Visiting meerkats, Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

A mob of meerkats - what's not to like?

Spend a while watching the antics of these mesmerising creatures. Any time spent with meerkats is time well spent in our opinion.

Visiting meerkats, Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

© AGMarks

When meeting meerkats you should expect to be used as a lookout post

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

  • Learn about these clever creatures
  • Stay still and they may use you as a lookout post
  • Spend up to an hour or so observing their behaviour
  • An opportunity to take some superb photographs
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Client Rating for Botswana 5/5 from 120 reviews

Sit, relax and stay a while

"I honestly rate this 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."

Meerkats in South Africa © © FAyerst,Shutterstock

Meeting meerkats is a unique opportunity

You can visit habituated groups of meerkats in various places. The Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana is, in our opinion, currently one of the best places to see meerkats in Botswana as there are so few other people here. However, there is a place near Outdshoorn in South Africa which is also great.

Sometimes (in Botswana), more than just watching them, 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, so no sighting is guaranteed, and we can't disturb their activity, but once back at the burrow (usually mornings and evenings) they seem to happily take to the presence of human onlookers, often for up to about an hour.

So come and meet the meerkats - you'll love them!

When to go

You can see the meerkats most of the year, but in Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans it’s best to look for them in the dry season after the rains have gone – roughly April to October.
In the Makgadikgadi Pans, this experience is usually offered as one of your activity options as long as local conditions permit it (it can be too wet to visit them in the rainier months). See our guide to the best time to visit Botswana.

In South Africa, the visit to see the meerkats near Outdshoorn needs to be booked in advance.