A local strolling on a beach in Cape Town has snapped terrifying photos of a deadly Cape cobra in the shallows.
The snake, which was estimated to be up to 1.8m in length was spotted on Hout Bay beach, make its way along the sand to the water.
Photos have since been shared on social networking sites, with Hout Bay resident Jeffery Rinks among those who managed to capture the snake on camera.
Speaking to South African radio station 567 CapeTalk, snake and reptile expert Shaun Macleod said: 'That's fantastic, that's a beautiful size, they seldom get to that size.'
He explained that snakes soak in water when they are about to shed as their skin gets irritated and says it probably ended up in the water on this occasion because the photographer was blocking its escape route.
He said: 'So the snake was trying everything it could to move away from the photographer and ended up in the water, it's a fantastic shot. It looks like the guy's having a surf, [it's] fantastic.'
Experts explained that the snake would only become dangerous if it is disturbed or people tamper with it and Macleod said 98 per cent of snake bites are self-inflicted.
Hout Bay is known for its shark-infested waters and boat tours can be taken by visitors to see seal colonies and other marine life.
The photos of the cobra were shared on Twitter, with many expressing their shock and disbelief at the size of the snake, as well as the situation itself.
Ina Gouws wrote on Twitter: 'I'd collapse; scared to death,' while Thandile Ntshwanti said: 'This thing about the cobra and the beach in Cape Town, just messed up my holiday plans... Can't be swimming with no cobras.
Ayanda Shayi wrote: 'A 2 meter long cobra having a swim in Cape Town Hout Bay... I think we need to review our vacation plan,' and JodieCocker added: 'Just when we thought it was safe to venture onto the beach or into the sea.. BOOM - Cape Cobra of Fear!'
Iain Macdonald said: 'This must have been an impressive sight to see, especially the size of this Cape Cobra snake on Hout Bay beach.'
Meanwhile residents who live near to where the cobra was spotted have voiced their safety concerns after the release of the pictures.
Speaking to the Daily Sun Lungisa Benzile said: 'I was shocked when I saw photos of that huge snake crawling on the beach.
'We will avoid the beach. We have had problems with snakes here before.'
CapeTalk were contacted by Hout Bay-based Rinks, who told the radio station that along with a friend, they managed to encourage the snake off the sand and under a log until the reptile experts arrived to capture the animal.
'I immediately made sure people kept away from it, put the dog on a leash, and my priority then was to ensure the safety of the snake and the people and dogs that were out.
'I was joined by a woman who quite confidently suggested we try and herd the snake away from the water.
'Between the two of us we threw sand at the snake. Eventually the snake came up to a log and I stayed with (it) for about an hour.'