It then feasted on the Python and dragged the Impala back into the bush just before night fall.