An early morning visit to Tswalu’s habituated meerkats to see them in their natural habitat is an unforgettable encounter.

Guests have the opportunity to get within a few metres of one of three habituated family groups to watch them pop in and out of their burrows, stand sentry, groom and play with each other, soak up the sunshine, and forage in the sand for tasty morsels. The families are referred to as the Mokala, Gosa and Rockstar groups.

The Tswalu meerkat experience is made possible because these sociable creatures have been habituated over many years to accept humans as part of their environment and not to see our presence as a threat or danger. Habituators have spent many hours in the presence of each of these groups to build their trust. It is a very slow process of moving closer or retreating to give them more space, all the time observing their behaviour. The animals are not followed when they move beyond the safety of their burrows to forage to ensure that their feeding habits are not disrupted.

Your guide will wake you at daybreak, because the best time to see the meerkats is when they first emerge from their burrows to scan the horizon, groom themselves in the sun and begin foraging for the day.

For the best experience guests should sit as still as possible, about two metres away, and just observe the meerkats going about their normal activities. It is an encounter that will bring you up close to wild animals and immerse you in their natural environment.