Cottar’s 1920s Camp, Masai Mara: The Lowdown

 

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Cottar’s 1920s camp harks back to the colonial age of East African safaris, and this elegant, luxurious camp is the product of the Cottar Family’s 100 years of experience as safari outfitters.

What’s Cottar’s Really like?

Set in a private conservancy bordering the Masai Mara Reserve and the Serengeti, Cottar’s 1920’s has 11 beautiful tents set out over a large area. There are six standard tents (though with ravishing four-poster beds and en suite bathrooms, and a definite sense of bygone times, we’d hardly describe these as standard. Then there’s the honeymoon tent, and four further family suites, all of which have two bedrooms and a shared sitting room. For guests who want total privacy Cottar’s also has a self-contained private house, with 5 ensuite bedrooms, a private pool, dining room and sitting room, and its own game drive vehicles.

The main mess area of camp has antique furniture, and plenty of interesting objects reflecting the 1920’s theme, and a large communal dining table serving wholesome food with fresh veggies grown in the camp’s kitchen garden. There’s also a rather lovely pool for guests who want to take a dip in between game drives.

What can I do at Cottar’s?

One of the things Cottar’s prides itself upon is the high quality of its guides, and the prime position bordering the Serengeti and the Masai Mara means that the morning and afternoon game drives are usually very rewarding.  This is also one of the few areas in the Mara where you might just see a rhino. For those who prefer a gentler exploration of the bush there are excellent walking safaris, and Cottar’s can also help arrange visits to the local community.  Cottar’s has also recently purchased some e-bikes so if you want to get a little closer to nature this is a fantastic alternative to a game drive.

Family safaris at Cottar’s: Cottar’s runs a “Maasai Warrior School” with activities aimed to appeal specifically to children: throwing spears, identifying different animal tracks, and learning to make a fire. Calvin and Louise’s own children have grown up in Africa so they’re good at working out what might suit families of any age. The four family tents also work well for parents who want to keep younger children close by.

Giving back at Cottar’s: It is testament to the camp’s commitment to the environment that it is one of the few places in Kenya to have a gold eco tourism rating. The Cottar’s Wildlife Conservation Trust invests in protecting the land, and creating a sustainable long term income for the community. In the shorter term, they help to fund schooling, water supplies and medical treatment for their Maasai neighbours. They also help by planting indigenous trees, and should you wish to do your bit, some of the lovely handicrafts in the camp shop are made by local ladies.

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