The Nile Monitor lizard (Varanus niloticus) is known in South Africa as a Water Leguaan, from the Dutch for iguana. Monitors occur throughout the world, but the Nile Monitor is native to Africa. They grow up to 2.5m in length and this one was about 1.5m and was a regular visitor to our camp in the Tuli area of Botswana. They have muscular bodies, strong legs and powerful jaws. They use their sharp claws for climbing, digging, defence, or tearing at their prey. They have long, dark forked tongues and are very good swimmers. They feed on fish, snails, frogs, crocodile eggs and young, snakes, birds, small mammals, large insects, and carrion. They are very intelligent animals and can even count. They are aggressive and fearless, although they usually run off or head for water when approached. Size for size, they are probably more dangerous than crocodiles because of their mobility, intelligence and aggression. This one was shot hand-held with a Nikon D90 and Nikkor 70-300mm at 270mm giving an effective 400mm.