Matt was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and grew up between Durban and his family's game reserve. His passion for the outdoors and wildlife developed at a young age while his family vacationed on their private reserve in northern Zululand. His mother struggled to get him inside the house at the end of the day, when all he wanted to do was be outside in the bush, exploring and learning.
Matt gained practical knowledge to go with his passion at the University of KwaZulu Natal, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in ecological sciences, with a focus on wildlife management and conservation. Field trips into the bush occupied much of his time during his studies. During school holidays, he often helped post-graduate students with research and field studies. Immediately after graduation, Matt trained as a game ranger at the world-famous MalaMala Private Game Reserve, next to Kruger National Park, where he lived and worked for 7 years as head
ranger and head photographic ranger. During his time at MalaMala, Matt’s passion for ecotourism, wildlife, photography
and travel grew to a point where he knew this would be his lifetime career.
Matt has guided safaris across southern Africa, including South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe
and Namibia. He is an avid photographer and especially enjoys cycling—evidenced by the fact that he recently completed a 2,000-mile "Rhino Ride" from Blaine, Washington to San Diego, California, pulling a life-sized rhino statue behind his bike in order to raise awareness and funds to help save this endangered species. He’s also an off-road 4x4 enthusiast and is the proud owner of a mid-90s shorty Land Rover. “Anywhere in the wild is ‘home’ for me,” Matt says. “The unpredictability and unforgivingness of nature are awe-inspiring.”
Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:
"Matt is an excellent guide. His knowledge of the game animals was great, and he related that knowledge in a way that was understandable. He was always courteous and went out of his way to make sure that we were comfortable and well taken care of."
"Matt has all the skills of a superb expedition leader: administrative/logistical, knowledge of wildlife and environment, great spotting ability, and the ability to deal with our different personalities with unflagging good humor."