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Elephants, Safaris & More

Matson & Ridley Safaris
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First of all, just a quick reminder to book your spots on my 2016 safaris to Namibia and Zimbabwe if you haven't already.  I have very limited spots on these safaris, and they need to be booked a year in advance.  For all the details of both safaris, please click here.  Both are safaris that really make a difference in conservation and community development.  In the Zimbabwean conservation safari in July 2016, you get to track rhinos with the pros, hang out with wild dog and hippos conservationists, and experience the amazing Hwange National Park, known for its large elephant concentrations & much more, and Victoria Falls.  In the Namibian conservation safari, we'll be visiting the north west of the country, focusing on the Skeleton Coast, spending time with desert elephants and the traditional Himba people.  I can tell you from personal experience, both trips are mind blowing and life changing and the camps are as good as you'll get in Africa!

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2015-03-19 02:33:28
 

My 2016 safaris - Zimbabwe & Namibia's North West

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

As part of my travel agency, Matson & Ridley Safaris, I will be leading two safaris to two of my favourite parts of Africa in 2016.  Based on my past safaris, the very limited spaces (maximum 12 people) book out very fast, so if you'd like to join please drop me a line now!  These camps have to be booked now because they are so popular they book out a year in advance or more.  And as with all my safaris, the camps are selected by me to ensure your tourism dollars make a difference on the ground.  Trust me, these safaris will change your life!

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2015-03-05 02:54:39
 

Aussie team work to reduce demand for rhino horn in Vietnam

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

About a year or so ago I heard about a Melbourne-based team working to stop demand for rhino horn in Vietnam through targeted advertising.  The team, who are all volunteers, is led by Lynn Johnson on a project she founded called Breaking the Brand. They have the pro bono support of award winning Australian advertising team Nigel Dawson and Randal Glennon.  We all know how devastating the poaching of rhinos is across Africa now, and how hard the guys on the ground like Bryce and Lara Clemence in Zimbabwe (from a recent blog of mine) are working to stop the poachers, at considerable loss of life (human and rhino), so what's happening to combat the lucrative rhino horn trade at the source?  After all, if we don't stop that, we'll be fighting poaching and illegal trade forever, and that's just not sustainable.

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2015-02-26 00:09:33
 

New date for Bangalow Africa night - 12 March

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

Now that the wild weather's behind us, we've set a new date for our Africa night at Bangalow Heritage House, northern NSW - Thursday 12th March.  All other details are the same as per the flyer below.  You do need to book though and the sooner the better - contact Mary at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0419 190399.  Look forward to seeing you there!

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2015-02-23 03:37:10
 

Postponement of Africa event in Bangalow & news on WA event

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

Due to some wild weather headed towards the northern NSW coastline, locals are battening down the hatches so we've decide to postpone our Africa night at the Bangalow Heritage Centre to March.  New date to be advised shortly.  Thanks to everyone who booked and apologies for this, but we hope you can make it on the new date.  Stand by for more details!

Thanks to everyone who came along to last week's event in Perth to raise funds for the African Wildlife Conservation Trust, specifically for the African wild dog research and conservation project in Save Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe.  It was another fantastic night with lots of fellow lovers of Africa, talking about both elephants and African wild dogs and their plight in the wild, and it was great to meet some old friends and meet new ones with a similar passion.  Best of all, the night raised enough for almost 4 motorbikes for the African wild dog project in Zimbabwe - a great result!  Big thanks especially to the fantastic team at Painted Dog Conservation Inc. led by the tireless John and Angela Lemon who invited me over.  It's local community efforts driven by passionate individuals like this that keep important conservation work going on the ground in Africa.  A massive salute to them and those who support them.

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2015-02-19 01:09:30
 

Northern NSW - Africa Night Friday 20th Feb

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

Friends in Bangalow, Byron Bay and northern NSW - the lovely Friends of the Libraries Association of Byron Bay have organised a fantastic venue to host a night of Africa on Friday 20th February at the wonderful historic Bangalow Heritage House in the Byron Bay hinterland.  Come along to see the Let Elephants Be Elephants documentary (watch trailer here) and hear me waffle on about African safaris and conservation.  Christian Palmer, who is a big supporter of LEBE and whose animal art I adore, will be there exhibiting his artworks and those who come have a chance to win one of his artworks. And to top it off - tickets are only $20 and includes not just drinks but also a curry dinner too!  What more could you ask for?  Come on, join us and brings your friends!  Book now - contact Mary on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Further details in the flyer below.

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2015-02-11 05:02:00
 

Inside Story on Zimbabwe's Rhinos

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

It's not often that you hear good news from Zimbabwe, and even rarer that you hear good news in conservation.  So this blog might come as a surprise to some because for once it's not bad news!  If you came along to the fundraiser I did with the SAVE Foundation in Sydney in August last year, linked to the launch of my latest book "Planet Elephant", you helped raise funds for the intensive anti-poaching efforts being led by specialists Bryce and Lara Clemence of Aggressive Tracking Specialists (ATS) in the Save Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe.  

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2015-02-06 00:39:53
 

Rosemary & Steve Martin

Matson & Ridley Safaris
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Steve with guide RuebenWe had an absolutely brilliant time! Rates on par with the Galápagos Islands for me.  All went according to plan and even at Xigera, where birds are the focus, Julian and Maria were happily entertained by the colours and variety. The whole trip was just perfect in terms of variety, and everywhere we went the guides were great.

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2015-02-01 02:45:56
 

Alice Bertram

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

 

Alice and elephants

On the trip we saw over 100 elephants, 13 lions, 3 leopards, 12 wild dogs, baby hyenas (pretty much baby everything) a cheetah and a truck load more! I became great friends with everyone on the trip and we plan to stay in touch. I also became great friends with the staff at all three camps and I even got to make my own traditional bracelet and was crowned queen of the Okavango delta. We got to go on the mokoros, a traditional boat pushed by a pole, where we saw 3 sitatunga (a really hard to find aquatic antelope). We also saw 6 lions in a place that hadn't seen lions in 3 years! Going on the safari trucks every morning was so exciting because you would never know what that day might bring, but each day was spectacular in its own way.

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2015-02-01 02:13:41
 

Africa night in Perth, WA coming up - 13 Feb

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

WA friends, I'm very excited to announce I'll be joining fellow African wildlife lovers in Perth for the dedicated folks at the Painted Dog Conservation group on Friday 13th February at the Perth Zoo Lecture Theatre.  Tickets are $40/person and includes food and beverage.  Bookings are essential through Angela at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   I'll be talking about the elephant situation, the illegal ivory trade and the Let Elephants Be Elephants project, and showing the documentary of the same name.  There will be a healthy dose of Africa-itis in the room!

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2015-01-29 00:38:02
 

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