The Grootslang Origins

Deep in the diamond encrusted caverns of the Wonder Gat in Richtersveld, lives a monster, so hideous, that not even the Gods could stand it. Within the chasms of this cave, lurks the hybrid beast known to be both viciously animalistic, with the cunnings beyond any other creature of the earth. Whether you are a human, or an elephant, we are all prey to the Grootslang.

The Histroy of The Grootslang

The Grootslang originates from my home town of South Africa, specifically from the Nama tribe. In their lore, the Grootslang was created many millennia ago, and is actually a primordial cryptid. This beasties was a first attempt by the Gods during the creation period of the world.

The Gods were still forming creatures and humans as we know, and in the process, decided to create the Grootslang. Now to translate that directly from Afrikaans to English, Grootslang means big snake. However, this thing is so much more than a massive serpent slithering about South Africa.


  • Killer Breath
  • 40 feet long 3 feet wide
  • Can raise 20 feet high
  • Elephantine head with six tusks
  • Long serpentine body
  • Gold in colour with metallic shimmery skin
  • Green veins – at least its patriotic
  • Venomous
  • Insanely clever – smarter than any man
  • Incredibly strong
  • Covets gems – come back to this later

Now that we know that this dude is a proper hideous beastie, let’s get back to the Gods. So, they whack this creature together and set it free. However, in almost no time at all, the Gods realized that this was a monumental frak up. The Grootslang was literally too destructive for its own good.

As such, the Gods did somewhat of a recall on the cryptid. They sourced all the Grootslange and decided to split them into two creatures. And thus, the snake and the elephant were created.

However, the Gods made one fatal flaw. They did not manage to rustle up all of the Grootslange. The first ever created Grootslanf managed to escape the Gods’ search by taking refuge in the Wondergat.

And this is where, to this day, the creature – or one of them – is said to live. Other Grootslange have made their way into the Orange River and other large bodies of water. Apparently, some of the OG grootslange even made their way to Benin in Western Africa. How I don’t know, maybe they had enough flyer miles or something because Benin is far.

The Grootslang Hunting Methods

Apparently, in the dead of night, the Grootslang in the Wondergat will snake it’s way out of the hole and lure prey back in. it basically eats anything, but has a particular taste for trespassers and elephants. Furthermore, this beastie is said to have a lust for torture. So once it captures you, it won’t just eat you, but rather make a game out of playing with your body as you get devoured piece by piece.

In some legends, the Grootslang has the ability to shape shift, transforming itself into a gorgeous maiden. Once transformed, the beauty will wait by the banks of the orange river. Naturally, any man passing by will take interest in this gorgeous creature, to his eminent demise.

The lady will lure the men into the waters of the river, and once both parties are there, she quickly drowns her prey and enjoys dinner.

However, there is a way out! If you have been captured by a Grootslang, here are my top tips to surviving your capture and torture:

This creature, although being incredibly smart, has once major weakness; gems. Anything shiny and the Grootslang is happy. However, the animal particularly likes dimonds. So, fi you find yourself in a bind, and manage to have a few decently sized dimonds on your person, you’re good to go!

Offer the creature these gems, and you will be able to bartar your freedom.

If you however, like me, fail to travel with such things on your person, mainly due to the fact that you don’t own any because, you know, costs of living prevent you from splurging on gems, you’re shit outta luck!

The Grootslang in Western Culture

In 1917, possibly the most noted encounter of the Grootslang emerged in the Western World. An oxford based business man, Peter Grayson, had recently caught wind of the diamond fields of Southern Africa. Naturally, like any prospector, Peter rounded up six associates and off they went ready to make their fortune. In his own words, Peter stated that “I am determined to return to England as a very rich man or a dead man”. He got one of his wishes.

Within the first few nights, disaster struct the party. A lion made its way into the men’s’ camp, and killed one of the party, while severely maiming another. A few days later, another member of the party pegged after being bitten by either a venomous snake, or deadly spider. Next up, another team member became violently ill.

