Photographing Meerkats is a blog post from the Meerkats category.

Photographing Meerkats

Posted by Will on

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 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!


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 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.

Where next? Check out BeetleCam!


  1. Marilyn Cole said: April 9, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    I’ve had the privilege of hand-rearing baby meerkats at Toronto Zoo and seeing them in the wild in the Kalagadi with Pam Bennett-Wallberg. They are charming, wonderful animals

  2. pankaj said: April 9, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Very nice….
    Very good project….
    Good …

  3. Cindy Maguire said: April 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    How lucky you are!! I would love to be your assistant, I would carry your cameras if you would give me a weeks work and maybe even some photography lessons; I will bring my D70! Meerkats are so very cool… Oh and I love your photography ))

  4. Lori Cannon said: April 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Now I want to meet those Meercats!:)
    Was first introduced when my students did a project on them
    Fell in love…<3…

  5. Lori Cannon said: April 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    The Project combined science with the students artistic expression of their particular species
    Teachable moments

  6. Jay said: April 9, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Nice place to put a gopro mount! (lens hood) I may have to try that!

  7. Mika said: April 9, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    It’s a real pleasure to see that moment with the meerkats…. Could I share in my own page???

  8. shreya ray said: April 9, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    they are soo adorable n wonderful pics….loved it
    its a dream come true to capture these cutiepies

  9. patricia said: April 10, 2014 at 1:40 am

    Love your films. My daughter and husband are in Morocco at the embassy, can’t wait for a visit there.

  10. Barry Robertson said: April 10, 2014 at 3:25 am

    Fantastic shots I have to go

  11. hiteshree pandya said: April 10, 2014 at 7:22 am

    amazin i love it

  12. Shawnlee Nath said: April 10, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    one of the BEST videos…..Meerkats are really adorable….nd intelligent as well!!!!!loved the photos…..

  13. Grisell said: April 10, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Love all these adorable pictures! My favorite one is where one of the meerkats looks as if it is photographing the other meerkat.

  14. Rajeev Krishnan said: April 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Brilliant!!! and an amazing video…

  15. Hugh Paterson said: April 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    So nostalgic for me. Thank you for your excellent work.

  16. .inda kottenbrook said: April 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    These are exceedingly pleasant little creatures. thanks so much for posting.

  17. Danielle Leleu said: April 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Beautiful friendship ! Meerkats are so cute, funny, clever, a big family’ sense, great fraternity … Your photos are stunning and amazing. I share yourwebsite’link on my FB page ! Thanks a lot !

  18. Payal said: April 11, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Amazing! Both the Meerkat and the photographer looks cute 😉

  19. Sabine and Lucas said: April 12, 2014 at 2:24 am

    My 6-year old Lucas has thoroughly enjoyed the collection of extraordinary photos and video. A true example of a peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife. Thank you!

  20. Marilena said: April 12, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Such beautiful pictures! Thank you for them. Looks like you had a nice time taking them too 🙂
    Keep it up!

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