Welcome to Five Shy Meerkats

Based in Oudtshoorn, South Africa.Situated in the northern part of the Garden Route, with a lot of fun activities, natural wildlife and the home of Meerkat Adventures. We are based on one of the most beautiful cattle and alfalfa (lusern) farms in Oudtshoorn, home of De Zeekoe Guest Farm, the original meerkat conservation site.

Let our generation preserve the last frontier. All Information and photos on this site are from my own research and is based on findings and information from seven or eight groups of meerkats that I have worked with around Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo (South Africa). You must understand that I have only been researching meerkats since late 2008 when I noticed that the meerkats that I was observing every day were living in an unnatural meerkat habitat.

Meerkats and other animals are sold on the black market worldwide as pets. All baby animals are so adorable until they grow up. These animals are not so cute anymore and are then abandoned or kept in very small cages. Meerkats are born with one or two main instincts (digging and marking their territory and troop members). All these are seen as very bad behaviour. Especially if they dig up your carpets and furniture and urinate on your furniture and person. The rest of their behaviour, like what to eat and how to raise their babies are all shown to them by their parents. Remember, that pets are a fulltime responsibility, and they cannot be shoved onto someone else when you go on holiday. They always end up at some rehab centre or animal sanctuary, all of which costs a lot of money to maintain. In the case of meerkats, there is no real meerkat sanctuary in Africa and all orphaned meerkats end up in zoos where these establishments are forced to put them in very small enclosures that are not suitable for active roaming animals

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Orycteropus afer
Orycteropus afer) is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. It is the only living species of the order Tubulidentata,
although other prehistoric species and genera of Tubulidentata are known. Unlike other insectivores, it has a long pig-like snout, which is used to sniff out food.
It roams over most of the southern two-thirds of the African continent, avoiding areas that are mainly rocky. A nocturnal feeder, it subsists on ants and termites
, which it will dig out of their hills using its sharp claws and powerful legs. It also digs to create burrows in which to live and rear its young. It receives
a "least concern" rating from the IUCN, although its numbers seem to be decreasing
FAST FACT: Aardvarks can eat up to 60 000 ants and termites in one night, thanks to its 30cm-long sticky tongue
Proteles cristata
This is a small, insectivorous mammal, native to East and Southern Africa. Its name means "earth wolf" in Afrikaans
and Dutch. It is also called "maanhaar jackal" (Afrikaans for "mane jackal") or civet hyena, based on its habit of secreting substances from its
anal gland, a characteristic shared with the civet. The aardwolf is in the same family as the hyena. Unlike many of its relatives in the order Carnivora,
the aardwolf does not hunt large animals. It eats insects and insect larvae, mainly termites; one aardwolf can lap up as many as 250,000 termites
during a single night using its long, sticky tongue.] The aardwolf lives in the shrublands of eastern and southern Africa – open lands covered with
stunted trees and shrubs. It is nocturnal, resting in burrows during the day and emerging at night to seek food.
Bat-Eared Fox
Otocyon megalotis
is a species of fox found on the African savanna, named for its large ears,[4] which are used for thermoregulation.[3]
Fossil records show this canid first appeared during the middle Pleistocene, about 800,000 years ago.[4] It is considered a basal canid species,
resembling ancestral forms of the family.[5]The bat-eared fox (also referred to as Delalande’s fox,[6] long-eared fox,[6] big-eared fox, and black-eared fox)
has tawny fur with black ears, legs, and parts of the pointed face. It averages 55 centimetres (22 in) in length (head and body), with ears 13 centimetres
(5.1 in) long. It is the only species in the genus Otocyon.[1] The name Otocyon is derived from the Greek words otus for ear and cyon for dog, while the
specific name megalotis comes from the Greek words mega for large and otusfor ear.[3]
Suricata suricatta
The only diurnal or day active member of the shy five. They earn their spot because of their enormous personal space bubble (around 200m-300m for a completely wild family away from human contact). You can find meerkats in the semi dessert and dessert like areas in Southern Africa. They are insectivores living in gangs of up to 20 members but usually only about 7 - 12 members are average. They are lead by a dominant female and her mate which can breed up to 3 times per year. Join us on tour for more info.
Erethizon dorsatum
This nocturnal animal feasts on plant roots and loves veggies. They are very commonly found throughout South Africa but seldom seen as they are shy
Which is partially due to the fact that farmers see them as pests as they would dig up their crops or fields and would often shoot them on sight.
FAST FACT: Contrary to popular belief they cannot shoot the quills from their back like it is often seen in cartoons. They do however reverse into their enemy
Impaling them and then the quills will dislodge and stick into the attacker.