Mat’s passion for all things Africa – the Big Five, flora, other fauna and its people – is contagious among his tour participants. Mat keeps you thinking about what you see, and wondering what you will see next, whether you are starting on the first day of his safari or ending a 40-day overland journey. I’ve been around the world many times and it’s unusual to find someone like Mat who can maintain an enthusiasm for his job on a daily basis. Wild Africa may be the attraction, but Mat seems to bring it all more to life. Highly recommended.

– Drew Jeschke

We met our overland safari guide Mat in October 2009 during a 14-day trip that started in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and ended in Swakopmund, Namibia.  The trip took us to such places as Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta, and Etosha National Park.  Our adventure afforded us so many opportunities to observe and learn about all that we witnessed, from the multitudes of wildlife in all the parks to the infinite constellations in the night sky above granite hills.  And through it all, Mat served as our narrator, teacher, adviser, and friend!
From the beginning Mat exhibited great leadership ability as he organized our 25-member group.  He helped us understand truck rules, taught us how to pitch out tent, and advised us concerning other matters that would help us throughout our two weeks.  We never traveled before in any similar overland or camping scenario, and so we didn’t know quite what to expect.  But Mat always made himself available to assist us with any questions or concerns that we had, as he did seemingly with everyone else in the group as well.
Traveling through Africa in many of the places we did proved that life over there did not include many of the Western conveniences to which we’ve become accustomed in our lives.  Mat always gave us the pertinent advice and guidance to negotiate the many small towns through which we transited during our trip.  He had to cover such things as where to shop, currency needs, the types of personal supplies to buy, and passing through border control check-points.  His trusted advice clearly resulted from his own personal experiences coming from his overwhelming time spent in Africa.
Mat enhanced our adventures by virtue of his own knowledge of the wildlife we encountered.  We particularly have fond memories of Mat’s incredible ability to identify birds without hesitation by their regular AND scientific names.  If it had wings, Mat knew what it was and what is was called!!  His knowledge didn’t stop with birds and other flying species.  He also showed keen understanding of the 4-legged animals as well as an affinity for assorted insects and other similar creatures.  For example, during our stop at a Cheetah ranch in Namibia, Mat took a group of us on a walk to find scorpions.  He turned over so many rocks in hopes of finding some underneath.  Sometimes he did find; sometimes he did not.  But he had such anticipation to find them in order to show and teach us about them.
Besides his knowledge regarding African life and nature, Mat also showed sensitivity towards African culture and the environment.  He stressed the importance of leaving no evidence of our travels and doing what we could to leave no footprint.  This manifested itself in how we took care of our dishes as well as our personal daily needs.  As much as Mat wanted us to enjoy and learn from our trip, he wanted us do so responsibly.
In conclusion, given his extensive travel throughout Africa, clear knowledge and understanding of wildlife and nature; and teacher-like abilities, we HIGHLY recommend Mat Dry for your own African safari and travel needs.  Indeed one could probably find other guides with similar knowledge and background as Mat.  But when you prepare for what could be your once-in-a-lifetime African safari experience, you may wish to consider the experiences of others such as ourselves.  And we enjoyed Mat’s work so much that we want him as our guide again when we hopefully one day return to Africa!

– Esther and Marc Itzkoff
January 30, 2011

Amazing experience, once in a lifetime trip with a phenomenal guide. I was a little nervous about having an American tour guide in Africa and how much he would know about the culture, but Matt turned out to be the coolest, most knowledgeable, laid back, fun, trusting and enthusiastic guide ever. He has a great respect for the culture and people and always made sure his passengers were safe, well fed and having the time of their lives!  His passion and love for Africa was contagious, I even extended my trip because of him. I’m dying to go back and hope to bring my baby and husband next time!

– Rachel Raasch, Reality TV Producer
California, USA

Going to Africa was always something I’ve wanted to do, but always believed it was inaccessible. At 66, after seeing most of the places I wanted to see on the planet, I decided to make the trip to Africa. I was rather uneasy to say the least. After more shots than I really wanted, I shuffled off to Africa to join an overland trip that had been recommended to me by my son’s friend. He had heard about an American “Steve Irwin” who was the guide on the truck I was about to embark on. The only thing that gave me comfort was that I knew the guide would speak English.  What surprised me the most about Mat was the amount he knew about Africa, its animals, its plant life, its cultures, its history, its everything. In fact, most of the time I thought he making it up. I didn’t think it was possible anyone could know so much about a place in so short a time. I then realized something about, Mat. He was a person who LOVED where he lived and worked. What was more, he guided us through Africa as if he wanted us to love Africa as well.  Any fears I had before I came to Africa disappeared in the face of Mat’s enthusiasm, his knowledge, and his love for Africa. He made an “old man’s” trip to Africa one of comfort, safety, and enrichment for which I am truly grateful. I would have liked every guided “safari” that I had done across the planet as life-enriching as my trip through Africa.  Next year I will be going back to do the East Africa trip with Mat, even if it means more shots.

