From : Livingstonetourism

The owners of Gwembe Safaris sent us these two stories about some additions to Gwembe’s reptile park.

Charlie The Python
Gwembe’s reptile park recently acquired a new exhibit: known as “Charlie the Python”, he is 4 metres long and a beautiful specimen. The tale of his capture goes something like this.

Ian and our son, Ross, were taking our dogs for a walk the other evening, when they heard the dogs barking and yelping. They ran to where the sounds was coming from, near a stream, and found our four-month-old Jack Russell, Freddie, trapped in a python’s coils, his back in its mouth, about to be swallowed. Ross tried kicking the snake, but he was not letting go of his early evening entrée that easily. Ian had to pry the snake’s mouth open and uncoil him to release poor terrified Freddie.

The python was brought back to the reptile park and put in one of the snake cages, where he was offered a chicken for dinner instead of a dog. He has been there ever since, and we are sure that he is happy with his neighbours, two other African rock pythons, being fed and watered regularly.

As for Freddie, apart from panting for a while as if he’d run the London Marathon three times over and looking as if he’d grown temporary eye extensions, he is fine.

Charlie the Python with victim Freddie, and another one of our low-flying dachshunds, trying to show how brave he is now that the snake is being held.

He has a new-found respect for pythons – whenever he walks past the snake cages, he is aware of Charlie just on the other side of the glass and greets him with a deep growl, his fur standing up on his back.

We called the python Charlie because any snake trying to take the dog belonging to the owner of a reptile park has to be a real Charlie. Bad idea and bad timing, Charlie!

Thomas and Judy

We have two hatchling crocodiles and several non-venomous snakes in our reception area that visitors can look at and even handle if they are feeling that way inclined. Two recent visitors who toured the reptile park really seemed to have enjoyed the experience. On their way out they asked our receptionist, Joan, if the hatchlings had names. She explained that, though we give all our mature crocs names, we have never given names to the hatchlings. The visitors asked if they could name them and duly christened them Thomas and Judy.

Gwembe’s reptile park is only a few kilometres from Victoria Falls. The park is owned and operated by Gwembe Safaris, which offers tours of Victoria Falls and game drives, and also rents out several holiday homes in the area. The park itself hosts several of Livingstone’s most notorious man-eating crocodiles as well as a fascinating collection of Zambia’s most dangerous venomous snakes.