matsonridley logo darkbrown retina              BLOG

Simply Splendid Tanzania

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Safari

It always takes me a week or so to reflect on a safari in Tanzania before I can really wrap my head around what I've just seen.  So much happens in a day on safari there that it's hard to pick out just a few highlights. 


2019-09-12 01:43:35

The Lion King

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Wildlife

Like many homes across Australia at the moment, our household has been caught up in the frenzy of Lion King Ooshie collectibles as part of the promotion by Woolworths to coerce us all to buy more groceries from them.  My kids are nuts about them, as are most of the kids at school, it seems.  Never mind they are plastic rubbish that will end up in the ocean as turtle food in the not too distant future.  To the kids they are pure gold!  I took our youngest, Shep, to see the new Lion King movie a week ago and it really did live up to expectations - both his and mine.  The movie is in the process of making billions of dollars through The Lion King franchise, but what is Disney doing to help conserve lions in the wild?

lions Disney Africa Lion Recovery Fund Leonard

2019-08-06 02:16:01

The Mysterious Afrotheria

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Africa

If I asked you which of the following animals were most closely related to African elephants, which ones would you say?

Afrotheria Africa elephants aardvarks

2019-07-15 12:43:11

Amazing Green Season Tanzania Safari

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Safari

Always wanted to go to the Serengeti but just can't afford peak season prices?  Well here's an offer you don't want to miss! 

Safari Tanzania Green season Big cats Cheetahs

2019-05-14 01:55:21

The Report that Should Be Breaking the Internet

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Wildlife

All week I've been trying to write this blog, ever since the release of the UN IPBES' report.  In case you missed the story, in between the birth of Harry an Meghan's baby Archie or the Australian Prime Minister Sco-Mo getting egged, it's really quite a big deal.  So big a deal in fact, that it's given me writer's block.  One million species are now at risk of extinction.  One. Million. Species.  (Take a look at The Guardian's summary if you'd like a good run down).   That's not just tigers and polar bears and rhinos.  We're talking across the board.  In short, two in every five amphibians are at risk of extinction, a third of corals and populations of key crop pollinators are crashing.  There's been a whopping 82% decline in mammalian biomass across the planet.  We've done an almighty job of destroying the health of the ecosystems on which we (as a fellow species) depend.  As a conservationist and as a parent, I find this sickening.

mothers day biodiversity climate change extinct

2019-05-10 01:43:52

The Ultimate African Reading List

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Safari

Decades ago when I was dreaming of a future life in Africa after my first safari in Zimbabwe, books about Africa were my saving grace.  Classics like Jane Goodall's "In the Shadow of Man" and Dian Fossey's "Gorillas in the Mist", Iain Douglas-Hamilton's "Among the Elephants" and Mark and Delia Owens' "Cry of the Kalahari" all made what seemed like an impossible dream within my reach - and I have these authors to thank for helping on the path to becoming a zoologist working in Africa and a published author of my own books on Africa (signed copies of 'Dry Water', 'Elephant Dance' and 'Planet Elephant' are all available on my website).  Their stories made me see what was possible and swept me away into the magic and raw beauty of Africa's wild landscapes.

Books African Safari Tony Park

2019-03-27 01:08:54

What's the best place to go on safari in Africa?

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Safari

Every first-time traveller to Africa asks the same question:  Which country offers the best African safari?

Namibia Tanzania Kenya Botswana African safari

2019-03-13 00:57:13

News From Across Africa

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Africa


Being a roving zoologist is the best job in the world but it's not all bush glamour.  Sometimes it's hard office grind too.  2019 kicked off with a whole lot of time spent at my desk entering the data from last year's Akagera Elephant Project, Rwanda, painstakingly analysing photos and videos, trying to work out who was who in Akagera's elephant population.  We have now identified 40 of Akagera's approximately 100 elephants with clear photos showing ears, tusks etc, and the process will continue this December as another group joins me in the field.  I'll be running a workshop for Akagera's community guides to enable them to fully participate in the research as part of their day jobs guiding tourists in the park, and if all goes to plan, I'll also be taking on a Rwandan student from the University of Rwanda.  Guides in the park are already contributing to the project and have access to the existing elephant database.  If you would like to participate in the Akagera Elephant Project this year, there is only one spot left for a single person so you need to claim it now.  To register your interest in next December's field season (2020), please drop me an email.

Namibia Botswana Rwanda elephants lions rhino

2019-02-19 02:22:54

Botswana in 2020!

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Safari

It's that time of year again; time to announce my 2020 safaris!  Yes, I know we've only just started 2019, but the best accommodation in the best safari destinations books out over a year in advance, and we don't want to risk missing out!  So if you're thinking of going on the journey of a lifetime next year, now's the time to book.

Botswana Africa elephants Natural Selection ze

2019-01-08 05:13:54

Akagera's Amazing Elephants

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: elephant

Waking up in Akagera National Park is a lot of things but one thing it's not is quiet.  Oh yes - it's a wilderness experience, the likes of which you're not likely to find in many safari countries these days, because as yet the vast crowds of tourists of the rest of East Africa have yet to discover this little gem.  But quiet it is not.  You won't hear planes flying over or cars and buses roaring past.  You won't have that pulsing, omnipresent background noise of the city.  You wake up to the sound of hundreds, perhaps thousands of native bees! 

elephants Rwanda safari Africa

2018-12-21 01:21:33


A Design from GT-WebDesign