Met by our meerkat master, seemingly a Crocodile Dundee contemporary, and all spot on with timings, a warming cup of coffee, a camping chair; we set off on a short walk to sit near some unobtrusive burrows, supposedly in the very middle of nowhere.
As the sun’s warming rays battled through the clouds, our Meerkat Master regaled us with stories about the family we were about to meet – three generations including babies that had only appeared above ground in the past week.
What a revelation when the creatures began to ‘surface’ baking their little solar panel bellies in the morning sun before scuttling off into the horizon to forage!
Not tame, but ‘habituated’ which means that they know the guide’s voice and feel safe to go about their normal behaviour as we observe. Soon enough the baby sitters appear with teenagers and infants trying to stand upright, teetering a little, but mother nature’s drive to role model overcomes the odds.
They too stand upright basking in the warm morning glow as we ooh and aaah. Finally, impatient grown-ups end up dragging the babies by the scruff of their neck back underground for a nap so that they too can go off in search of food … time to go.
The meerkat adventure that we participated in was booked through De Zeekoe Guest Farm which offered exceptional hospitality, delicious food and luxurious accommodation themed with ostrich feathers, leather and egg shells. Clearly owner-run, as aptly demonstrated by the attention to detail and warm Karroo welcome! Both not necessarily in abundance in this overtraded tourist Mecca.
One teeny criticism – the absence of a lounge to enjoy our selection from the excellent wine list was somehow incongruent.