The species is well known throughout the grasslands of West Africa, but its distribution in central and eastern parts of the continent is less certain. Most of the pet trade specimens come from the isolated belt of Savannah along the southern coast of West Africa, particularly from Ghana and Togo.
Savannah Monitors can be very tame and docile lizards. They can reach sizes of 5 feet but usually average between 3 and 4 feet. Start with a 20-gallon tank and grow as the monitors grows.
Use newspaper, aspen, reptile bedding or reptile turf. Create shelters with climbing and basking areas. A large bowl of fresh water for drinking and soaking should be provided at all times.
Keep the tank between 82 and 95 during the day and 72 to 80 at night. Use under tank heating pads for a 24-hour heat source.
Savannah Monitors can accumulate massive fat reserves and obese specimens are common in captivity. Females tend to be smaller, but more heavily bodied, than males and may have slightly shorter tails. Pre-killed mice and rats are good for the younger lizards.
Imported savannahs can obtain many parasites: HaHa Reptiles always checks for mites and ticks before shipping. We recommend that all new specimens be quarantined for 3 to 5 days so that they can be checked for parasites and disease at the new location.