Cottar’s Safaris
Masai Mara, Kenya


In 1919, Charles Cottar established ‘Cottar’s Safari Service’, one of the very first registered safari companies offering superior film safaris outfitting throughout Africa, India and Indochina. After a thriving and colourful history of African safaris throughout the 19th century, Calvin and Louise, began Cottar’s Safaris, as it is today, in the Masai Mara in the mid-nineties. To this day they continue to represent the Cottar family safari heritage and 2019 celebrated their 100th anniversary.


Cottar’s Safaris is a portfolio of two properties, owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing (5th generational) safari family in Africa, running for over 100 years, and located in the famous ‘seventh’ natural wonder of the world, the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Situated in the untouched exclusive Olderkesi Conservancy bordering the Masai Mara, Serengeti and Loliondo reserves; the area guarantees total privacy and an abundance of wildlife.


Cottar’s 1920s Camp provides the romance of safari under nine cream canvas tents, spacious and luxuriously furnished in the style of the bygone era of the twenties.

The private Bush Villa boasts 5 en-suite bedrooms, breathtaking views over the Masai Mara and a fantastic 25m private pool.

Both properties extend an era of luxury and quality, as Cottar’s Safaris returns to the original spirit and essence of “safari”, reminiscent of a golden era; an era of romance, high quality, professional guiding, adventure and elegance, whilst offering all the modern touches one would expect in this day. Their low-impact, high-value approach to sustainable ecotourism helps fund the vital work that is conserving land for biodiversity. Cottar’s Safaris works closely with the local community to unite wildlife conservation and sustainable luxury travel.

The extensive list of impact activities on offer are tailored to give guests the most authentic African safari experiences, with a guiding style that is different from other safari operators. Cottar’s emphasise the quality not the quantity of the wilderness and wildlife, the emotional intelligence of the guide to become your friend in a short time, and to have our guests appreciate and join the pace of the wilderness. Cottar’s also strive to maintain an equal balance between a prosperous business and sustainable conservation, social entrepreneurship, and community development and all our activities are centred around this.


Cottar’s believe that whilst travellers still value the traditional elements of going on safari, game drives and wildlife experiences, guests increasingly also want to participate in a more purposeful safari. As such, Cottar’s have developed an extensive list of activities that engage and positively impact. Some of those experiences include engaging and learning about vulture rehabilitation, spending time with the only all-female conservation ranger unit in the Maasai Mara, learning about the unique medicinal plants of the area, foraging and tasting local wild food, touring the community-owned private conservancy and participating in a reforestation seed disbursal bush walk experience.

Cottar’s are very proud to be one of The Long Run’s eleven Global Ecosphere Retreats in the world and certified as a Gold Ecotourism standard in Kenya. As a fellow member of The Long Run, Cottar’s Safaris operate under the guidelines of The Long Run’s 4Cs: Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. Each guest’s visit contributes directly to the sustainability of their conservation and social development efforts. These include the restoration of the natural environment to a pristine condition, re-establishment and protection of biological diversity, anti-poaching, on-site research and rehabilitation projects, the provision of health-care services and a local pre-school.


Cottar’s Wildlife Conservation Trust (CWCT), in partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), supports the 7608-acre Olderkesi Conservancy pilot project on the boundary and key wildlife corridor of the Masai Mara National Reserve and the Serengeti National Park. CWCT and AWF have been actively engaged in the preservation of natural habitats and wildlife in the area and in securing the area from poachers and for the protection of the community.


The Olderkesi Conservancy is conservation-in-progress. Damage caused by previous cattle farming endeavours is being repaired, with fences and structures being removed, and natural processes are being restored. Cottar’s aims to offer a new period of hope for the local community and wildlife of one of Africa’s greatest wilderness areas, the Masai Mara. Cottar’s Safaris represents an opportunity to explore not just a landscape, but a new model of conservation.