South Africa's Kruger National Park has played host to all manner of dramatic predator/prey interactions over the years – many of which have been caught on camera. Cobras brawling with monitor lizards, porcupines fending off leopards, or impalas clashing with wild dogs, hippos and crocs – tourists to the park have witnessed all manner of showdowns. Add to that list a recent, high-ranking sighting that's just about the equivalent of a celebrity boxing match: a clash between Africa's biggest reptile and the continent's largest venomous snake.

While on a recent trip to the park, Giosuè Spinosa filmed a dramatic encounter between a Nile crocodile and a sizeable black mamba that played out on the banks of the Shingwedzi River in the north of the reserve. Spinosa initially spotted the black mamba slithering across a patch of dry river sand en route to the water's edge. Like all snakes, black mambas will drink water when needed, but given the pace at which the snake was approaching the water, Spinosa suspected that it was planning to cross.

The commotion at the water's edge attracted the attention of a group of crocodiles basking on the bank nearby and one of them quickly moved in to investigate. As the mamba slithered into the shallows, a croc lunged in its direction but was easily outmanoeuvred by the agile snake. Black mambas are regarded as one of Africa's speediest snakes and even in the water this nimbleness comes in handy.

After gliding across the river and evading the opportunistic crocs, the mamba exited the water on the opposite bank but was almost immediately mired in the thick mud. As the snake struggled to make its escape, the crocs once again spied a potential meal. One of the crocs swam across the river and made a beeline for the mamba clamping its jaws around the snake and thrashing in typical croc fashion. 

Although black mambas pack a considerably toxic venom, their fangs are unlikely to be able to penetrate the thick, leathery skin of a croc and the snake was quickly dispatched of. The kill drew the attention of a fish eagle that swooped in hoping to nab an easy meal, but thought better of it. With the snake dangling in its mouth, the croc scampered back to the water to swallow its meal whole.