Ever since I saw the show "Meerkat Manor" as well as pictures of meerkats being comfortable in the presence of people, I've always wanted to see a meerkat in the wild. But, I heard that they are one of the most shy animals in Africa--making seeing them for more than a brief second nearly impossible.
But recently, I heard about a man nicknamed "Meerkat Man" who is able to stay in the presence of meerkats without them running away. And, he takes tourists there to show them; the meerkats still don't run away! He is even able to make some noises and motions that imitate the meerkats' behaviors so that they are able to consistently recognize him.
Seeing meerkats has become almost a tourist attraction since movies, documentaries, and shows focused on the cute animals. So, there are more and more organizations that set up tours to find them.
Still, I think that going with Grant "Meerkat Man" McIlrath is the best option. He is an animal biologist who has devoted his life to studying the meerkat, and thus seems like the best person to provide instruction and information. Unlike some meerkat preservation zoos and locations, he knows the importance of the meerkats being raised in their natural environments. Meerkats cannot be reintroduced to the wild after being in captivity, or bred in captivity, because they will know have the instinctive knowledge of where their burrows are located.
To go on Garth's "Walk with the Meerkats" you must make a reservation, and can stay in Oudtshoorn. The experience costs between 25 and 50 dollars depending on what visit you choose, and aims at teaching tourists about the vocal behavior of the meerkats, as well as about conservation of meerkets and other animals in the area.
Do you want to go see the meerkats?