Also known as the Dave Denton thing. Denton, raised in Zimbabwe, likes nothing better than a walking safari in the African bush, getting up close and personal with the local wildlife. And a few months ago he took Scott with him.
"Not the most relaxing holiday," Scott recalls. "But good fun. We got charged by elephants a couple of times, which was pretty amazing. Terrifying at the time but it gets the adrenaline going when you see your life flashing before your eyes.
"The trick is that you don't run away. You stand still because they'll stop. We had ones that were 10 metres away, then five metres, and we were like 'They are going to stop, yeah?' And then they just halt in front of you and trumpet a bit."
Would that Springboks and Wallabies adopted the same tactics. But the big beasts of South Africa and Australia tend to be a little more ruthless when they have weaker creatures in their sights. And as the two southern hemisphere sides are respectively second and fourth in the IRB world rankings, and Scotland are ninth, there isn't much doubt where the balance of power sits right now.
Scott says some dutifully nice things about Japan, against whom Scotland will open their autumn Test programme next weekend, but he acknowledges that the Australians and the South Africans are in a different league. But where do Scotland stand at the moment? And where, more importantly, does Scott?
The mind goes back to mid June, to a training pitch in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, and a conversation with Scotland coach Scott Johnson. The gist of Johnson's argument is that Scott is as good a player as he's ever worked with, easily the equal of the players he coached when he looked after the backlines of Australia and Wales, but that he needs to start believing in himself a bit more. Correction: a lot more.
"It's frustrating for me. Matty is as big and as quick as Ma'a Nonu, and he has some gears," said Johnson then. "I keep telling him that, but as some stage he's got to work out for himself that he belongs at the highest level. I haven't coached too many centres with his natural gifts."
So has Scott taken the lesson on board? You wouldn't want the modest and personable 23-year-old to undergo a complete character transformation, but cranking up the confidence level for 80 minutes at a time would be change enough. And as Scott has started Scotland's last 14 internationals, and scored tries in the last two, then maybe even he is starting to realise that he might have a bit of talent after all.
You sense his discomfort when he talks about it, but he does believe he has moved on from the diffident young law graduate he was just a year ago. "Yeah, I have," Scott says. "There are still instances when [Johnson] gets on at me and he says 'I'll keep getting on at you until you're absolutely right at it'. It is still slightly against my nature to shout at other players and demand things of other players but I have got to start doing it. I have started, but there are still improvements to be made there."
Scott, still in his first full season as a professional player, had only gone to Ireland as travelling reserve when he won his first cap at the Aviva Stadium 18 months ago. From there, he went on Scotland's summer tour to Australia and the South Pacific, coming back with three wins under his belt. At that point, he might have been forgiven for thinking that this international rugby lark was all a bit of a breeze, but the wind shifted last November when heavy losses against New Zealand and South Africa were followed by the humiliating loss to Tonga that ended Andy Robinson's time as national coach.
In retrospect, it seemed absurd to warm up against the world's best side. Scotland had been battered to the canvas by the time they met Tonga. This year's programme looks far more sensible, although Japan's recent victory over Wales, albeit a Wales shorn of all their Lions players, is proof enough that the Cherry Blossoms of today are a far different proposition to the teams who managed to concede a total of 147 points over their two previous visits to Scotland.
But still, not a bad team to start against, especially as Scott is only just easing back into rugby after missing the first few weeks of the new season with an ankle injury. It is no coincidence that Edinburgh's recent improvement began when Scott returned to the side. Yet he still feels a little off the pace.
"It's just match sharpness," he says. "It's hard to put your finger on it, but you make mistakes in the game which you can't really explain, you know, you drop a ball or you miss a tackle, but it is just down to sharpness. I'm getting used to the intensity of the game because no matter how hard you train it doesn't replicate playing games. Now I'm just looking to get as much game time as possible."
In that light, there was a case for Scott being released to play for Edinburgh on Friday. That he was not was a clear indication that Johnson sees him as an integral part of his Scotland side. The way has also been made clearer by the knee injury that will keep Peter Horne, who was putting Scott under serious pressure six months ago, out for the rest of this season. Scott says he is taking nothing for granted, but maybe there is just a little bit of the swagger that Johnson wants to see.
"I'm definitely more established," he agrees. "Playing a whole Six Nations and having a couple of summer tours under my belt has been massive for me. I'm coming in with a lot more settled attitude. But I'm by no means the finished article and I've got loads and loads to work on. There's also more competition for places than there's ever been so it's a good place to be."