Following Meerkat Family

Family Meerkat Pictures

It always was my dream to capture Meerkat pictures. We were arriving after a bumpy Cessna flight from South Africa in the Makgadikgadi Pan, a natural salt pan in Botswana. The next morning the adventure started to follow a family on their foraging tour in the desert and, of course, to take Suricata photographs.

We arrived early morning at their burrow, and the first wild animal had already a peak of the entrance. Who is coming? Well, me, I want to see all the fun out in the wild and about with the little Meerkats. After a few minutes, the curiosity of the Suricate clan was significant, the hunger probably too, and they came all out of the burrow. It did not stop, one after the other, more and more. I should have counted, but didn’t. Many were coming out including the baby animals. I started to wonder how big is their underground home! This group was large, and all were running, jumping, or searching for food around our legs. These little fellows are not that big, probably around 25-45cm tall when standing on their back legs scouting for predators.

This is one of our Meerkat pictures. A sentry is always looking out for predators. A true African safari animal to see.

Suricate family sunbathing

After the whole Suricate family has left the burrow, a little sunbath was taken. The hunt begins, foraging for food. One adult animal was the lookout for predators and the others searching for lizards, frogs, or bugs. Sometimes I got a little bit buried in flying sand and dust while one animal was digging in the ground. While on the ground, taking Meerkat photos, I felt something on my legs, I fast checked what creature wants to bite me, and I saw a little one crawling along my leg, jumping off to grab that frog! Bon appetite! Okay, that is fine with me, an animal needs to eat. I went on taking pictures of these fast animals digging in the ground. Then again, I felt something, this time on my back, wondering up to my head.

Well, when the tail of this head intruder was in my way, I knew what it is: The Sentry is doing its duty – gazing the landscape for predators.

The sweet animals are digging for food in the desert. Maybe for snake too!

The Watchtower

The Meerkat decided to use me as a watchtower for scanning the landscape. Every clan has its sentries, which they swap during the day the scouting shift for predators. So, this guard on my head has found its place and seemed quite comfortable on my head! If just that tail would have been a tad to the right or left! I did not touch the tail at all or the body, even if it touched me!

I went on with my job taking photographs on the ground. Crawling in the sand over bushes and around. This Suricate guard on my head seemed to enjoy the free ride on a tower. It was fine with me as long it did not pee or bite. None of that happened along their journey. After about 10min, he left me while I was on the ground again, not too long, and the next Scout was on my shoulder. “Hello, little chap, wanna free ride too?”

The Sentries in a row. You find these cute Meerkat pictures in our collection. Both animals are scouting the landscape for predators.

We spent about 2-3 hours with the whole family, walking across the desert about 2-3km to another underground castle. One after the other disappeared into the burrow for a cooler spot. The last animal had another look and gone. I was again wondering that so many animals have space in this underground castle. I should not forget to mention that these funny creatures are also like us!

All our wild animals images are for sale as an image license as well as prints in my portfolio. Do you have a few more minutes? Why not check out another African wildlife post on my blog or the tiger eyes.

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