Travel & Living

Untamed Adventures: A Family Safari at Cottar's Safari 1920's Camp in Maasai Mara

In the heart of Africa lies a realm where nature  paints its own masterpiece, where the horizon meets  the wild, and where adventure beckons at every turn. This is the enchanting land of Maasai Mara, and  nestled within its embrace lies Cottar’s Safari Camp—a  sanctuary for those seeking a truly immersive safari  experience.
Photo: Jodee Debes Photography

For families yearning for an escape from the  mundane and a rendezvous with the extraordinary,  Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp offers an unparalleled  journey into the heart of the African wilderness. Here,  amidst the sprawling savannahs and beneath the  vast African skies, families can embark on a voyage  of discovery, forging timeless memories that will be cherished for generations to come.


Stepping foot onto the grounds of Cottar's 

Safari 1920’S Camp is akin to entering a realm 

where time stands still and nature's

rhythms dictate the pace of life.

Photo: Jodee Debes Photography

Stepping foot onto the grounds of Cottar’s Safari 1920’s Camp is akin to entering a realm where time stands still and nature’s rhythms dictate the pace of life. After our short stay in Nairobi upon arriving from Dubai, we took a brief flight from Nairobi directly to Cottar’s private airstrip, where we were welcomed by our guide for our stay, Neebo, who belongs to the Maasai tribe. We drove for about twenty minutes to reach the camp in our open Land Cruiser, which served as our mode of transport for the next few days for the game drives. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the warm smiles of the staff, whose hospitality knows no bounds. The camp, with its rich history of more than 100 years, exudes an air of rustic elegance, seamlessly blending luxury with the untamed beauty of the surrounding landscape. We decided to rest for a bit before embarking on our first evening game drive with Neebo in the open Land Cruiser.

Accommodations at Cottar’s Safari Camp are  truly exceptional. Families have a variety of options  to choose from, including luxurious family tents,  honeymoon tents, and luxury tents, all of which offer  the comforts of home while immersing guests in the  sights and sounds of the wilderness. Each tent is  tastefully furnished with plush amenities, spacious  en-suite bathrooms, and private verandas providing  sweeping views of the untamed landscape. The Private  Bush Villa, perched atop the hill, boasts the finest vistas  of the Maasai landscape. Featuring five bedrooms, a  private gym, and pool, it is an ideal retreat for large  families seeking privacy or groups of friends traveling  with their families to Cottar’s 1920’s camp.

During our stay, we opted for the family tent, which  comfortably accommodated a family of four with all  necessary amenities and a sprawling view of the jungle.  For added security, we were advised to be escorted by  a Maasai guard in the evening to and from the main  lobby area for dinner. These courageous Maasai men,  who guarded all the tents during the night, were quick  to respond whenever a torchlight was flashed from  our room, ensuring assistance was readily available throughout the night.

The true essence of a visit to Cottar’s Safari Camp lies in the exhilarating safari experiences  that await. Led by our expert guide Neebo, who possesses an intimate knowledge of the land and its inhabitants, families can embark on thrilling game drives in search of Africa’s iconic wildlife during both morning and evening excursions. From majestic elephants to graceful giraffes, and from stealthy predators to the myriad bird species that call Maasai Mara home, every encounter is a testament to the awe-inspiring diversity of life on the African savannah. We were fortunate to spot the Black Rhinos, a very rare sighting as there are only fifty of them in the entire Maasai Mara National Reserve. From observing cheetahs and lions that had just hunted a giraffe to witnessing vultures and hyenas feeding off the leftovers, Maasai Mara is truly a land of extreme wildlife left to thrive without intrusion.

In addition to game drives, families can also  embark on guided walking safaris, providing a more intimate perspective of the bush and its inhabitants. Led by Maasai warriors with spears and guns (incase of emergency), these excursions offer a chance to learn about traditional bushcraft, wildlife tracking techniques, and the rich cultural heritage of the Maasai people and how they use the natural resources from the jungle in their daily lives-like using some particular leaves as substitute for deodorant!

At Cottar’s Safari Camp, the safari experience extends beyond encounters with wildlife to encompass rich cultural interactions with the indigenous Maasai community. Families can visit local villages and gain insight into age-old traditions, from traditional dances to the art of beadwork. Engaging with the Maasai people offers a profound appreciation for their way of life and fosters a sense of connection to the land and its people.

For families traveling with children, Cottar’s Safari Camp offers a plethora of family-friendly activities designed to spark curiosity and cultivate a deeper appreciation for the natural world. One such activity is the “Warrior School,” a fun experience for the entire family where members of the Maasai tribe teach you how to use a bow and arrow and create fire with wood in the jungle, culminating in a certificate of completion.

Additionally, guests can enjoy bush picnics beneath the shade of acacia trees or indulge in a sundowner amidst the reserve’s expanse. Storytelling sessions around the campfire further provide opportunities for shared experiences and bonding amidst the marvels of the African bush.

Another notable activity included in our stay was the Bush Bath, featuring a traditional cloth bathtub set up outside our tent with hot water, offering a view of the jungle paired with a bottle of bubbly.

After a day of adventure, families can treat themselves to culinary delights that highlight the vibrant flavors of Africa. Whether relishing a traditional bush barbecue under the stars or indulging in gourmet cuisine crafted from the finest local ingredients, each meal is a sensory celebration that delights the palate and uplifts the spirit. Cottar’s 1920s camp boasts its own organic garden, where nearly 40% of the ingredients used in their daily cuisine are grown. It is truly remarkable to witness how the team manages to create such gourmet culinary offerings in the heart of the jungle. While there is only one restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, every single meal is an experience unto itself.

A family safari at Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp in Masai Mara is more than just a vacation—it’s a journey of discovery, a celebration of nature, and a testament to the enduring bond of family. Here, amidst the untamed beauty of Africa, families can forge memories that will last a lifetime, weaving tales of adventure and wonder that will be passed down through the generations. So, pack your sense of adventure and embark on a safari experience like no other—a journey where the wild meets the wonderful, and where the spirit of Africa beckons you home. We can’t wait to be there again!