Homestead at Cottar's 1920's Safari Camp. Masai Mara. Kenya
Why we love it
Cottar's is the oldest safari company in Kenya - now in its fourth generation of ownership. Charles Cottar - who started the Company - survived elephant, buffalo, and three leopard attacks in his life, finally succumbing in 1939, at age 66, to a deadly rhino charge. Present day Cottar’s guides aren’t anywhere as near as crazy, but do provide an authentic Kenyan safari experience. The Cottar’s Homestead is the only real private luxury home in one of the most remote areas of the Masai Mara and recalls a bygone era of romance and elegance with an ‘Out of Africa’ feel. Cottar’s is in Kenya very close to Tanzania’s Serengeti in an area known for wild dog, lion and leopard. And it’s on one of the corridors used by wildebeest in the famous migration.
What to expect
All rooms have sweeping views over the Masai Mara where you can see life unfold on the lush grasslands and Serengeti Plains. There are 5 en suite bedrooms and a large living room and dining room, plus a magnificent outdoor deck. The house has internet access, satellite TV and DVD, and is powered with electric and solar energy. Cottar’s Homestead is booked on an exclusive basis and provides you with 8 dedicated staff, including a chef, nanny, housekeeper and night watchman. A swimming pool is soon to be added but in the meantime you are welcome to use the pool at nearby Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp.
What to do
Cottar’s offers day and night game drives in one of the best game viewing areas in the renowned Masai Mara. The guides are some of the best in Kenya and can also take you on fascinating nature walks. Mix that with Masai cultural visits, river swimming and fishing, plus a daily massage or personal exercise training if you so desire (at extra charge), and you’ll find Cottar’s Homestead a hard place to leave.
The good news
Cottar’s has created the Cottar’s Wildlife and Conservation Trust which shows local people the value of tourism and encourages environmental protection through education. It supports school children, medical services and numerous community initiatives.
Kids There is low risk of malaria, as the Masai Mara is at 2000 meters. Babysitters, kid’s menus and early dinners can be arranged and all activities can be adapted to the interests and concentration span of children of all ages.
How to get there
It’s about a 1 hour scheduled flight from Nairobi landing at the Masai Mara’s Keekorok airstrip. Then it’s an hour and a half fantastic game drive to Cottar’s Camp.
When to visit
The Masai Mara has a wonderful climate all year round; days are usually warm and dry, with pleasantly cool nights. The Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra starts around July and usually finishes sometime towards the end of October. This is naturally the busiest time to be here. Amazing wildlife viewing is possible throughout the year with resident lion prides and Big Five game viewing. Rains usually fall in November and again from April to June, but it’s usually during the evenings, leaving the days and nights hot and dry.