Rock Monitor

Varanus albigularis


Drab tan and black with yellowish and brown to black banded tail. The head is relatively short with a bulbous nose, a dark streak running form eye to shoulder and a long, yellow-blue split tongue.
Length: 70 to 130 cm

Protected SpeciesThough widespread, the Rock Monitor is a protected species.


Found in arid, semi-desert regions, savannah, rocky grassland, open bush and forest country. Makes its lair in a tunnel, a hole in a tree or a rock crack.

Feeds on insects, millipedes, small mammals and reptiles, birds and eggs. Hibernates in winter.

Rock Monitor

An enduring reptile, the Rock Monitor covers great distances in search of food.

When cornered, it may may bite and lash its tail, but is not poisonous.

The stout body, the bulbous nose and the dark streak from eye to shoulder make it distingishable from its larger relative - the Nile Monitor.

photos: Beate Baron


Rock Monitor

Seeking the warmth of the engine, a rock monitor climbs the underbody of a 4x4.