When we have been in Watamu, we decided to visit Bio Ken Snake Park, that houses one of the biggest collections of African snakes in the world. It is a research center dealing with reptiles, especially snakes. There are more than 260 snakes at Bio Ken representing nearly 60 speacies. They also have snakes, turtles, lizards, crocodiles, frogs and tods.
This center has a very scientific approach. We have heard many interesting information about snakes, their conservation, information regarding identification of dangerous snakes and probable snake-bite symptoms. Bio-Ken holds biannual snake-bite seminars which are attended by experts from all over the world. Bio-Ken is promoting an educational scheme to teach people the correct procedures when faced with a snake-bite, the importance of snakes and why they should not necessarily be killed on sight.
Bio-Ken holds regular "Snake Shows" at hotels in Watamu, where visitors to the area can learn more about the Kenya's reptiles during the lecture, milking demonstrations, and physical contact with the non-venemous snake species. They also organise different snake safaris for the more interested, to show some of Kenya's snakes and reptiles in their natural habitat.
If you will decide to visit Bio Ken Snake Park, entrance fee is 750/-pp for an adult (irrespectively you are a resident or just a tourist), and 250/-pp for children (U12). Visiting hours: from 10a.m to 12 noon & from 2p.m. to 5p.m.
This poor varanus also live in this center. It can not survive in the nature as it depends on its hunting skills, but they are almost disappeared due to the loss of his hand. Varanuses eat chickens, that is why the are not loved and welcomed by locals. Bio Ken Snake Farm is ready to host varanuses and ask locals not kill varanuses but rather bring them here or report to the center so that the Bio Ken team can come and take the varanus away.
The best thing was the opportunity to hold the snake. It was actually poisonous, but the point was that if it bite, one won't die immidiately and have enought time to take antivenom.
The most important thing when you hold a snake is to be confident and do not be afraid. Remember: the snake will know what you feel, and if you are afraid, you will scary the snake as well.
If you want to know more about Primary Medical Care of Snake-bites more information is here.