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What’s more fun than feeding a meerkat? Not much. Come and meet the cheeky mob at Meerkat Mansions. One of the best days out in Scotland, our Meerkat experience is frequently voted 5-stars on TripAdvisor, so grab some grubs and get to know these amazing mongooses.


  • 30-minute experience
  • Includes full day’s admission to the safari park
  • Family experiences for ages 8+
  • Individual experience for ages 16+
  • Full guided talk and tour

Our meerkat feeding is suitable for both families and individuals. Children must be eight-plus  and accompanied by an adult. You’ll get the chance to prepare different “enrichment” for the meerkats. This usually involves building some sandcastles and scattering food on them for the meerkats to forage. You’ll also be able to do some hand-feeding, which the meerkats love.

Meerkats are very curious animals, and extremely food-orientated, so don’t be surprised if they climb all over you to get to the treats! Be warned though, as soon as the food is gone, so are your new friends, so try not to feed them everything all at once.

This is a very exclusive experience for our guests as the meerkats are only fed by the public once a day, by a maximum of four people. This is to ensure they stay nice and relaxed.

What do meerkats eat?

It might surprise you, but meerkats are omnivorous like us. They eat fruit and vegetables but in the wild will mostly forage for grubs and insects. They’re even immune to some snake venoms, so can eat those too!

During your meerkat experience, we’ll typically feed them things like mealworms, dry cat food and some fruit and veg. The cat food contains taurine, which is an essential amino acid that the meerkats can’t produce themselves.

Meet the meerkats of Meerkat Mansions

Meerkats are highly sociable animals. In the wild, they rely on their strong family bonds for survival. We have two families living at Meerkat Mansions and there’s always some new drama or dispute going on. You’ll often spot them hanging out in their family groups and taking turns to keep a look out for danger.

In fact, in the wild this sentry duty is vital as the meerkats will use different alarm calls for different threats. If you learn to speak meerkat, you’ll notice that their call for a threat in the sky (like an eagle) is different from their call for a ground-based predator (like a snake).

They’re very smart too. A recent study conducted at St Andrews University discovered that meerkats display complex co-ordinated behaviours that rival chimps, baboons, dolphins – and even humans!

How to make friends with a meerkat: our top tips

You’ll get the chance to hand-feed our meerkats, but it can be quite an overwhelming experience for some, so here’s our handy meerkat-feeding guide:

  1. Meerkats are very inquisitive (and quite greedy) so will often climb on you if you’re feeding them. Just sit quietly and calmly and enjoy the experience. If you feel uncomfortable at any point, tell your guide and they will help you.
  2. The meerkats will get very close as you feed them, but please don’t pick them up – they don’t like it as it reminds them of being gripped by a predator and is scary for them.
  3. You’ll be inside the meerkats’ enclosure, so please make sure you’re wearing sensible shoes, not sandals or flip-flops. Toes can be tempting to a hungry meerkat!
  4. If in doubt, ask your guide and they will show you the best way to make friends.
  5. Most of all, enjoy your incredible up-close experience with these cheeky characters.

Did you know?

Meerkats have built-in sunglasses

The dark patches around a meerkat’s eyes aren’t just for show. In fact, it helps to protect their eyes from the harsh desert sun. In the wild, meerkats are desert specialists and rely on their excellent eyesight to protect them from predators.


Meerkats don’t drink

Despite living in the hot desert, meerkats don’t drink any water! Instead, their bodies are adapted to take all the moisture they need from their diet.

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