Species: Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)
Location: Muumoni Hills, Kitui, Kenya
The Black Mamba is one of Africa's most venomous and most dangerous snakes.
However, despite it's frightful reputation of pro-actively chasing after people, it is actually only dangerous when provoked. Bites usually happen when someone tries to kill it or catch it.
Most snakes are this way and they would much rather avoid you than attack or interract with you in any way. The golden rule is leave them alone and they will leave you alone.
This photo was taken on a bird mapping expedition in eastern Kenya. The snake looked just as surprised to see us as we were to see it. It climbed to the higher branches of the bush it was in and we carried on with our business of looking for birds.