A Field Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa by Bill Branch, third edition, 1998, published by Struik of Cape Town measures 21 x 15 x 2.5 cm and weighs 750 grams. These are important considerations for travelers and make this book quite a bulky field guide that better fits the knapsack than the pocket. But it is worth it, being leagues better than its common rival by Graham Alexander & Johan Marais (17 x 24 x 2.7 cm and 1100 grams).
Professor Bill Branch is Curator of Herpetology at Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa. His book contains 400 pages including 23 on useful introduction, 247 of excellent and detailed descriptive text covering 480 species, 112 good colour plates and 16 appendices. It has an index to scientific names but only a check-list of English names. It needs a comprehensive index with Afrikaans vernacular names. But this is small criticism of an excellent book that is for people who really want to know what reptile they are looking at.
Between the first edition of 1988 and the second ten years later, 83 species were added. Now (Nov 2010) we need a third please Bill.