The African Snakebite Institute (ASI) is the leading training provider of Snake Awareness, First aid for Snakebite and Venomous Snake Handling courses in Africa and has the best selection of quality snake handling equipment in Southern Africa, most of which is manufactured in South Africa.
ASI offers a range of online courses, public courses and corporate training. Snake training courses are offered across various industries, including mining, solar farms and wind farms. ASI clients include Sasol, Eskom, Anglo American, De Beers and various mines and construction companies throughout Africa.
Snake training courses are presented by Johan Marais, one of Africa’s leading herpetologists who has over 40 years’ experience in the field, and Luke Kemp, a zoology graduate from Rhodes University.
Marais is recognised as the most prominent author of snake books in Africa and has written a number of best-sellers, including: A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa; Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa; and First Aid for Snakebite. He has also written an essential guide to identifying venomous and harmless snakes found in Southern Africa, as well as practical advice on quick first aid measures for snake bites. Marais is the resident snake expert for the Tygerberg Poison Centre and the Red Cross Poison Centre as well as advisor to various hospitals throughout Africa.
Kemp is a keen herpetologist and photographer who has worked for ASI for more than four years and, in addition to presenting training courses, develops much of the ASI course material and identifies snakes from all over Africa on the ASI mobile application (app).
ASI courses are endorsed by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa and are accredited by the International Society of Zoological Sciences and recognised by the African Field Guides Association and the National Federation of Tourist Guides and Affiliates. ASI courses are also registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and the Pest Control Industry Professional Council.
The snake awareness and first aid program offered by ASI includes a comprehensive theoretical aspect, covering topics ranging from snake awareness, snake biology and behaviour, myths and superstition, identification of snakes in the area, basic first aid for snakebite and a discussion on the medical treatment of snakebites.
For the practical section of the course, delegates are taught how to safely capture and contain venomous snakes using snake tongs, snake hooks, snake tubes and snake buckets and without physically touching a snake.
The ASI snakebite and first aid for snakebite procedures are regularly updated, in consultation with leading snakebite experts from across the world. The course segment that covers the topic of correct procedures aims to teach delegates safe protocols
and practical skills to cope with snake encounters and how to safely remove venomous snakes in an emergency situation.
The ASI website offers a wealth of information and essential emergency guide-lines, contact numbers and a search function to help find the nearest snake remover. The website also gives users access to free resources such as posters about snakes, scorpions and spiders, species profiles to help identify and compare different snakes, as well as a tool to log snake sightings across Southern Africa.
The ASI mobile app is free to download and includes first aid information, snake identification features, snake removal information, and free s