Breaking down to connect

Like many Boulderites, Kathy Phinney loved to travel.

Breakdown Safaris is the product of Phinney’s three month sojourn through Tanzania in 2013. Her trip focused on the connectivity of all living things, something that resonates in the experiences the company offers. Here’s what Kathy Phinney, CEO of Breakdown Safaris had to say about her young Tanzania-based safari trips:

  1. As someone who used to live in Boulder, how do you think Breakdown Safaris resonates with the way Boulderites travel? (the city being named green, progressive, active, having a reputation for caring about human, animal, and environmental rights, etc.)

Breakdown Safaris’ tagline is “…supporting the connection of all things living…”. Certainly the 17+ years that I lived and worked in Boulder supported my own innate alignment with nature and all that life has to teach us. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world; technology and higher standards of living are only now beginning to reach its borders. I dream of interactions between the citizens of Tanzania and progressive thinkers like those from Boulder, who can influence and guide, even in small ways, the direction in which this developing country moves forward.

  1. Breakdown Safaris revolves around connectivity. Can you elaborate on the way your safaris focus on this subject?

The President of Breakdown Safaris, and my partner, is Fanuel Mateja. Fanuel is a Tanzanian citizen and a highly experienced and knowledgeable safari guide. His passion for teaching about the symbiotic relationships found in nature, his appreciation of all of life that resides in the bush, the sea, and the treetops and his enthusiasm for sharing his love with visitors to his country are astounding. The complementary relationship formed by an American woman who embraces the concept of “customer service” and joined by a man who embodies such knowledge, results in a powerful opportunity to facilitate connection, insight, and inter-living.

  1. Why Tanzania? conducted an in-depth analysis of 3,061 reviews of safari tourists and acclaimed experts and concluded that both have voted Tanzania as the best safari country of Africa. The overall average rating of Tanzania in both the user and expert reviews is 4.8 out of 5 stars: the highest score of all eight major safari countries.




  1. Do you have a favorite memory from your trips (living in) Tanzania?

When I lived in Boulder, I was known to say, “My soul resides in the backcountry.” Now, in Tanzania, “My soul resides in the bush”. Every memory of every sighting:     the birth of a baby wildebeest, a female lion taking down a Cape buffalo, a termite mound that stands as tall as the highest tree, an African Fish Eagle soaring over the treetops, a pair of giraffes with their long necks intertwined in combat – each holds a special place in my heart…

  1. What makes Tanzania’s ecosystems, people, culture, etc. ideal for tourism?

Tanzania is the premier safari destination in East Africa. First and foremost, that’s because Tanzania is, and always has been, a safe and peaceful country. It’s often referred to as “the Switzerland of Africa,” because of its reputation for calm and stability. You’ll sense the warmth and generosity of spirit of the Tanzanian people the moment you touch down on Tanzanian soil.

But Tanzania is more than just a safe country, it’s a beautiful one!

  • From the Indian ocean to the heights of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania has a wealth of breathtaking landscapes that set the scene for an amazing trip
  • The people that call this amazing country home have come together to form a rich culture that is intriguing, unique, and always changing
  • No safari is complete without wildlife viewing, and Tanzania has some of the best in Africa.
  1. Do you have a favorite “Places We Visit?”

Isolated, untrammeled and seldom visited, Katavi National Park is a true wilderness, providing the few intrepid souls who make it there with a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a century ago.

It is during the dry season, when the floodwaters retreat, that Katavi truly comes into its own. The Katuma River, reduced to a shallow, muddy trickle, forms the only source of drinking water for miles around, and the flanking floodplains support game concentrations that defy belief. An estimated 4,000 elephants might converge on the area, together with several herds of 1,000-plus buffalo, while an abundance of giraffe, zebra, impala and reedbuck provide easy pickings for the numerous lion prides and spotted hyena clans whose territories converge on the floodplains.



Photos courtesy of Breakdown Safaris 

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