Photographing Meerkats is a blog post from the Meerkats category.

Photographing Meerkats

Posted by Will on
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Earlier this year, I travelled to the Makgadikgadi Pans region of Botswana to photograph some of the most charismatic (and cutest) creatures in Africa – meerkats!

Meerkat portrait, Botswana
Meerkat portrait, Botswana

Meerkats are members of the mongoose family and are found in the desert region of Southern Africa. They are social animals, living in large family groups. They sleep in underground networks and during the day they venture out of their dens in search of for food. A meerkat’s diet consists mainly of scorpions, beetles, lizards, eggs and small mammals.

Meerkats
Meerkats
Meerkats
Meerkats

Meerkats forage in groups with at least one sentry on duty at all times. They need to be extremely vigilant while they are out in the open so that they aren’t surprised by predators such as birds of prey or jackals. Meerkats aren’t very tall so they try to seek out the high ground in order to get a better view of their surroundings. The higher the vantage point the better so they will go to impressive lengths to find that perfect lookout post!

These meerkats are completely wild but over time they have become habituated to humans. This means it is possible to gain their trust and get really close to them. When people are around, these clever little creatures take full advantage of the situation and will sometimes climb on top of the nearest person for a better view out over the long grass. Sometimes they just decide that sitting on a warm human is more comfortable that sitting on the coarse sand!

Meerkats
Meerkats
Meerkats
Meerkats

Trying to photograph animals that jumped on me whenever I got too close was certainly a challenge that I wasn’t used to facing… not that I was complaining! For a behind the scenes look at this project including lots of amusing meerkat antics, check out this short 2-minute video.

One of the highlights of my time in Botswana was getting to spend time with some adorable three-week-old baby meerkats. These tiny babies first emerged from the den a day or so into my trip and after that I spent a lot of time with them so they became very comfortable around me. In fact, it wasn’t long before they were treating me like their own personal plaything!

Meerkats
Meerkats
Meerkats
Meerkats

Meekats are charming little creatures and spending time with them is always a privilege. For more photos check out my meerkat image gallery. You can also get more behind the scenes photos and video by following me on Instagram. To get a free high-res Meerkat desktop background, please subscribe to my new monthly newsletter.

Meerkats
Meerkats
Where next? Check out BeetleCam and BeetleCopter!

139 Comments

  1. clive said: April 8, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Great video, must have been an amazing experience.

  2. Pat said: April 8, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Hard to go wrong with Meerkats. Thanks for sharing them.

  3. Claudio Pia said: April 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Ahahaha stunning animals and images, i like a lot them!!!!!

  4. svetlana said: April 8, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    beautiful photos

  5. Jeanne E. Rogers said: April 8, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Great post! My student readers would love the pictures. I just might have to do a post about mMeerkats on my blog site. They are interesting creatures and there is a lot to talk about. Thanks again!
    Jeanne

  6. Marina Ibarra said: April 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Awesome pictures! BRAVO!

  7. ETTWILLER ANITA said: April 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    superbe vos photos Merci de les partager avec nous

  8. hanan shebl said: April 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Like ♥

  9. Anton said: April 8, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Oh man you made my day, just love them.

  10. Bryan Dellbridge said: April 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    great photos and so amusing thanks

  11. Kate MacRae said: April 8, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Those babies are the most adorable creatures. What a privilege to be accepted like that into their world!

  12. Ann Van Breemen said: April 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    An amazing video. I love Meerkats and those babies are just the cutest things. That video and photos have made my day. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with the world. :)

  13. Tracey said: April 8, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Brilliantly entertaining, photographed and videoed. Thank you for sharing, as always!!

  14. kristy walker said: April 9, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I would love to know more about your trip. How long did you stay with the meerkats? And where did you fly into and where did you stay? I have ALWAYS wanted to photograph meerkats!

  15. NikL said: April 9, 2014 at 2:41 am

    What a magical experience! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  16. Ursula said: April 9, 2014 at 4:43 am

    wonderful photos and story. I really enjoy the video! Thanks

  17. casey cheong said: April 9, 2014 at 4:53 am

    Absolutely brilliant!

  18. Vinayak Hegde said: April 9, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Awesome… Wonderful story. Nice video too..

  19. Argyro Vouterakou said: April 9, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Hahaha!They are so cute! Unforgettable experience and stunning photos!!

  20. Debbie Gray-Ackland said: April 9, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Meerkats are so cute and animals obviously love you. Animals can read your thoughts and feelings and know you are no threat to them which is why they saw you as one of them. l love the Meerkat Selfie…very nice! Wish l could work with you.

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