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Nile Monitor Care Sheet

Scientific Name: Varanus niloticus

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Found throughout Africa where water is present, the Nile Monitor is not a lizard for beginners.


Estimated Size: 4' to 6'
Average Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Natural Location: Eastern Africa

Distribution Map

Habitat Map of Nile Monitor
Captive Care Information

Food & Water

Nile Monitors eat meat. Hatchlings and juveniles should be fed a diet of various insects, including crickets, silkworms, grasshoppers, roaches, etc. Make sure to dust insects with a multi-vitamin supplement. As they get bigger, baby mice can be offered as well. Adult Nile Monitors should be fed a diet of frozen and thawed mice and rats. Other food will be eaten as well though.

Lighting, Temperature & Humidity

You will have to provide your Nile Monitor with a very wide ranging heat gradient. The cool side of the enclosure should be around 77 degrees F, with the hot end reaching around 95 degrees F. They will also need a large basking spot, able to cover their entire body. This spot should be kept around 120 degrees F. Remember, the Nile Monitor is from Africa, it's hot there! UV lighting is not necessary for Nile Monitors to be healthy, but many people use it anyway. The main concern for these great lizards is the heat.


Nile Monitors need a very large space. Full grown Nile Monitors will need an entire room, or similar spaced area to live a healthy and happy life. Make sure the walls are made of wood, or other hard material, as these Monitors will dig their way out of anything softer (drywall). Use dirt as a substrate, and make it deep. Your Monitor will want to dig and burrow. A depth of 2 feet should suffice.


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