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Review of Bio-Ken Snake Farm

Bio-Ken Snake Farm
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Day Trip to Malindi and Watamu
Ranked #5 of 24 things to do in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Bio-Ken is a research centre, which deals with reptiles, especially snakes and snake-bite. Located less than 5 minutes drive from the hotels in Watamu - Kenya, it houses the largest collection of Snakes in East Africa and is open to the public. There are about 127 different snake species in Kenya. Of these only 18 have caused human fatalities and only another 6 could kill you. Another 10 could cause you a lot of pain and the remaining 93 or so, are non-venomous nor dangerous.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

great place and well worth supporting. the owners know their stuff and its just a great way to understand snakes

Thank kckenya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 - 73 of 172 reviews

Reviewed June 19, 2013

Great place to visit for an hour or so! We held snakes and learnt a lot from our guide about the differnet snakes in the areas and which are poisonous etc.

Thank 2012travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2013

My boyfriend and I went on a 12-day “snake” safari with Kenya Snake Safaris run by Royjan and Clare Taylor. Although we are both keenly interested in snakes, we also wanted to see other Kenyan wildlife, including birds, as well. Royjan and Clare planned the perfect trip for us, which took us from Nairobi National Park to the Naibosho Conservancy (a private, unfenced conservancy adjacent to the famous Maasai Mara game reserve) to Lake Elementeita (in the Rift Valley) to the coast of Kenya, including Tsavo East and the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. We saw everything we hoped we might see, and much more.

Royjan is a silver-level professional guide, and is knowledgeable about all animals—including birds and, of course, especially snakes. This was our fifth trip to Africa in as many years, and we have had more than 10 guides over the course of our trips—and Royjan is one of the best. He has been catching snakes since he was a kid, and has taken over the Bio-Ken Snake Farm in Watamu, on the scenic Kenyan coast. He is an expert in catching snakes, dealing with snakebites, educating people about snakes, and even doing scientific work to help describe new snake species (like Ashe’s cobra, also known as the Large Brown Spitting Cobra).

Roy’s enthusiasm is infectious. He immediately puts you at ease, and has a great sense of humor. During various parts of our trip, we traveled with Roy and his assistant, Ferry; and sometimes with Roy, Clare, Ferry, and two other assistants, Charlie and Guyo. We learned a ton from all of them. Incredibly, we found all of the three spitting cobra species that were in the areas we visited—the black spitter, Ashe’s large brown spitter, and the red spitter. The guys found multiple puff adders, as well as a rock python and several non-venomous snakes. Especially interesting was that we were able to go with Royjan on some “house calls”—part of Bio-Ken’s Saving Snakes program, where Bio-Ken folks travel to people’s homes to remove snakes. The first “house call” resulted in Royjan and Ferry catching a huge 14-foot rock python; the second produced a beautiful, the-80s-are-back electric green mamba.

Friends have asked, did we feel safe with the venomous snakes? Absolutely. Royjan always made sure we were at a safe distance during the snake captures. We were allowed to hold the snakes that were captured—and we held all of them, even the venomous ones—Royjan or one of his team would be holding the snake’s head with an expert’s firm, controlling grip. We did not for a moment feel vulnerable. We were also reassured by the fact that Royjan and Clare have significant experience in making sure that the right medical treatment is available even in the case of a venomous snake bite.

Royjan and Clare also arranged for a specialized birding guide, Jonathan Baya (http://tracktours.weebly.com/jonathan.html), to take us through the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and through Mida Creek. Jonathan is one of those kind, gentle souls—the type of person that you feel fortunate to know. He has great eyes and ears, even finding the endemic Sokoke Scops Owl at dusk.

In short, our snake safari was fantastic; Royjan, Clare and the gang took excellent care of us; and we saw so many different animals and had so many interesting experiences that it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be back to Kenya for another snake safari with them.

2  Thank Leslie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

It is worth a visit but I felt that the KSH 750/ was a bit overpriced considering other similar attractions on the coast are half the price. i understand a great deal of good work goes into anti-venom research and, as the owner of two dogs, I am sure this is a worthwhile and positive use of the snakes they milk for venom.

1  Thank jimmyray38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Not much to say except I felt the snakes were not really cared for , not really sure why I went and I would not recommend that anyone goes to be honest

Thank chelenham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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