The man begged to return to civilisation to be treated, and, as such, the two remaining able bodied team members escorted him back to the nearest village to seek medical attention.

And then there was one. Grayson decided to venture on ahead with his guides in tow. Soon, they arrived on the scene of the Wondergat. The guides urged Grayson not to venture into the cave, but he chose to ignore their warnings.

The British adventurer ventured into the deep cavernous hole and this was the last time anyone would see him alive. By nightfall, when Grayson had still not emerged, the guides chose to make their way back to camp. In the morning, they returned to the cave in hopes of finding Grayson. And find him they did. Well, parts of him at least.

To their horror, upon their return, the guides found the half-eaten corpse of Peter Grayson at the mouth of the cave. They quickly attributed the kill to the Grootslang and made their way back towards their village.

Apart from Peter Grayson, there aren’t many other documented encounters of the Grootslang to note.

However there is one I need to share. In 1920, another prospector made his way to the Orange River. This gentleman was named Fred C Cornel. He was told by his guides that they shoud not make camp near the banks of the river one evening. When asked why, one guide shared that they had chosen a very dangerous spot. For in the middle of the river was a huge rock where a very dangerous snake like creature – the Grootslang – inhabited.

According to the guide, this creature was known to pick off livestock and the man feared for the party and their horses.

However, Cornel decided to stay the night and attempt to hunt the creature in the morning.

When they awoke, the party saw the huge rock in the middle of the river, just as the guide had described. I will now read an excerpt of Cornel’s memoirs, describing the hunt:

“In the morning we found that the river here was a long, wide, still, and apparently very deep stretch of water, and that a big rock rose from the centre, as the guides had said. It appeared to be of granite, and was riven in half by a big cleft. The steep mud banks of the river should have shown a trace of anything coming up from the water, but we found no spoor. So we made up some dynamite cartridges with fuse and detonator, and flung them out as far as we could, and stood by with the “arsenal” handy in case the “Groot Slang” was at home and objected. The dynamite made a big upheaval, but no snake materialised; only a few small springers and barbel flapped round in the muddy water.

Then I saw something moving in the crack in the rock, and let drive with my rifle. I was in a hurry, and I heard my bullet hit the landscape somewhere in German territory; but Ransson had seen that movement too, and was emptying his magazine into the crack without undue loss of time. When we’d finished a very flustered and indignant old wild-duck squatted out of that crack and went away unhurt and quacking most derisively. No luck again with our “big game” shooting.”

Possible Explanations of The Grootslang

So, to be honest, there aren’t actually any explanations as to what this particular creature could be. So I’ll offer my own!

The Titanoboa

So, the Titanoboa is the largest ever fossilized snake to be found. And this guy kinda fits the length of the Grootslang perfectly. The Titanoboa was suspected to reach lengths of up to 42 feet. However, this creature was estimated to have lived between 66 – 56 million years ago. Furthermore, the Titanoboa has only been found in Colombia to date.

The Gomphothere

Now, I bet you didn’t know this, because, I was today years old! YAY! When I found out that not too long ago, we roamed the earth alongside four tusked elephant relatives. The Gomphothere was a four tusked elephant like creature, with the closest fossil being only 10,000 odd years old.

However, there are a few issues with this beasties. Firstly, the Gomphothere is about the size of an African elephant of today. So that’s nowhere near the size of the Grootslang. Next up, the Gomphothere, for all intents and purposes, had limbs, whereas the Grootslang in South Africa did not – apparently the Benin version of the Grootslang had an elephant body and serpent like tail, but we’re not in Benin.

Next up, this bloody creature was found once again in South America. If the Grootslang tale was set in South America we would’ve been golden, but the wretched thing had to be South African…

What Does Abi Think This Beastie Is?

First off let me start by speaking about this cave. The Wondergat actually exists. And it looks terrifically horrifying. The hole is about 4.5m wide with an initial 20m straight drop. The tunnel then goes much further down at a bit of an angle.

There have actually been local tales of this beast recently told.