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The Secrets of Giraffes

Matson & Ridley Safaris
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Years ago when I first moved to Namibia to start my PhD on the black-faced impala at the age of about 21, a couple of Aussies and a German who were working there at the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia adopted me and helped me find my feet in this unique desert land where I didn't know a soul.  The war vet invasions had just started in Zimbabwe, and, well, if you've read my first book "Dry Water" you'll know the rest of the story!  Over a decade later, two of my early rescuers, fellow Aussie Dr Julian Fennessy and his wife, German Steph Fennessy, are living in Windhoek and raising their two kids in Namibia whilst also working on giraffe conservation across the continent.  Together Julian and Steph started and run the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the world's first and only organisation dedicated to giraffe conservation in the wild.

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2016-06-21 06:14:11
 

Serra Cafema - a world away from everything

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

There are some parts of Africa that remove you so completely from reality that you start to wonder whether all that stuff that fills your life with worries in the 'outside' world really matters much.  Serra Cafema Camp, in the Marienfluss Conservancy, is such a place, where traditional Himba people still live a life that is much like what it was several hundred years ago, where a river teeming with crocodiles slices through gothic mountains surrounded by sand dunes, where you can really find yourself by losing yourself in landscapes so primitive you can't help but feel humbled.  There's no phone range or wifi up here so you can leave all that behind.  And you know what - you probably won't miss it one bit.  It's all about disconnecting to reconnect, as Wilderness Safaris puts it.  This is the ultimate escape and a huge adventure.

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2016-06-10 09:09:19
 

Wow Moments from Namibia's Wild North West

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

How does one summarise a week in Namibia's rugged Kunene region, one of the wildest parts of Africa?  It was just one wow moment after another!  There was the cheetah mother with two cubs who killed a springbok male in the dry Hoanib River bed, the chameleon laying eggs at the Skeleton Coast, the drive through the dunes to the violent Atlantic Ocean where hundreds of seals frolicked in the crashing waves, meeting the traditional Himbas in Marienfluss Conservancy and of course, the desert lions (with cubs!) and desert-dwelling elephants....  And then there is those epic landscapes, so huge and awe-inspiring that you feel so small and incredibly humbled by it all.

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2016-06-01 17:10:34
 

LEBE teaming up with WildAid and the Thai soccer team for elephants

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

It's been a while coming, but much goes on behind the scenes when it comes to developing awareness programs for species like elephants and rhinos in Asia.  Those of you who know me personally know that the awareness raising never stops when it comes to elephants and the ivory trade.  Last week, my conservation safari group of Singaporeans, British and Aussies talked at length about conservation and what still needs to be done while deep in the desert dunes of the Skeleton Coast, inspired by the arid-adapted wildlife of Namibia and those magnificent desert-dwelling elephants.  Next week I'll be in Brisbane talking to about 200 Queensland business women at the Australian Women in Leadership symposium about what we can learn from elephants about leadership (and of course, how we can help the elephants too).  Even though we've made good headway lately, we can't afford to lose momentum and we need you to keep spreading the word too.

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2016-05-31 08:03:47
 

Last spots on my 2016 & 2017 safaris!

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

My 2016 and 2017 safaris are filling up fast!  But it's not too late to grab a last minute place if you get in quick.

ZIMBABWE 2016 - ONLY ONE ROOM LEFT!

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2016-04-11 12:09:14
 

Spotlight on Elephants in Tanzania

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

My last post about the state of African elephant poaching discussed the latest CITES report showing that less elephants are now being poached now than during the poaching peak in 2007, but also highlighted the fact that while some countries are doing better in terms of poaching (e.g. Kenya), others are still in big trouble and it's no time to be complacent.  Overall, there are still more elephants being poached than there are being born.  Tanzania's elephant population has taken a big hit and remains under serious threat for the ivory trade.

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2016-03-21 10:02:17
 

The Good, Bad & Hopeful News for Africa's Pachyderms

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

CITES' latest report on the results of the MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) programme has some good news in it for elephant populations and some not so good.  The overall number of elephants being killed for ivory has stabilised, after a peak in 2011, but there are still more elephants killed every year than are born (see BBC story).

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2016-03-11 11:32:07
 

Confirm your place - Rwanda & Tanzania 2017!

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

I posted an article on my Facebook page from National Geographic last week about young gorillas seen dismantling poachers' snares for the first time.   It suggests that the youngsters knew how dangerous the traps were and researchers said they may have done it before, given how quickly they dismantled it.  For a critically endangered species with less than 900 left in the wild, this is a good sign because with such low numbers we really can't afford to lose any wild gorillas, especially the next generation.

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2016-02-01 10:04:47
 

Launch of our new website

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

Happy new year and here's hoping your year has lots of inspiration and adventures of the African kind in it!

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2016-01-11 10:53:33
 

Wishing you a happy holiday!

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

It's that time of year again, and it seems to have crept up so quickly (or maybe I'm just getting old!).  Now at the end of our second year in business at Matson & Ridley Safaris, Andy and I wanted to thank you for your support and to wish you a wonderful Christmas and new year.  I've put together this short video (scroll down to see it), which I hope you'll enjoy, sharing a few special memories of my adventures with you in the last couple of years in Botswana, Kenya and Namibia.  Thanks to all who shared their photos for this, but in particular a big thanks to all the people who made these journeys so wonderful in Africa's most incredible wild destinations!

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2015-12-11 09:26:44
 

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