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Meet the Meerkats

You can’t really imagine any large colonies of mammals thriving in the Kalahari or the Pans of Southern Africa. But meerkats are amazing, tough, (and let’s be honest, very cute!) creatures living in often very large gangs of up to 40 individuals in these inhospitable places.

Where to visit meerkats in Africa

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.

What is it like meeting meerkats?

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"

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