Jack's Camp employs a full-time "Meerkat follower" (at right) whose job is to live with the Meerkats, camping next to them every night, and keep them accustomed to a human presence.
Meerkats are social members of the mongoose family (herpestid). A mob of meerkats gets together to achieve a better lookout and defense against predators. While most of the group digs for worms and grubs, a handful of meerkats remain alert for predators on the ground and in the sky.
Jack's will usually take you out to see the meerkats first thing in the morning. The animals have trouble shaking off the night's cold and spend their first 30 minutes or so sunbathing before beginning to forage. By the time the animals are beginning to wander off and becoming tough to photograph, the guides will have laid out a field breakfast complete with hot drinks, boiled eggs, fresh-baked muffins, etc. Who said that the wildlife photographer's lifestyle had to be uncomfortable?
Text and pictures copyright 2007 Philip Greenspun
All photos taken with a