To compare the meerkat (Suricata suricatta) to Africa’s ‘big five’ might seem somewhat fanciful, but this small, charismatic mongoose is undoubtedly one of the continent’s most popular and engaging animals. The meerkat’s body is slender, with a distinctly slim, tapering tail and long thin legs equipped with powerful claws. The face is pointed with a rounded forehead and dark eye patches and crescent-shaped ears. The fur is typically grizzled grey, tan or silvery-brown in colour, with dark, transverse bands sometimes visible across the back, and a characteristically black tail tip.
- Southern Meerkat (Suricata suricatta hahni)
- Slender-Tailed Meerkat (Suricata suricatta namaquansis)
- Eastern Meerkat (Suricatta suricatta kenyisis)