Meerkats on the Makgadikgadi

Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari, Botswana

Down in the Makgadikgadi Pans, and accessible from both Jack's and San Camp, is a very special, habituated clan of meerkats, which have been studied by scientists for years. Guests to Jack's and San are able to visit and observe quietly.

Early morning, and after a hearty breakfast you will be taken by game drive vehicle to a sunny spot, dotted with holes. As the sun's warmth increases, little heads begin to pop out of the holes, and the meerkats, adults first, venture out. Keep completely still, and they will come out and stand on the raised little mounds over their burrows, turning to face the sun so it can warm them.

After the adults, come the babies, gathered into a creche and watched over by their guardians. The babies, squeaking, romp and play with each other, sometimes copying the adults by trying to stand on their hind legs.

As the meerkats become more habituated to your presence, they will approach closely, perhaps giving a quick sniff or, for the very bold in their troupe, using you as a climbing frame, in order to get a better view of their surroundings! The researchers will be close by, observing, and they and your guides are more than happy to answer questions about the meerkat clan. It's a fascinating experience to be able to observe the meerkats unafraid and up close - well worth visiting!

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