You can visit habituated groups of meerkats in various places. Such places are always arid and unforgiving regions. Botswana's Makgadikgadi Pans are one such place, and in our view this is currently probably one of the best places to see them as there are so few other people there. Tswalu in South Africa is another good spot and very quiet. There are other places in South Africa but whilst certainly getting you close, there will generally be more people with you.
I honestly rate the experience of meeting meerkats as being almost as rewarding as meeting gorillas! This was a surprise to me, as it is to many people, but they are just so captivating to watch.
And more than watching, they often get very close to you, or even use you as a look-out post if you come close to their burrow.
Meerkats need to hunt and forage for food much of the day and we can’t disturb that activity, but once back at the burrow (usually mornings and evenings) they seem to happily take to the presence of human onlookers for even up to about an hour.
So come and meet the meerkats ”“ you’ll love them!By Amanda Marks, Tribes director
If you”˜d like to talk to one of us about this experience, Amanda Marks has spent time with meerkats in Africa so would be happy to tell you about her experience. For more details read Amanda's blog post about coming "Face to Face with Meerkats"
Botswana: The very best place in Botswana to see meerkats is in the Makgadikgadi Pans, staying at Camp Kalahari, Jack’s or San Camps.South Africa: Just north of Outdshoorn on the Garden Route. Also, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve with its luxury desert lodge.
You can see the meerkats most of the year, but in the Makgadikgadi Pans it can be best to look for them in the dry season after the rains have gone - roughly April to October.
In the Botswana camps mentioned, and also at Tswalu in South Africa, this is an activity which is offered as one of the game activities as long as the local conditions permit it (for example it can be too wet to go on the pans in the rainier months).In South Africa you need to book the activity with the local ranches that offer it. Your lodge will be able to help you with this.
A traditional game viewing safari with the thrill of Vic Falls, nature walks and, of course, entrancing encounters with meerkats.