If you’re looking for a safari that will transport you back in time, look no further than Cottar’s safari camp. With one of the oldest histories in safaris, the Cottar family has passed a legacy down through generations. Today, the 1920’s camp is a popular choice among those of us stuck in time (or rather, we’d love to relive another time in history). You can expect no detail to go unnoticed, with everything from oil lamps to feathered ink pens decorating your traditional but luxurious safari tent. If you are considering booking Cottar’s for your upcoming trip to Kenya, here is everything you need to know.
There are three room categories at Cottar’s Safari Camp. Double tents for couples, Family tents sleeping four people and one honeymoon suite. There is also an oversized 5 bedroom villa available for rent on site (more on that later).
Each of the tents has a fixed concrete bathroom and fire area, matched with a canvas tent that seamlessly blend into one another. All the necessities are on offer: a mosquito net, electricity, lush linens and a hot shower.
Although the tents are open-plan living, each area is separated to make it feel a little more like home. There is a fabric partitioner between the single beds and the Queen bed (for a little privacy), as well as curtains leading in to both bathrooms.
A small wardrobe will give you enough room to unpack your safari outfits and survival kit (mosquito spray, lip balm, sunscreen at the ready). The bathroom has a large shower and with patience (2-3 minutes) a hot shower in the mornings and evenings.
The main event: Wildlife on Safari
But of course the main reason you come on safari is to see the wildlife and experience it first hand. So, what can you expect to see on safari at Cottar’s? No wildlife experience is ever guaranteed, however the safari experience at Cottar’s is quite different to other camps in the Masai Mara thanks to its remote location in the South of the park. Cottar’s itself sits just outside of the Mara, with drives taking place in the park and surrounds each day. You will never see another safari vehicle on your drives, which is completely unique to other areas of the park where up to 20 vehicles can be found at the same sighting.
As we exited the camp each day we saw plenty of giraffe (sometimes thirty) and zebra were always close by. Every day we found lions – sometimes mums and their cubs, sometimes a group of 6 young males and once we even found three small cubs by themselves in hiding waiting for their mothers to return from hunting. All in al the wildlife viewing was in abundance and if this is your first safari experience, you will not be disappointed.
The Cottar’s Experience
What I loved about staying at Cottar’s was being able to feel as if I had stepped back in to the 1920’s and experience safaris as they once were. One of the evenings I was offered a bush bath (all guests can request one) outside my tent, in the same typical fashion travellers would have done back in the early days of safaris. This was coupled with a gin and tonic, which made for the perfect afternoon.
The African Villa
Above the camp is a huge wooden villa the Cottar’s family built in more recent years for big groups and families looking for a more private experience. One of the evenings I was at the lodge the owner invited me up to take a look around and I couldn’t believe how impressive the views were from up there! This is definitely more on the expensive end of the scale for a certain clientele, but definitely worth a look if you chance a visit when the owner Calvin is in camp.
A very warm thank you to the Cottar’s team for welcoming me to stay in exchange for writing about my experience. All opinions and photos are my own.