The fastest land snake in the world is the aggressive black mamba found in the southern part of tropical Africa. You might have heard stories about this snake overtaking people on galloping horses but although these snakes are fast, they aren't that fast. They can reach top speeds of 10-12 mph (16-19 km/hr) in short bursts over level ground - good luck trying to outrun one of these snakes if you tick it off!
black mambas aren't black. They're gray. The name comes from the color of the inside of its mouth - something it will gladly show you while it threatens you, if provoked. They can grow up to 14 feet (4.3 meters) long, which is another reason why this reptile isn't something to mess with. The snake races along with its head held high and about one-third of its body off the ground. That can be up to four feet (1.2 meters) off the ground - about chin level for some people. The black mamba is the most respected and feared snake in Africa.