Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.



Nag Panchami falls on 16 August this year. Recommended accommodation is available at the nearby town of Sangli, at the Hotel Sadanand (tel: 0091 233 322911), with double rooms from pounds 7. India Tourist Office (tel: 0171 437 3677).

Most of the 30 or so Holiness churches where snakes are regularly handled do not welcome approaches from inquisitive outsiders; the exceptions are the churches at Kingston, North Georgia and Jolo, West Virginia. Church times are irregular.

Bio-Ken Snake Park, Watamu. Open 9am-12pm and 2pm-5pm every day. Admission Ks300 (pounds 3). Expect to pay about Ks1,000 (pounds 10) to join a snake-catcher for the day. Kenyan Tourist Office (tel: 0171-355 3144).

The Snakebite Survivors' Club by Jeremy Seal is published by Picador, pounds 16.99.