We are Phil and Matt, two guys who found themselves in West Africa and never left. When we are not riding scooters around West Africa, we run a hostel and restaurant in Bamako, Mali called The Sleeping Camel.
Matt grew up in Dalby, a small town in Queensland, Australia. He first moved to Africa in early 2000 and has been involved in the tourism industry ever since. He has led expeditions through 28 African countries and has been based permanently in West Africa since 2009. His most memorable travel experience in West Africa was crossing the western edge of the Sahara Desert for the first time in 2005.
‘At the Morocco/Mauritanian border, I found a local guide who only spoke Arabic and about 3 words of French (I don’t speak Arabic). Despite the guide’s skillset seemingly consisting of occasionally yelling ‘Le Plage’, sleeping and eating, we eventually made it through the desert to Nouakchott. I knew if the Atlantic Ocean remained somewhere to my right, we’d be ok. Such an awesome experience, even if at the time it felt anything but that. It did drive home how important is it to travel with someone who knows what they are doing.’ Matt Christie, Bamako. 2017.
Formerly a middle school teacher in Washington, DC, Phil is now permanently based in West Africa. He originally traveled to Ghana in 2005, because he liked highlife music. Once he got there, he found other things — groundnut stew, Twi, mapouka (the dance and the alcohol), orange-headed lizards — that he also liked. In 2010, he quit his job to return to Ghana and to visit other countries in the region. He currently lives in Mali with his wife, Bintou, and their son, Andre.