One of the main conservation goals at Roam Private Game Reserve was to habituate the local meerkat colonies in an effort to study their behaviour, and enhance tourism in the Karoo. The naturally occurring meerkat colonies in the Karoo were extremely skittish when the lodge first opened. When the team spotted a lightning-fast sentinel was cause for celebration! Lodge managers and conservationists, Abi and Don, made it their plight to habituate the meerkats, while still respecting their place in the wild.
After clocking many hours’ worth of observation, and just quietly being in the presence of the meerkat, the critters eventually warmed to their surroundings. The meerkat colonies on Roam Private Game Reserve are finally habituated, and guests can now enjoy reliable meerkat sightings in the Karoo. Do bear in mind that sightings in the wild are never a guarantee, but the consistent sightings of these adorable carnivores is a major win for the team. At long last, Roam Safari Lodge is now “on the map” for meerkat sightings in the Karoo.
Abi says, “There is a trio of meerkats that actually visit the lodge regularly and drink from the waterhole. Guests often spot them from the comfort of the deck, and there’s always one creature that struts its stuff around the pool deck. It’s so nice that the meerkats are relaxed around the lodge! Their main burrow actually isn’t too far from the pool and hot tub area.”
5 Interesting Facts About Meerkats
- Because they belong to the mongoose family, meerkats are immune to most snake venom, and will successfully sleep off a cocktail of toxic compounds.
- Meerkats extract plenty of moisture from the grubs and shrubs they eat, and don’t actually need water.
- They live in cooperative packs of 3 to 25 and live in an intricate burrow system with a number of different entrances.
- The entire pack hunts together for food, while the sentinel looks out for potential threats.
- Meerkats are raised and assisted by all adults in the colony.