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Desert Elephants, Rhinos & Giraffes

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Africa

I always love taking people to Namibia.  Twenty years ago when I lived in Etosha National Park studying the black-faced impala, it wasn't on anyone's radar.  But Namibia has grown in popularity for travellers, partly because it offers such a unique, wild and adventurous African experience but also because of the relative safety and stability of the country.  This is the kind of holiday that literally takes your breath away at times.  It's so different to anywhere else in the world that it's easy to forget that you have a life outside! To top it off, I still reckon Namibia's right up there with Botswana in terms of linking tourism to conservation impacts, another great reason to go there if you are an ethically-minded traveller.  Namibia has really led the way in terms of community-based tourism in Africa, with local ownership making a huge difference in combating poaching.  You'd be hard pressed to find a country anywhere in the world doing a better job of nature conservation than this.

Namibia Elephant Desert Rhino Giraffe Hoanib

2018-03-01 02:35:34

A new year, a new day

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

2018 started with the fantastic news that China's ban on ivory trade had kicked in, a huge step that will make a difference for Africa's elephants.  As soon as President Xi made the announcement that this was to occur in 2015, we saw results, from the drop in ivory prices from a high of US$2000/kg to US$500/kg, to an 80% decline in ivory seizures in the country.  All of China's 172 ivory carving factories were closed in December.  Progress!  The fight is not over, but there is evidence of declines in elephant poaching in Kenya and Tanzania in the last year.  The UN has called for a global total ban on ivory trade, with Japan being the last major ivory consuming country yet to join in.  

Rwanda Akagera African Parks elephants reintro

2018-01-10 22:51:51

Tammie's 2019 Safaris

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Categories: Africa , Safari

As the end of the year approaches, it's a good time to reflect on where we've come at Matson & Ridley Safaris and what you can expect from us in the years to come.

Tanzania Serengeti Namibia Natural Selection

2017-11-08 01:07:32

Rwanda's Special Secret: Akagera

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Safari

I've long admired the work of conservation organisation, African Parks, because what they do works.  They're not all talk when it comes to real wildlife conservation.  Where they take over the management of parks, like Zakouma National Park, Chad, we've seen real conservation outcomes, meaning the poaching virtually disappears and wildlife numbers swiftly pick up. They also focus on local communities bordering these parks, looking for ways to help them benefit from the wildlife, but the big impact they make is they create jobs.  In the Central African Republic, where African Parks manages Chinko National Park, home to the rare central African lion, they are the biggest employer of local people outside the capital, and the largest tax payer in the country!  Jobs means local benefits from the wildlife and especially in countries that few tourists visit, this is vital for conservation.

Rwanda Big 5 Akagera elephants

2017-10-25 00:20:59

Simply Sensational Serengeti

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Africa

Imagine yourself on the African savannah, with a glass of wine or a nice cold beer in your hand, while literally hundreds of thousands of wildebeest graze around you.  You hear their grunts all day and all night, a constant, gentle background noise, punctuated every so often by the staccato haw-haw of a zebra or the woo-oop of a spotted hyaena.  It's never quiet in the Serengeti, but that's just fine; this is the kind of noise I like. 

Serengeti Tanzania Safari Ngorongoro Asilia Af

2017-10-04 11:30:28

Revelling in Rwanda

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Safari

In the last month I've been fortunate to lead two groups of intrepid travellers to experience up close the majesty of the mountain gorillas of Rwanda.  Words do a pretty poor job of explaining how it feels when you're just metres away from one of our closest relatives in the wild green heart of Africa, but I'm going to give it a go in this blog. There's a reason why this experience is so high on many peoples' wildlife bucket lists.  It's very, very special.  And I can't tell you how impressed I am with the country of Rwanda.  I can't believe it's taken me this long to visit!  

Rwanda Gorillas Sabyinyo Volcanoes Virungas

2017-09-11 03:20:07

Experiencing the Wild - a little bit differently

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Africa

Those of us who are regular African safari addicts know that there's a lot more ways to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the African bush than you can have on regular game drives.  Ever considered hot air ballooning over the Namib Desert dunes or the Maasai Mara savannah, experiencing the wetlands of the Okavango by mokoro (traditional wooden dugout canoe) or my latest favourite, sleeping under the stars in a 'sky bed'?  

hot air ballooning mokoro walking safari skybed

2017-07-21 01:50:23

Tammie's 2018 Safaris

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Africa

Winter has arrived in the southern hemisphere and the safari season is upon us!  The green grasses of the wet season across Africa's great savannahs have dried off to a custard colour perfect for hiding lions (though less effective at hiding these big cats as it's shorter now - perfect for game viewing!).  I always get a little bit excited when I feel the weather turn, wondering what surprises await me and my safari groups when we set foot on the rolling African plains.  Every safari has so many highlights and you never know what you will experience until you set out in the early dawn light.  One day it might be a leopard stretching out in a tree, the next a newborn baby elephant.  One thing's for sure, the morning game drive is rarely dull!  Just the fact that you are out there while sun has yet to rise and the predators are still hunting is enough to make the hairs on my arms tingle with excitement.

safaris responsible travel African tours lions

2017-06-15 00:59:37

No Domestic Trade Australia

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Africa

Can you believe that there are no domestic laws in Australia regulating the sale of ivory and rhino horn?  Australia is a party to CITES which means we are beholden to international law preventing the importation of ivory and rhino horn.  But you'd be amazed at how much of the stuff gets in!

Ivory Rhino horn Trade Australia No domestic t

2017-05-25 00:54:55

Discounted Place Available on Rwanda-Tanzania Safari in August!

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Safari

Due to a last minute cancellation I have a place available on my epic Rwanda-Tanzania safari this August for a single lady sharing.  This is the trip of a lifetime and only available at this price due to the cancellation.  If you have always dreamed of seeing the Serengeti's Great Migration and/or trekking with the mountain gorillas, this is an unbelievable opportunity to join me and a lovely small group of 8 people in this truly spectacular wilderness, but only available for the next week!  

Tanzania Rwanda Gorillas Migration

2017-05-03 23:52:36


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