Lizards | Namibia
Introduction: The rock or white throated monitor (Varanus albigularis) is a large, robust lizard with sharp claws and stocky and strong limbs. The tail is longer than the body. Rock monitors live in tunnels they dig under rock overhangs or in vacant animal burrows, holes in a tree or a crack in a rock. They are solitary creatures and hibernate in a semi-dormant state in a chosen retreat for winter.
Defence actions include adopting a 'side-on' stance to lash its tail and if given the chance it will bite, hanging on to its attacker for dear life. Main predators include the martial eagle and honey badger who will hold them behind the head and monitors usually eject its cloacal (sewerage) contents as a first-line escape strategy. If all else fails, it will feign death by becoming limp, although the eyes will remain open. Play acting in this manner can prove to be a life-saver and if they are dropped will scamper off to safety.
Distribution: Resident throughout most of Namibia with a savannah and semi-desert habitat including Etosha National Park and the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Not found in the Namib Desert and southern Namibia, except for the Swakopmund area.
Diet: Land snails, grasshoppers, millipedes and beetles. It will also tuck into carrion and baby tortoises are often targeted.
Colouring: The upper body is dark-grey brown with a number of yellow blotches with dark edges. The neck and top of the head are dark-brown. The tail has a number of dark-brown and off-white bands. The belly is dirty yellow with spots.
Breeding: Mating occurs in the early summer months of October to November. Females normally dig a hole in soft moist earth to give birth, but will also use live termite nests (as does the Nile monitor) or in a hollow tree. Between 8 and 50 eggs are laid, but survival rates depend on predator activity from animals such as the banded mongoose.
Size: SVL 400 to 500mm. Max SVL 850mm.
Situated north-east of Grootfontein this serves as an gateway between the Caprivi and central Namibia
Around 80km north of Grootfontein this lodge acts as a gateway to Namibia's north east (the Kavango & Zambezi Region)
A satellite camp to Fiume Lodge, the Bush Camp requires a minimum two night stay and is the base for top quality guided excursions to visit a local Bushman / San community
Ten kilometers outside of Otavi this lodge offers a relaxing environment and is ideal for walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and birders
Initially a Christian mission station this property was converted into a lodge in 1999. The Ghaub caves nearby are well worth a visit
Horse riding, game and beautiful surroundings are just some of the reasons to stay at this lodge
A convenient stop close to Otavi
Large resort offering a restaurant, bar and olympic sized pool in Tsumeb
Situated near the center of Tsumeb this is a popular hotel.
A courtyard atmosphere, traditional garden and German cuisine can be found at this Tsumeb hotel.
Close encounters of the wild side - experience the Namibian veld on foot with Bruno, an enigmatic & knowledgeable guide
10 peaceful chalets provide accommodation at this lodge just north of Otavi
a campsite in a rural setting 80km north of Grootfontein on the main road towards Rundu & the Zambezi Region
Basic accommodation just a few kilometers from the town of Grootfontein
An eclectic lodge, allows for visits to a San community as well as offering reasonably priced overnight accommodation
Situated 20km west of Tsumeb
Between Otavi and Tsumeb.