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Rock Monitor

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.

Dornhugel Guest Farm

Situated north-east of Grootfontein this serves as an gateway between the Caprivi and central Namibia

Fiume Lodge

Around 80km north of Grootfontein this lodge acts as a gateway to Namibia's north east (the Kavango & Zambezi Region)

Fiume Bush Camp

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

Gabus Game Ranch

Ten kilometers outside of Otavi this lodge offers a relaxing environment and is ideal for walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and birders

Ghaub Nature Reserve & Farm

Initially a Christian mission station this property was converted into a lodge in 1999. The Ghaub caves are an excellent opportunity to get dirty while exploring a fascinating cave system - the lodge provides a guide and necessary equipment

Kambaku Safari Lodge

Horse riding, game and beautiful surroundings are just some of the reasons to stay at this lodge

Khorab Safari Lodge

A convenient stop close to Otavi

Kupferquelle Resort

Large resort offering a restaurant, bar and Olympic sized pool in Tsumeb

Makalani Hotel

Situated near the center of Tsumeb this is a popular hotel.

Minen 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

Ohange Lodge

10 peaceful chalets provide accommodation at this lodge just north of Otavi

Paradise Rest camp

a campsite in a rural setting 80km north of Grootfontein on the main road towards Rundu & the Zambezi Region

Peace Garden Lodge

Basic accommodation just a few kilometers from the town of Grootfontein

Roy's Camp

An eclectic lodge, allows for visits to a San community as well as offering reasonably priced overnight accommodation

!Uris Safari Lodge

Situated 20km west of Tsumeb

Zum Potjie

Between Otavi and Tsumeb.

Luderitz Accommodation