Walking with Meerkats at Tswalu

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan 1 Comment

When speaking to people about what it is they would like to photograph whilst on their safari, the answer is normally the big cats, Lions, Leopard, Cheetah and the rest of the big 5 and maybe African Wild Dogs.

As some of you might know, I have had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time at Tswalu Kalahari lately, and one of the huge attraction points for me, are the Meerkats.

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Standing at only about 30cm tall (12in) meerkats, also known as Suricats, are extremely social animals and rely on group cooperation to survive the harsh dry conditions of the Kalahari Desert.  Led by an alpha pair, with the female being most dominant (some will say the same about humans…) these groups are referred to as gangs or mobs.

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Over the past few years a few gangs or mobs at Tswalu have become habituated to humans, but with the intent of still viewing them in their natural environment and not interfering with any day to day proceedings.

This means that one can get extremely close to the these guys (without them jumping on you or picking them up) making for some incredible photographic opportunities.

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On a recent visit to Tswalu we were lucky enough to view 6 new born pups that were just starting to move out of the burrow and joining the rest of the family as they forage.  Viewing is normally best early in the morning as they wake up from the burrow, sunning themselves for a while before foraging, or late in the afternoon as they head back to a burrow, again catching the last bit of sun before they head underground.

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Go check out this blog by Kirsten who is based at Tswalu and spends more time with them than anyone else and then check out out the Rare and Endangered Photo Safari which I will be hosting at Tswalu in 2017.  Would love for you to join me in this incredible place!

Johan

About the Author

Johan van Zyl

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The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.

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