Steve and I arrived late morning at Jardin des Elephants, one of the beaches north of Gamba, south of Sette Cama along the Gabonese coast. The beach was particularly wide at low tide, barely a whisper of surf washing ashore. Stepping out of the vegetation, I surprised an adult monitor lizard, nearly 1.5 meters long, sunning on the slope to beach. It sprinted across the 40 meters of sand to the sea, then proceeded to trudge slowly along the water’s edge. I quickly returned to retrieve my camera and gave chase, running up the beach to intercept should it make a dash for the forest. Circling to the front, I was able to approach until it reluctantly headed into the surf, disappearing out to sea. By the time I returned to car, it was on the beach once again. I returned more carefully and was able to approach within several meters. It showed no further interest in the sea and sat patiently, though perhaps a bit annoyed, while I made a few pictures.
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