Nile monitors generally lead solitary lives except during the mating season. In areas where food is plentiful, they will tolerate the presence of other monitors.
Nile monitors use body language and scent cues to communicate with other monitors.
A Nile monitor holds its body and head well off the ground while walking. When frightened, these lizards arch their backs, hiss, and inflate their bodies to make them as large as possible. A threatened Nile monitor will retreat to water if any is nearby. Otherwise, it will fight ferociously, using its strength, claws, and teeth. These lizards hunt by leaping on their prey at alarming speeds—though sometimes they employ stealth. They will work in pairs to steal crocodile eggs: One distracts the mother crocodile; the other pilfers the nest and escapes with the eggs.
These lizards have not been evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but their populations seem to be healthy. They are protected in Africa under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which regulates the movement of endangered species across international borders.