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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
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

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.

Meerkats
Meerkats
Where next? Check out BeetleCam!

150 Comments

  1. Kev said: April 12, 2014 at 8:36 am

    You see…. Nature and man can be in perfect harmony. Incredible to watch and share the smiles. Good that the trust of the meerkat is not abused and he respects them to not interfere. However, it must be wonderful to have he pitter patter of tiny feet running around on you – you just letting them be themselves and you being you.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Kev
    Yorkshire – England.

  2. Leszek said: April 12, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Great photos and animals!

  3. Pilar guiraldes said: April 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Muy bueno, divertido y tu trabajo realizado con respeto a ellos. Tremendo Lucas!!!

  4. Susan Kroep said: April 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Awesome, Beautiful photo’s.

  5. chistina said: April 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing this video & photograghs i so love meerkats lucky you x

  6. Benito said: April 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    What do meerkats eat? I want two!

  7. Elise said: April 13, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Beautiful photos, and a wonderful experience – jealous!!! Loved the video too.

  8. Thilagam MK Veloo said: April 13, 2014 at 2:46 am

    beautiful photos……lovely……

  9. Lucy Llewellyn Byard said: April 13, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Love your vid. Great experience! Thanks!

  10. JJ Wong said: April 13, 2014 at 5:44 am

    Superb! Keep up the great sharing. Natural, animals are beautiful ~ =D

  11. Roxanne said: April 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Love love love the photos!! Really wonderful experience u had~

  12. Kaye M. Porter said: April 13, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I congratulate you, your photography is exceptionally
    beautiful. I posted a few to Pinterest including your name, of course. Thank you for sharing these treasures.

  13. Sylvia Walker said: April 13, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Very, very funny. I love these lovable little critters!!!!!!!!!

  14. Miguel Costa said: April 13, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    wonderfull video, wonderfull photos, lovely animals. Thank you ! 🙂

  15. VICKY said: April 13, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    THEY ARE SO PRECIOUS, GREAT JOB, LOVE THEM

  16. JANET GOSNELL said: April 14, 2014 at 2:11 am

    I LIKE THEM AN THEY ARE CUTE AN I WISH I COULD HAVE ONE AS A PET

  17. SAO PEGADO said: April 14, 2014 at 6:24 am

    FANTASTIC AND ENJOYABLE WORK!

  18. Joyce Solonjatovo said: April 14, 2014 at 6:34 am

    i like it!!!

  19. Ingrid Strohbach Liebgen said: April 14, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Nice photos, nice video, nice animals, so cute, like it a lot. Thank you.

  20. laurence le floch said: April 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    magnifique ! merci pour ces belles photos

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