Meerkat

Get behind the scenes with
our adorable Meerkat family

Get behind the scenes with our adorable Meerkat family

What’s better than meeting a Meerkat? Being able to have them climb all over you as you feed the adorable guys by hand! The Meerkat Behind the Scenes encounter is one of our most popular experiences, due to their high level of interactivity and their popularity.

Our Meerkat family can be seen all day long, and throughout the day you can learn more about them during our Meerkat presentation.

About

There are few animals on Earth who work as well socially as meerkats. These squirrel-size members of the mongoose family live in groups of different sizes, from as little as three to as big as 50 members. everyone in the mob participates in gathering food, keeping a look out for predators and taking care of the babies.

Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa.

They are super cute, with thick, brown-striped fur, a small, pointed face and large eyes surrounded by dark patches. They average about 50 centimetres long, including their tail. These extremely social animals live together in burrows, which they dig with their long claws.

Living underground keeps family members safe from predators and out of the harsh African heat. These burrows can be 5 metres long and contain multiple entrances, tunnels, and rooms. A group will use up to five separate burrows at a time.

Diet

Meerkats only go outside during the daytime. Each morning, as the sun comes up, the family emerges and begins looking for food. They use their keen sense of smell to locate their favourite foods, which include beetles, caterpillars, spiders and scorpions. They”ll also eat small reptiles, birds, eggs, fruit and plants. Back at the burrow, several babysitters stay behind to watch over newborn pups. This duty rotates to different members of the mob, and a babysitter will often go all day without food.

Meerkats

FUN FACTS

  • A white membrane called the nictitating membrane, located between the eye and eyelid, acts as a windshield wiper, removing sand from their eyes with every blink.
  • Meerkats have some immunity to the venom of scorpions and snakes that share it’s natural habitat.
  • When two groups of meerkats go to war over territory, they will line up facing each other with tails held high and bow on the spot. This behaviour is called a ‘war-dance’ and gives the opposing meerkat group the perception of a more dominant rival force.

Distribution

Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert in Namibia and southwestern Angola, and in South Africa.

Habitat

Meerkats inhabit dry open areas, scrublands and savannah. They inhabit all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and South Africa. They usually live in places where there is plenty of sandy soil where they can dig elaborate underground burrows. These complex habitats have many tunnels which lead to numerous sleeping chambers.

Meet our Meerkats

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