Things To Do in OudtshoornWalk with Meerkats
Where? Oudtshoorn, Karoo, Western Cape
When? Sunrise and sunset tours. Booking essential.
How? Call +27 (0) 44 272-3077
How much? Falls into price group R201 to R500 per person. Confirm with the provider.
Walk on the wildside... A Meerkat is a small mammal of the Mongoose family with a Lemur-like face on only four toes on each foot, none of which were lost in a shoot-out despite the suggestive collective noun for a group of these curious creatures being 'mob' or 'gang'.
A proudly South African carnivore the name is Afrikaans for 'lake cat'. African tribes refer fondly to this animal with binocular vision as the 'sun angel' with villagers telling tales of how this sweet brown Kalahari Desert pet protects tribesman and cattle against the 'moon devil' (werewolf). Social creatures, like most South African locals, they live in groups of 20 - 30.
Well known for standing their 25 - 35cm bodies on their hind legs, they use their tails to balance them in this famous pose. Nature accessorises Meerkats individually with unique short parallel stripes stretching from the base of the spine to their shoulders, so you can't say that all their 720g bodies look the same.
Meerkat 'whisperer' Grant M Mc Ilrath is a research biologist who has habituated a small group of wild Meerkat for the benefit of conservation and science. Noted for their vocalization ability, his free interaction with this species led to his identification of 34 individual calls (barks) and 51 behavioural patterns. Accompany Grant on his walks with Meerkats and let him introduce you to these personalities on the plains of the African outback as pink sunlight lifts or falls over their small silhouettes.
If you are interested in seeing Meerkats on your trip to South Africa, see our articles:
• Meerkats - Where to find them in South Africa
• The Kalahari Meerkat Project
• The Meerkat