I did the Northern trip with Mat in 2010. It was even better than the Southern tour.

– Kenneth Charles (age 67) retired
Scottsdale, Arizona

My first impression of Mat was actually not very good. I thought that he was this typical American guy with big guts, very focused on his appearance and one that had the words in his power. But it was okay that he wasn’t exactly my cup of tea because he was only our tour guide.  But I was wrong – Mat was an amazing guy and most important of all he was the perfect tour guide. Mat is such a person who can accommodate everything and everyone – or it would be a lie cause no one is perfect! But he possesses the ability to have a double seat in a truck and a small plastic box, with his most important belongings, as his home and then there’s still always room for one who is tired of his truck buddy or one who wants to borrow something from the box. He knows how to blend naturally into the group with lots of jokes and a good mood, while he is just a joke itself when he gets a single beer 😉 But he also knows when to be responsible and have an overview. I even made him do a tandem gorge swing in the most insane way even though we were both about to pee our pants. But the most important of all, when one travels in Africa, are animals and Mat knows each and every one. I was impressed! He is very good at explaining about the animals and is also self immensely curious and eager and even got bird watching to be interesting. I have travelled a lot in Africa and tried different safari companies than ATC and other tour guides but every time I can only turn back and say that Mat is the best and I will definitely plan my future safaris in Africa with TIASafaris.

– Louise Draabe, Student (age 22)
Haarby, Denmark

Recommendation: Tour Leader: Mat Dry Our trip to Africa started up in South Africa, Cape Town and ended in Zimbabwe by Victoria Falls.  Expectations: 21 days of animal life wilderness. Outcome: Experiences we never even imagined, animals we´ve never seen or heard about, knowledge that leads the geography and natural science education to shame, a new appreciation for animals (even the scary ones) and friends for life. Overall: GOOD TIMES!!! Even though Africa is amazing, the outcome of our trip wouldn’t have been possible without our fearless tour leader, Mat Dry. It sound ridiculous, but it´s true. Here is why:  Mat learned every name of his 26-person-pack over night and from the moment we got “on board” we felt safe and at home, even in the most desolate places, and after 10 hours on the road in a smelly truck. His ability to connect with every single person makes you feel special and we were never in doubt that he would do everything possible to fur fill our African dream.  Also, Mats knowledge is endless and his passion for Africa and its wonderful animal life is not to be mistaken. One of his best strengths is that he will make you feel the same way. Suddenly we wanted to know about every little creature around, its story, its eating habits and even hunting and mating rituals.  Furthermore Mats wit and good humor makes it manageable to get up in the middle of the night, on your vacation, to drive to the next beautiful African-experience. Even sleeping in tents, which seems “budgety” and weird to do at first, gave us a sense of comfort, even though the wildlife is right outside the tent “door”. Besides the above, Mat made us feel relaxed. With a few simple truck- and animal-rules, the fears that we had before going were forgotten and we sat back and just took it all in.  Basically: Mat is a professional and we have NO doubt that the next time we want to visit Africa we want to do it with Mat as our leader.

– Majbritt Berg Hybholt (age 27) and Thomas Bolander (age 28)
København/Copenhagen, Denmark Student and Customer service employee

Mat was the most incredible guide I’ve had – and I know my guides. I’ve traveled through 6 continents and 80 countries, and out of all the guides I’ve had (15+), Mat is hands down the best one. We traveled for 3 weeks from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, camping our entire way up. To this day, it is still one of my most memorable trips, in no small part due to Mat. Mat’s that rare kind of guide – the one that can teach you something without you knowing that you’re being taught. His sense of humor combined with his knowledge of Africa made it an unforgettable trip.

Highlights of the trip: Tom the Tuatara’s appearance after a few drinks (Tom is Mat’s right hand, but after a few drinks, it turns into a tuatara), Mat using a broom to play with a cobra on the side of the street (yes, the poisonous kind that you’re supposed to avoid at all costs), talking with Mat in sign language, (which he picked up from one of the other girls on the bus in a couple of weeks), the list goes on. 
If you have the chance to go to Africa and you’re fortunate enough to get Mat as a tour guide, do it. He’s not just an addition to your trip, he will make your trip.

