“We were going out and as I went up to the drive, I saw a movement and it disappeared. When we got back, I was moving some rubbish bags and just saw the body of the snake lying in the bags. I am very scared of snakes, so tried to move the bags slowly and keep my distance. But we were all scared, so I called the snake catcher to deal with it,” said Van der Westhuizen.
His son, Jacques, also came home to help.
“I happened to phone my dad while this was going on and he told me he couldn't talk because there was a big snake in the driveway. We have had snakes before and normally let them go, but my dad is scared of snakes and wouldn't even stand with the mamba for a photograph once it had been caught,” said Jacques.
Snake catcher, Nick Evans, from KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, who tracked the mamba down and removed it, said it was a busy week with lots of snake activity around Durban.
“It has been unusually warm this week and the mamba was basking in the driveway. I caught another one, also about 2m, on Tuesday in Umkomaas, on a curtain rail,” said Evans.
At first he thought the mamba in Westville may have been the same one he had previously caught in the area, but it wasn't tagged.
“I caught one in a neighbour's garage about four months ago. I was a bit worried this might be the same one, but I had tagged it and this snake was not tagged,” he said.
According to Evans, spitting cobras are also out and about. This could be because there are plenty of toads at this time of year and the snakes are fattening up ahead of the cold months, as well as it still being mating season.
“I have been attending up to three or four calls a week. I went to Hillary this week to catch a spitting cobra and while we were there, we found a mamba skin over 3m long. This means the snake could be up to 2.8m. It was the biggest skin I've ever seen,” said Evans.
And it seems there are plenty of black mambas in Westville, probably due to the Palmiet Nature Reserve in the suburb.
A few weeks ago, a massive black mamba in a Westville home that was caught on camera, sliding around in the clothes cupboard, became a social media sensation, with pictures of the large reptile going viral across the world.