Young savannah monitors can be housed in a glass terrarium that is 20 gallons or larger, but wooden terraria are preferable. Glass terraria are heavy and breakable, and most of them have screen tops that allow heat and humidity to escape. Wooden terraria hold heat well and will give your savannah monitor (especially younger specimens) a better sense of security, since only the front of the enclosure allows for viewing. Wooden terraria also make handling easier and safer, as they generally open on the front or sides, as opposed to only the top. Also, a wooden terrarium can be built to any size or specification so you can make sure you have a home that perfectly suits your lizard’s needs. As a general rule, any cage should be at least two times the lizard’s total length in all dimensions.
The bottom should be covered by a substrate, preferably oak leaves. A large, sturdy water bowl is also a necessity and should be large enough for your monitor to be able to fit his entire body in it, in case he needs to cool down at any time. Savannah Monitors like an environment where they feel safe and protected. They enjoy a “snug” home, with plenty of places to hide. A wide variety of items can be used to create hide spots, such as paper towel tubes, rock piles, bricks, aquariums, or cork bark. Try not to disturb a hide spot once it is in place.
Incandescent bulbs are a good substitute for natural sunlight and should be placed inside the enclosure, at least 18 inches above the highest object in it. All lights should be encased in a metal screen or light guard to avoid burning your monitor. The temperature in the enclosure should have a 20°F temperature range, with the hottest, basking area being about 105°F. A 20-50 percent humidity level should also be maintained.
As far as cleaning your savannah monitor’s enclosure, you should change the water and spot clean for feces every day, if possible. Replacing the substrate should be a monthly task, but it can be put off longer, depending on the kind of substrate used. A complete cleaning should be done as often as necessary and should include thoroughly cleaning the walls of the enclosure and any decorations in the enclosure. Use a diluted soap solution, and remember to rinse thoroughly.