– Lillian Young, Management Consultant
New York City

Going to Africa scared me. I hate bugs. I hate camping. I hate not having hot showers and my own toilet. The only reason I went is because I grew up with Mat and I wanted to see what all his African hubbub was about. Every time Mat came back to town with his arsenal of photos and endless stories, I was more and more curious about this place that could create such incredible pictures and stories.     When I finally made it there to travel with Mat and seventeen other people on our truck, I was amazed to see my childhood friend in this way. I almost didn’t recognize him. I did recognize him picking up rocks and catching spiders, scorpions, snakes, lizards and all sorts of other creepy –crawlies to show us since he’s been doing that since he was born. What was different was that he was in his element. Being in his element, he put us all in that element. He opened Africa up for us like it was the front door to his home.     After my trip, I’m not going to say that I’m in love with bugs and camping because of Mat. I will say that Africa is definitely a place I will travel to again even with the bugs and camping. The Africa my childhood friend showed me was more than worth it. I wouldn’t go with anyone else.

– Brian Sinuk (age 40)
Phoenix, Arizona

We 5 travelled with Mat from Cape Town to Livingston for 23 days (August/September 2011), it was a totally amazing experience and everything was awesome!  
Mat was the best, a wonderful guide and a brilliant guy, he gave us some history of the countries we visited, animals we saw…was very easy and fun to talk to him and made us feel very comfortable. We learnt so much about Africa and the way people live there… so in short, he was able to spread his love for Africa on to us.
Definitively it worth it!

– Felisa Ares, Julio Maestro, Alvaro Madrigal, Rafael López, and Javier García

Choosing a company for my overland trip in Africa was tricky, but eventually I made my choice and was very fortunate to end up with a Tour Leader by the name of Mat Dry. To refer to Mat as a Tour Leader doesn’t do him the justice he deserves. Mat is an experienced and certified Safari Guide filled with a plethora of interesting details and accurate information about everything you encounter. His love for Africa, its nature and animals shines through in the enthusiasm with which he draws your attention to things.  It was obvious to me that his goal was to ensure that everyone on his trip had a safe and enjoyable adventure that they would never forget. I never will!!!  I highly recommend any trip in which Mat would be the Safari Guide.

– Tina Nichols
London, Ontario

About 3 years ago, myself and my girlfriend travelled 56 days from Nairobi down to Cape Town under the fine leadership of a certain Mat Dry.
Before landing in Africa, we were naturally a little nervous about travelling through a land which unfortunately makes the news for more negative reasons than positive, but Mat was there to rest assure all of us things are going to be great and put the nerves to bed.
When you meet Mat in Africa, you will understand how we clicked straight away and that Africa is one amazing place full of diverse landscape, cultures, wildlife and people.
When Mat first started pointing out the different types of grasses and naming their genis type, we laughed and gave him stick. Mat just smiled knowing that in a couple of weeks we would have caught his enthusiasm for anything living, so it was to no surprise that we were soon pointing out grasses to Mat, much to his amusement. Mat’s depth of knowledge on all the wildlife is something that has to be experienced first hand. We did around 18 days game driving over the 2 months, so I’m sure you can imagine we saw some incredible things, but It is not only the memories of what we saw, but of what we learned from Mat that will stay with us forever. 
Africa being Africa will always throw some curveball’s at you, but Mat, ever the humorous professional, was there to assist in any way possible and ensuring our safety and well being were never compromised. My best advice is to take an open mind and ignore those pre-African notion’s, as they are just misconceptions and you will laugh at yourself for ever worrying! Many tour companies and tour leaders trudged through Africa exploiting the local’s and landscape, only caring for getting the best photo for their clients. This is not the case with Mat, I was blown away by his generosity and respect towards the local people, wildlife and landscape.  Mat went from ace tour leader to great friend and we cant wait to return for another round of Africa. Africa runs through Mat’s veins and someone needs to give this man a TV show! Mat and Africa hold a special place in both our hearts.

– Gavin and Niki

Mat Dry is superb. His enthusiasm for Africa, wildlife, and conservation is infectious and his knowledge of everything from grasses to hippos to lions is astounding. He is professional, courteous, and fun, and he went above and beyond to make sure my trip was a once in a lifetime experience. I could not have asked for a better guide or a better trip.

-Dianna Moore (age 25)
Austin, USA




I was lucky enough to have Matt as a tour leader on a trip through Africa with ATC.As an experienced traveller I know the importance of the tour leader’s role and how this influences the experience of the whole trip.My trip through Africa was AWESOME!Matt was always professional and went out of his way to build great rapport with everyone in the group.He was able to organise the group so that we were always well informed and everything ran as smoothly as possible, questions were never left unanswered and his duties never neglected and often exceeded.Matt was able to create an atmosphere of respect within the group so everyone could have fun but not at the expense of others. His knowledge of Africa and animals is incredible! He was an endless source of factual information which he delivered with such enthusiasm  we sometimes felt we had Steve Irwin on our truck 🙂 It was so good to have someone as passionate about his job and Africa on tour with us. I strongly encourage anyone heading to Africa to seek out Matt!

– Carla (age 29)
Sydney, Australia