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10 Things You May Not Know About African Wild Dogs

Matson & Ridley Safaris
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Is there anything as cute as African wild dog puppies?  It's definitely one of the highlights of going on safari if you get to see Africa's painted dogs tending to their youngsters a their den or on a hunt, especially given their rarity in the wild (there are thought to be only about 5000 or so left on the entire continent).  But did you know that these unique carnivores need huge areas to survive, that they are 'caring and sharing' towards each other, and that their play with each other actually serves an important purpose?

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2015-05-06 10:59:43
 

5 Reasons To Visit Namibia, Land of Big Skies & Desert Dunes

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

Where should you go on safari in Africa?  The choices seem bamboozling at first - Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa...  All are amazing and have their own unique angles and experiences, but I'm going to share a few reasons why I think you should consider one of my favourite safari destinations - Namibia.  If my photos below don't convince you, consider these five reasons why Namibia should be on your bucket list.

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2015-04-29 13:30:51
 

Fancy a real wildlife adventure?

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

This week I thought I'd share a few videos of the great work being done in the Save Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe to conserve wildlife, the location of one of only two conservation safaris I'll be leading in 2016.  (Click on this link for details)

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2015-04-20 14:28:57
 

The World of Hyaenas

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

I'm a massive fan of hyaenas.  They're comical, cheeky and downright cute if you look at them from the right angle.  One person who agrees with me is Dr Martina Trinkel, who was studying spotted hyaenas in Etosha National Park when I was studying black-faced impalas for my PhD many years ago.  We both lived at the research camp at Okaukeujo, but for my first six months I barely knew her, as being a researcher of a nocturnal predator, she would go out at sunset to look for hyaenas just as I was coming back for a good night sleep after a day of studying impalas.  I would see her return home in the early hours of the morning, just as I was heading out.  You've got to be dedicated to be a predator researcher, out all night in the desert cold, patiently seeking elusive animals in the dark, but as this interview with Martina shows, she developed a huge respect for the hyaenas we all know and love from 'The Lion King'.

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2015-04-13 09:17:22
 

Join Author Sally Henderson in Botswana

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 10.02.38 amAuthor Sally Henderson and I have been good friends since long before either of us ever knew we would be published authors.  Like me, Sally loves Africa with a passion, and so I'm very excited to offer you the exclusive opportunity to travel to Africa with Sally during Botswana’s amazing green season this year!

Sally’s love affair with Africa and its elephants came to life in “Silent Footsteps” and in its sequel, “Ivory Moon”. Join this thoughtfully planned safari and you will experience that passion for yourself as Sally shares her unique perspective of the wilderness and its creatures. You might even learn a thing or two about writing along the way.

A one-off journey that makes a difference to local wildlife and people, the safari incudes the Kalahari Desert, the World Heritage listed Okavango Delta, the Chobe river ecosystem and the majestic Victoria Falls, a truly unforgettable exploration into untamed Africa among an intimate group of like-minded travellers. Traveling in the safety and comfort afforded by one of Africa’s top ecotourism operators, Wilderness Safaris, in partnership with Matson & Ridley Safaris, you will be taken care of every step of the way and can trust that a significant portion of what you pay to go on this safari benefits local people and wildlife.

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2015-03-24 00:41:13
 

Elephants, Safaris & More

Matson & Ridley Safaris
Category: Uncategorised

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
 

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