A long term snake enthusiast (and local snake catcher for the Lantau police), now organises small "interactive snake focused night tours' where you can get the opportunity to safely observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat!
I went out to try this tour organised by William Sargent (pictured seated in middle), and found that we had all levels of snake "lovers" on the walk, as they ranged from a herp specialist in a local University to someone who could barely look at a snake, when we started. This is a great way to go out in safe environment and learn more about the nocturnal wildlife, but the focus is firmly on snakes, and William is a congenial and expert host.
There are plenty of photo opportunities, as seen in these pictures below. Click on them for a larger image.
Its a 4-5km hike up and down some steep trails, you need good torches, it's very hot, and very sweaty, sometimes spooky, but the environment is lovely, and reaching a pool with a large waterfall at the top is a wonderful experience (phew, i can sit down!).
We found a host of jungle flora and fauna that night, including the lovely Lantern Bugs and snake mimic caterpillars and best of all William and Franco found 5 snakes of quite different species that night, including some quite rare ones, like this Many Banded Krait, with a very yellow colouration.
But why would you do this hike if you are ophidiophobic (have a fear of snakes)? Well, most phobias are best overcome by exposure to the feared object, and this is true for snake phobias as well, and any treatment will most likely involve exposure to an actual snake. Will - and the group - is very sympathetic to this reaction, and by the end of the hike everyone had touched or handled a snake, which was a first for most people.
Handling a large snake at the end was probably the highlight for most people, giving them an unforgettable experience. You can see the smiles all round.
If you are interested in a snake safari contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly. If you are interested in learning more about all the snakes we have in Hong Kong then make sure to check out my co-authored site www.hongkongsnakeid.com And make sure you sign up for future blogs as I will cover other wildlife tours in Hong Kong in the near future.