List of some Snakes in Zimbabwe and their Shona Names

  • Python - Shato
  • Black Mamba - Rovambira (the black to the name is not for the skin colour but for the inside of the mouth)
  • Black cobra - Mhungu
  • Mozambican spitting cobra- Mhakure
  • House snake - Dzvoti (non-poisonous and good for rat and mice infestations)
  • Puff adder - Chiva
  • Gaboon viper - Bvumbi
  • Green mamba - Bopamupani
  • Albino snake - Ndara (This is not a specific species. It is obviously a rare sight and bumping into one is considered a very ill omen. Killing one is one of the worst taboos than one can risk breaking)
  • Cape file snake - Ndara or Mhunzamusha - This snake is rarely seen and can be black or different shades of grey with a whitish detail. It is considered a sign of bad omen. But note that it is not the same as the similarly named ndara for the albino snakes.
  • Blind snake - Tsukukuviri
  • Vine snake - Kangamiti (can be green or brown)
  • Stripe bellied sand snake - Tsanganyoka