Who are we?

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Oder delta safaris

Oder Delta Safaris  it is a social enterprise and part of Tourism Organization of Stepnica (SOT). SOT was founded in 2011 and soon became a very active and successful local association. Its main aims are binding relations between ecotourism development and nature conservation and local economy.

Oder Delta Safaris is an incoming tour operator based in the Oder Delta area, located at the Baltic Sea, which is spreading between the border of Poland and Germany.

Oder Delta Safaris is a network of people of different profession : small and medium entrepreneurs, landowners, nature conservationists, guides, farmers, restaurateurs, horse riding coaches , IT specialists, guesthouses’ owners,  printers, lawyers linked by one passion – NATURE OF ODER DELTA.

Our basic principles are:

  • Reducing the negative impacts on a local nature and community
  • Supporting the local economy
  • Contributing actively to the local nature protection

Story of bottom-up initiative 

Iwona Krępic and Reginald Ścieżka – SOT’s founders – have moved to the small village Kopice in the Oder Delta from the city (Szczecin) in 2007. They were looking for a peace and quiet place. They didn’t realize that they have found their heaven on the earth. Now they belive that it was their small miracle.

“We love this amazing place because we can meet the wildlife everywhere around our house. We feel like guests in the nature world.” said Iwona and Reginald

They have explored the area around by going for a walk with their small children and they have met beavers, red deers, elks, red kites, black kites, woodpeckers, redshanks, lapwings flying over the pastures, yellowhammers, flocks of geese rest and feed in the grass, in the summer it is easier to hear than to see corn crakes. From early springs cranes take dignified walks in the meadows. They also have observed other iconic European wildlife species like ruff, dunlin, bearded tit, little ringed plover. The most awesome for them is that they can spot white-tailed eagle in it’s majestic flight even sitting in their garden.

In the course of time they have met interesting people from the local community, and this is sad, but true, that they don’t realize that this is the unique place in Europe. After a while they have learnt more about the Oder Delta and they have realized that they should find the way to help in protecting the nature and developing in this area.

Set-up SOT

On March 2011 together with more local people Iwona and Reginald founded an association the Tourist Organization of Stepnica (SOT). 

“Coming close to nature gives us – the local people – opportunities for a new economy. Wildlife around our houses provides a potential for a better life. However, only when we understand this, we will protect it. We should be proud of our amazing environment: white-tailed eagles fly above our heads, roe deer and red deer are coming into our gardens, wolves, beavers, wild boar and many more iconic species are living in our vicinity. Visit this undiscovered place, experience unbelievable wildlife in the centre of Europe and fall in love with the Oder Delta, just as we did. I believe that together we will find a good direction for both people and nature in this area.” said Iwona-one of a SOT’s founders.

SOT gathers people who want to live and work cultivating the beliefs & ideas of the sustainable development.

It is the new way of our life and chance for developing of the region.” says Reginald.

Activities of SOT:

  • Creation of transbordering, regional, local tourist products based on a safari tourism, birdwatching, wildlife photography, ecotourism, traditional food, local handicraft etc.
  • Education programmes targeted at children, youth and local community are covering: Nature2000, environmental and rare species protection and ecotourism.
  • Branding, marketing of the Oder Delta region.
  • Establishing a network of cross-border Polish and German partners.
  • Obtaining supporters from all over Europe.

SOT is a non-governmental and non-profit organization.

Local nature tourism – Enjoy and invest in nature

Our priority is to provide our safari participants with an authentic and exciting experience with nature whilst ensuring that we are conscious and respectful of the nature we wish to explore. All our safaris are planned carefully together with a team of local nature conservationists, farmers, hunters and wildlife tour experts.

We invite wildlife specialists and scientists on certain trips who generously share of their knowledge and expertise so that we may have a full and enriching experience, engage in the wilderness and learn new things about it.

Portions of the fee we charge for each safari go towards supporting conservation plans of local guides and scientists in their efforts to protect wildlife and for example implement projects such as the resettlement of animals such as bison and lynx in new habitats. Our activities include restoration of rivers and natural function of the floodplain also creation of migratory fish paths.    

 

 

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