*As seen in The Logbook
Known for tours and safaris that are off the beaten track and always rich with discovery, Sylwia Boniecka has been hand-crafting Tanzanian adventures for clients since 2010. With each product being a reflection of her love and passion for this country, 2020 will see a range of new products available and will no doubt see clients finding new and amazing sights on their epic adventures.
A true adventurer and horizon seeker herself, who spent many years exploring the country before she set up her business, we caught up with Sylwia to find out which safaris met her list of favourites.
THE LIONS EYE
Beginning with Sylwia’s most memorable safari, which was also her first. She explains that it was during her second stay in Tanzania when she had a day off and decided to use it to see the animals. With her driver Iddi, who it is worthwhile mentioning is now the company’s manager, they went to Mikumi, which was the nearest park.
“I didn’t know too much about tourism at the time,” she admits, “And being Polish and having grown up in Europe I was still a little green.”
She and Iddi travelled to Mikumi at 4am and immediately started seeing animals. Elephants are notoriously early risers and giraffes only sleep roughly two hours in any given day, so this was a thrilling start to their journey. Then they came across a pride of lions.
“Iddi drove up close,” Sylwia describes, “Perhaps five metres away from them and I found myself face to face with a wild lion. So close that our gazes locked.”
Indelible to all other safaris, she admits that it wasn’t the last time she would get to catch the glance of one of the big cats in the wild, but she’ll always remember it as the moment she knew she belonged in this country.
PERSONAL FAVOURITE SAFARI
After almost a decade of touring, Sylwia reveals that her favourite safari route is the three to four day Selous Game Reserve trip. She describes it as being not as crowded as some of the northern tours, offering nice rustic camps that still provide full privacy such as private showers and toilets.
“It’s one of those back to roots safaris,” she explains, “Less about the luxury and more about the experience.”
Selous offers different activities to what can be found in another tour location like the Serengeti. There are boat safaris, more history as it is near to Kilwa, fishing locations and bushwalking. It is also easily accessible from Zanzibar, either from a direct flight from the island or by car from Dar Es Salaam.
“It is a good option as an addition to a holiday in Zanzibar and can be connected with a few days on the Kilwa Beach,” she says, “It’s a great tour for elephants, giraffes, hippos, and predators like lions, crocodiles, cheetah and African hunting dogs.”
These favourites have had an influence on the pace of her own tours, and she always makes sure that there is time during the day to stop for lunch in the bush so guests can soak in the surroundings and allow the mind to process the sheer volume of sensory information. In terms of new and future developments to what Hello Tanzania is offering there are a couple of things taking shape.
“For some new tours I’ve put a little more emphasis on culture and history,” she explains, “For example, I added cultural and history places to the current safaris, like the ones in Selous and Kilwa and a couple of new destinations to visit. These include a daytrip to Bagamoyo, a visit to the Maasai with overnight stay and mountain hiking in the Uluguru mountains with a look at the local communities and historic places.”
BECOME A LEADER
This programme is being developed and is aimed at travelling in groups, mainly for younger people who have a limited budget. Become A Leader is an offer for people who can organize something by themselves. The leader builds his or her group and we offer discounts and guidance in preparing a travel plan.
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +971551797277 ,+4915205204309,
PRICE: 140-180 € per person.