We reckon Cottar’s Camp has loads to recommend it! Its location within a private conservancy guarantees great safari well away from the Maasai Mara crowds, while the range of accommodation options caters for all types of travellers. There are many first-rate lodges in this part of Kenya, but for those who love the 1920s this is by far the best place for you! The property may have been established in the mid-1990s, but the Cottar family has been operating luxury safaris since 1919 and Cottar’s owners Calvin and Louise Cottar pay homage to this tradition in the overall style. If you like the look of the film Out of Africa, you will love it here!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Cottar’s Camp is situated amidst acacia trees and grasslands in an area stretching for approximately 1 km. It is set within its own conservancy of almost 2,500 hectares.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The site contains two main mess tents for lounging and dining. These really are a sight to behold! The larger tent boasts elegant armchairs and chaises longues positioned next to shiny hardwood tables positively overflowing with fresh flowers! Exotic rugs adorn the floor, while the walls are decorated with beautiful sepia photographs. Throughout, there are vintage touches, such as a chunky storage chest and a charming gramophone. The dining area of this tent features a long table for communal meals, flanked by wood-framed canvas chairs. The table is set with sleek silverware as well as a couple of candelabras, while a chandelier hangs from the roof! The smaller mess tent is situated close to the camp’s swimming pool. It houses a further chic lounge/dining area and tends to be used for special occasions. The pool itself has lovely views over the conservancy and is ideal for relaxing between activities! The spa area is also fantastic for a bit of R ‘n’ R. And the camp has a great gift shop too, the ‘Dapper Flapper’, stocking some very intriguing artefacts as well as some gorgeous jewellery! It is well worth having a browse.
The guest accommodation at Cottar’s Camp consists of five standard tents, a honeymoon tent, four family suites and a private house! All are linked to the main areas by neat pathways and are spaced well apart, so there is ample privacy. The standard tents can be configured as twins or doubles. Each mirrors the theme of the mess tents, including four-poster beds with mosquito-net draping, 1920s furnishings and similar sepia photos. The en-suite facilities are at the back of the tent and comprise flush toilet, washbasin and walk-in shower. At the front of each tent there is a veranda, set with a couple of chairs and a small table where guests can sit, drink, and enjoy sweeping views across the savanna! The family suites are as stylish as the standard accommodation and boast an additional bedroom in addition to a living room with a very homely fireplace! The camp also has a private house – unlike the tents at the main site, this has a contemporary design. It features a large living room, dining room, viewing deck, 25m swimming pool and grand total of five en-suite bedrooms, all with amazing views! This is a brilliant option for a big group or family – just get in touch with us to find out more.
Food and drink comes full board, with all meals served at the communal table and hosted either by Calvin and Louise Cottar or by the camp manager. Bush meals and sundowners can be arranged, as can private dining by the pool or on your own veranda.
Activities from Cottar’s Camp make the most of the camp’s position within its own conservancy. Game drives here take place by day and by night, while bush walks provide a great way to get to know the area. There is a wealth of wildlife – big cats such as lion, leopard, cheetah, as well as plenty of herbivores like elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. The birdlife is impressive too, with raptors such as the majestic yellow-beaked Verreaux’s eagle often spotted on hill walks close to cliffs.
The camp also offers river swimming and fishing, in addition to visits to local Maasai villages – here, guests can check out the Warrior School and watch women producing fine handicrafts, examples of which are sold at the Dapper Flapper back at camp. And of course you are welcome to take a trip to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, though if you are hoping to see the Great Migration you may not need to venture beyond the conservancy, as the camp’s location in the far south-eastern region of the Mara provides first sightings of the huge herds in July or so – and, in October, last sightings too!
The standard of guiding from Cottar’s Camp really raises the quality of game viewing and bush walks. In fact, the safari team contains the largest number of gold-standard guides in Kenya!