Black and white-lipped cobra

Naja melanoleuca



approx. 2 m, occasionally up to 2.7 m

tropical forests of central Africa


Their Home

The black and white-lipped cobra lives in the damp, woodland areas of Africa but they can also survive in rice fields and mountain regions up to an altitude of 2,800 m.

Main Features

The black and white-lipped cobra has a black and white hood which it produces by elongating its upper ribs when under threat. 


Favourite Foods

It eats small mammals, birds and their eggs, lizards, other snakes, frogs and toads. Even fish are on the menu as it swims very well.

Good to Know

  • The black and white-lipped cobra is one of the largest species of cobra and it is the second most poisonous African cobra after the cape cobra. Its neurotoxins can kill a person.
  • It lays 10 to 15 eggs which hatch after between 70 and 80 days. At birth the young are 35 to 40 cm long.