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Read Johan’s latest posts on snakes, reptiles, field trips, and glimpses of growing up in south  Africa.

Johan's Books

Courses Presented by Johan

The African Snakebite Institute is reputed for its unique Snake Awareness, First Aid for Snakebite, Venomous Snake Handling, and Medical Treatment of Snakebite courses.
These courses have been developed over the years and are by far the most popular courses in Africa. The methods and information taught in these courses are the result of Johan’s many years working with reptiles, is based on science, and has had extensive input from his various specialists and associates in both the herpetological and medical fields. The courses are presented to both public groups and corporates throughout Africa, and are FGASA endorsed, accredited by the International Society of Zoological Sciences, and registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for CPD points.

The African Snakebite Institute is the largest distributor of quality snake handling equipment in Africa, and their range of equipment has been developed for every possible requirement.

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I did the snake awareness and venomous snake handling course as well as the advanced handling course with Johan Marais and his colleagues. It was an incredible experience and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about the amazing snakes we have in southern Africa as well as safe and proper ways to handle them.

Frans Reynecke

Had a fantastic day today on the African Snakebite Institute snake awareness and handling course today. Johan Marias is a brilliant teacher who combines his extensive knowledge and wit to make the course very informative and fun. I came away with not only a whole lot of new knowledge of snakes, snakebites and safety, but I'm feeling a lot less scared of snakes and even more amazed about these wonderful animals.

Roger Milligan

Johan and his team, brilliant! So professional, great balance of information, education, training, etc. Highly recommend. We done the snake handling, scorpion and spider education course today. Have been on a snake handling course with another trainer before and there is no comparison. Johan - hands down is the best!

Maxine Smith

Solid and reliable information, from one of Africa's most well versed herpetologists, Johan Marais. ASI offers countless posters of snakes from all over Africa, in various languages. Johan offers amazingly informative snake handling courses, and ASI has a wide range of snake catching and handling equipment. ASI is definitely one of the quintessential sources of knowledge and guidance!

Steven Behrens

Johan runs an awesome snake handling and appreciation course, and I learnt a good deal about the safe handling and removal of these incredible creatures from areas where they are not appreciated! He has a great knowledge of snakes and snake-bite treatment which as a wildlife vet I found hugely interesting and informative. His equipment that he sells is top notch and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Mike Toft

Johan Marais is the best herpetologist in the country in my opinion. No one will be able to teach you more about SA snakes. He and his team are brilliant and I am hugely grateful for all of the knowledge he has dispensed.

Brett Lane

Johan Marais is very knowledgeable in his field and is keen to teach and share his passion. I would recommend his courses.

Megan Swemmer

Johan Marais has an amazing way to teach a class. It was very informative, and at times great fun. He worked at the pace of the slowest student making sure we all understood. From spiders to scorpions to snakes. Fun and informative. He is clearly an expert. In the same breath credit needs to go to all involved in this course. From Ashley who books the course to all the helpers and everyone on the day. This truly was money well spend! A highly recommended course.

Hannes Bronkhorst

I did the Snake awareness, first aid for snakebite and venomous handling course with Johan Marais a few days ago. It was a fantastic day and I learnt so much. Johan is exceptionally knowledgeable, and presented all of the material in an engaging, enjoyable way. A few of my friends did the course as well, including one who is quite afraid of snakes. Everyone who helped out on the day with the handling was very supportive, friendly and gave us lots of advice and encouragement. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who would like to learn more about snakes, and I am definitely planning on doing more ASI courses in the near future!

Hannah Edwards

Johan has a unique flair to share his knowledge and passion for snakes, scorpions and spiders and makes the audience feel comfortable. Both Johan and his team are highly professional in the organising, communication and supervision of the courses and practical snake handling sessions. The ASI's efforts for conservation and education is commendable and they should be the first choice for companies or private individuals that want to learn more about snakes, snake handling, scorpions, spiders and the first aid surrounding bites and stings.

Johan Delport

I attended the Basic course with the snake handling and was really impressed with the standard of lectures Johan delivered and the professional approach to the course. The handling of the snakes afterwards was a highlight and yes I really thought we would handle some less dangerous snakes but was pleased to get the chance to safely handle a Cape Cobra and puffadder (with the tongs of course). I already have three friends keen to attend the next course.

Duane Mol

Johan Marais and his team are noted experts in their field. All three snake handling courses we attended were presented in a relaxed yet professional manner. Johan has the ability to take the bite out of a very scary (for some) subject by using his unique humor at the right time, while always taking care not to scare people away.

Willie Britz