Chameleon Vivarium Setup

Whether you’re thinking about getting a Chameleon or already own one – we’ll take you through what makes a great home habitat for them to feel comfortable, safe, and happy. That being said, it doesn’t take much to keep this friendly lizard as a pet, however, you’ll want to make sure you get its home right the first time. 

Chameleon’s are typically found in rain forests and African deserts. They get their great colour from trying to blend into their habitats to keep predators at bay. 

Typically, if a chameleon is used to treetops in the rainforest, they will be green, yet the desert born chameleons will turn into a darker brown. 

What will follow are some excellent tips to not only keep your new pet safe, comfortable, and happy but also replicate their home environment as much as possible. 

How To Set It Up

The key to a great vivarium for your Chameleon is having a tall wooden enclosure. The wooden surface will help to insulate your enclosure and retain heat, as well as, make temperature control more maintainable. 

For best use, consider a size of around 2x2x3ft – this will give your chameleon ample room and also enough ventilation to ensure that they are as healthy and comfortable as possible.  

The Vivexotic Viva+ Arboreal is a high-quality arboreal vivarium. It uses thick wooden surfaces to ensure that heat is maintained, and it is super easy and efficient to assemble. 

What To Include

There is a range of items that you will need to include within your Chameleon’s enclosure, including:

As lizards can’t generate their own heat, they need a source of light and warmth to help them. In their natural habitat, they would bask under the heat of the sun. So, the best way to replicate this is through basking bulbs and thermostats. 

Look to keep your basking spot sitting around the 100 degrees Fahrenheit mark, whilst keeping the rest of the enclosure at a cooler 85 degrees Fahrenheit. As this is quite a high temperature, you’ll need a relatively powerful, high-wattage basking bulb. To help maintain the heat throughout the enclosure consider a dimming thermostat. 

Once you’ve ordered your basking bulb, it is imperative that you get a protective cover for it. This is not only to protect the longevity of the item but also to help protect your Chameleon from getting burnt by curiosity and touching it. 

Whilst it isn’t always necessary with all Chameleon’s, you may want to entertain the idea of including a UV tube in the vivarium. Chameleons thrive in hot, dry environments and to keep your pet happy, the best thing you can do is to provide UVA and UVB rays. Not only does this help create a hot and dry area, but it will also promote health and allow your chameleon to see better. 


No vivarium is complete without some great aesthetics. Not only do decorations help spice up the place, but also is extremely beneficial for your reptile. 

Wooden branches that are laid vertically will help form a structure within the enclosure that your chameleon can depend on.  Using two or more will suffice, but you’ll want to use some vines to pull it together. Not only will this keep the structure in place, but the vines will also act as a bridge for your chameleon to travel freely in its new home. 

If you’re looking for any additional decoration items and aren’t sure of what to get always think back to their natural habitat. Whether be the desert or the rainforest, think about how best to replicate that to ensure your chameleon’s happiness. 

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Chameleon Safe Plants and What do Chameleons eat?

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