This month we celebrate ten years of Matson & Ridley Safaris!
What a whirlwind of fantastic adventures and newfound friendships the last decade has brought into our circle. When Andy and I started Matson & RIdley Safaris back in late 2013 in Singapore, I was soon to give birth to our (now nine, almost ten year old) son, Shep. It was the beginning of a whole new era for our family in so many ways. Our boys have travelled with us to Namibia, South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda and we are planning on adding Botswana to that list very soon to visit the habituated wild meerkats on the Makgadigadi Pans. Life's too short not to build precious members with loved ones and there's nowhere like Africa for a life-changing, bonding experience. Most safari camps will take kids over the age of six and your children will LOVE this holiday as there is nothing else like it.
Looking back at this year, many of our guests who booked pre-Covid went on their long-awaited safaris and I wanted to share some of the highlights here. We are so grateful for all your support over the last decade. Please continue to spread the word and we hope to see you on safari soon!
Now is the time to book for 2024 so please don't wait to reach out to us to organise your safari for next year. You can now sign up to my Botswana safari next June, from 10-18th. I have two rooms left on this very special, personally guided safari in the Okavango Delta, including the zebra migration in the Makgadigadi National Park.
Choosing when to go to Africa can be half the challenge, so in this blog I'm focusing on two of the seasons you can consider travelling in Africa which are at two ends of the price spectrum but both absolutely brilliant in their own way. East and Southern Africa have quite different seasons, so in this blog I'm only considering East Africa. Deciding when to go is really important and it's worth talking to us early on so we can ensure you book camps in the right areas for the wildlife and at the best time of year for what you can expect to see.
green season in the serengeti, Tanzania
Aussies Pru, Lee, Natalie and Lynn travelled as a small group to the Serengeti in late May this year, during the green season. The big secret about travelling in the green season (December to May) is that you'll pay half the price of the peak season in Africa's winter months (July-August) and you won't be sacrificing on wildlife sightings because wildlife is brilliant year-round in the Serengeti and the climate is mild. You'll see amazing sunsets due to the clouds in the sky and enjoy feasting your eyes on green grasses after the wet season and lots of baby animals. Pru's group found the wildebeest migration on the open plains between Dunia Camp and Namiri Plains Camp in May, Pru toasted to her fortieth birthday with a stunning hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti followed by a champagne breakfast, and Lee got to test out her fab new camera (I'm sure you'll agree from her photos below, it's a good one!).
"It was a magical trip. I don't think I realised the impact it was going to have on me before I went. I guess we'd been talking about it for years, when it actually came time, I was like oh gosh, here we go! We got lucky with the animals; you got us the best guide. He understood our Aussie humour and he delivered on all the things we asked for. Being out on a game drive, hot water bottle in hand, wind in your face, was a moment I'll never forget."
Lee Vereschildt (first time in Africa)
"I never expected the level of professionalism shown by guides and staff at camp. I was blown away by my animal encounters and truly didn’t know what to imagine and it certainly exceeded my expectations. I wish I could think of something to tell you that needs improvement as I understand the importance of quality improvement, however I can’t for the life of me think of anything. My experience was 100% amazing and I can’t thank you enough for contributing to this amazing first travel experience for me. It’s going to be hard to top this one."
Natalie Thorpe (first time in Africa)
great migration & river crossings
Late July, August and early September is usually a great time to experience the famous crossings of the thousands of wildebeests across the Mara River as the great migration makes its way up north out of Tanzania into Kenya and then circles back to the Serengeti again. This is peak tourist season in East Africa because the time when the wildebeests are crossing the river is very short, only a couple of months. Book well ahead if you are thinking of going during peak season to avoid disappointment. Our guests, Trevor and Vickie from Melbourne, experienced the migration in full swing this August and Vickie's words and photos tell the stories better than I can below.
"An amazing experience that completely exceeded our expectations. We have really missed that sense of serenity that one gets from being in the bush and away from everything material! All the staff were knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. Don't change a thing! We also like that Matson & Ridley Safaris are an ethical safari company."
Vickie - Melbourne, Australia
Thank you Vickie, Lee, Natalie and Pru for sharing your wonderful photos and words with us! The incredible photos below have been shared by Vickie Burt.