India has the most snake deaths in the world - by some estimates, around half of all the snake deaths in the world occur in this country. This is a country where many people live with the very real risk of being bitten, having a permanent injury, or even dying from a snakebite.
There are many reasons for one to visit India, but for most, snakes are not one of them. Although they are one of the things to watch out for in India. India is an incredible country filled with just about everything one could hope to think of. It is also full of spectacular wildlife, while its tigers and monkeys are famous, snakes are often overlooked.
Venomous Snakebites Around The World
Of the roughly 3,700 known species of snake around the world, around 15% pose some sought of danger to humans. Knowing the real number of snake bites around the world is difficult as snakebites often go unreported - so there is actually no accurate global information on the topic. But there are estimates.
- Two Major Families: Elapidae and Viperidae - The Two Major Families of Venomous Snakes
- Global Snakebites: 1.2 to 5.5 Million (421,000 Envenomings)
- Global Snakedeaths: 81,000 and 138,000
- Summer: Mostly Common Time to Be Bitten - When Snakes are active
- Victims In North America: Typically Male and Between 17 and 27 Years of Age
Contractor to popular opinion, snakebites are not that big a problem in Australia, instead, there are more annual cases of spider bites and jellyfish envenomations (although if one does get envenomated, snakebites are more serious).
- Australia: Unique In That The Majority of Snakes Are Venomous
Australia may have many of the most venomous snakes in the world, but it also has wide access to antivenom and only around 2-4 people die annually in Australia. Still, to be safe there are a number of things about snakes one should be aware of when visiting Australia.
The Sheer Number of Snakebites In India
By contrast, the BBC reported that an estimated 1.2 million people have died in India over the last 20 years. The snakes most responsible for deaths in India were Russell's vipers, kraits, and cobras.
- Most Dangerous Season: The Monsoon Season Between June and September
The average risk of someone in India dying from being bitten by a snake before reaching the age of 70 is around 1 in 250 - and as much as 1 in 100 in some high-risk areas.
About three times the number of people who die are left with permanent disabilities.
- Top Five Countries: India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh
But if that is not enough to put one off from visiting India, then there are some pretty interesting tours that one can go on in the country.
One may even see snake charmers in India - although it is now a dying practice in the country. Snake charming has actually been banned in India since 1972 as part of the wildlife protection act. Under the act, people are banned from using wild animals for commercial purposes.
- Origin: Snake Charming Likely Arose In India
Snake charming is the ancient practice of appearing to hypnotize a snake (often a cobra) by playing and waving the pungi - the musical instrument around. The snake can not hear the music as it is deaf but react to the moving pungi as though it was a threat.
Snake Tour to Orissa
This unusual long tour in India is great for those who have a special interest in observing reptiles and other wild animals in their natural habitat. On this Snake tour to Orissa, one will see the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of the region.
- Duration: 11 Nights and 12 Days
- Start/End: Start Bhubaneshwar City
The tour explores a wide variety of snakes and other wildlife in the woods of India.
The tour begins in Bhubaneswar and starts with a 5-6 hour road trip to Simlipal National Park where one will check into the lodge there. The forest is made up of mostly deciduous Sal trees and is crisscrossed by 12 rivers and is filled with some impressive waterfalls. Spend the day exploring the wildlife in the park.
- Barehipani Waterfall: An Impressive 400 Meter Drop
The next day guests will take a 3-hour boat cruise and arrive at Bhitarkanika. This is a lush delta surrounded by rivers and the sea in the Bay of Bengal. Hunt for the diverse wildlife here including crocodiles, king cobras, pythons, wild pigs, sambars, spotted deers, Rhesus monkeys, and more.
Explore the delta with boat cruises and trekking and see the many species of bird that call this place home.
Afterward, leave for Chandabali by boat cruise and then drive to Bhubaneswar for a free day. On the last day, go to Nandankanan and see the Chandaka forest and its botanical garden that has been declared a sanctuary.