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There’s a Meerkat on My Head!

During our visit to Botswana we had the incredible opportunity to visit with a mob of wild meerkats. Why is a group of meerkats known as a mob (or gang) ? It is only when you see them harassing a snake that you understand. These guys are bad ass. Like all mongooses, they will gang up around a threat, like a venomous snake for example, and mob it. It is an incredible sight.

A friendly  meerkat standing on Hal's shoulder in Botswana
A friendly meerkat standing on Hal’s shoulder in Botswana

At the time of our visit, a friend of mine was doing a study in the Kalahari Desert and invited us to see a gang of meerkats. They were habituated to humans, and the luxury lodge in the area would take guests to hang out with them and get great meerkat photos.

When we arrived at the area, we immediately saw a bunch of little bodies pop up. We were told we could walk up to them and sit quietly next to the burrow. I was surprised to see how they really didn’t mind us being there. We were almost invisible. They were so unafraid that the matriarch of the family decided we would make a good vantage point for her surveillance work. She saw Hal’s head as a great place to stand while scanning for predators.

If you enjoyed our meerkat photo you may also like:

Cristina Garcia

Zoologist and wildlife photographer. She has worked in the field with jackals, wolves, cheetahs, & leopards. She serves on the Board of Directors of SEE Turtles, a non-profit sea turtle conservation organization.

Read her posts at Travel For Wildlife and see more of her work at Truly Wild, & Our Wild Yard.


Sunday 5th of December 2021

Hi Christina, This is an experience I’ve wanted to have for years. Is this the Mgakadikadi pans? Which lodge did you stay at?


cristina garcia

Wednesday 8th of December 2021

Hi Sumeet!

We were visiting a friend who was working in the pans 12 years ago.