Three nights at Cottars Camp is simply not enough! Touted our travel partner Brooke, who recently spent some time here.

Here, Brooke recounts her recent experience in Kenya with a focus on Cottars Safari Camp.

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Valorie Darling Photography Copyright


Of course, I enjoyed the game drives (hello Henry Pride of lions), hikes (I summited Cottar’s Peak three times in one week), e-bikes, seedball dispersal, and canvas bush baths from years past, but this time I was able to dig in deeper to the conservation mission and community ethos that is Cottar’s. One of the new offerings I really enjoyed were the nightly presentations on the history of safari, conservation and community, the life of a hunter-gatherer, the Maasai culture, and more; there is a different theme each night.

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Valorie Darling Photography Copyright


I enjoyed a night at the Conservation Camp, a true throw-back tented experience that allows guests the best access to the Female Ranger team, whom I met with, and various unique conservation initiatives (vultures, eagles, and bees, oh my!). This was one of the best nights I’ve had in the bush: fireside night-caps, lantern-lit journey to my tent, a hot safari shower, comfortable cot with luxurious linens, and melodic stream-side location.

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Valorie Darling Photography Copyright

I got there from Cottar’s 1920s on an e-bike, and retuned to Cottar’s 1920s on a guided walk with Calvin Cottar and our tracker, Katipwa. It’s not often guests have the opportunity to be hosted by Calvin (that comes at an additional price) and it was eye-opening to walk the three-hours back to Cottar’s 1920s and see some of the land use change that he speaks so passionately about. Outside of the Olderkesi Conservancy where Cottar’s is located, we saw ancient Cedar trees cut down to make insect-repellent fence posts, clear-cut forests used for subsistence farming, and other unfortunate examples of how without tourism, land lease payments, or forward-thinking conservation and community planning along the lines of what Cottar’s is doing, the landscape of Africa and Earth will forever be changed … not necessarily for the better.

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Valorie Darling Photography Copyright


Rothschild Safaris work only with camps that respect and embrace the relationships between local communities and the wildlife. Many of the camps throughout Kenya operate on leased land from the Maasai who continue to own it. Cottars is no exception, their location nestled between the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, their corridor is a sliver of sustainability that is home to the largest concentration of land-based wildlife on the continent, and is also as rich in diversity of flora as it is fauna.

Male lion in bush


Apart from the main camp, Cottars offers lux, yet streamlined, mobile tents. Frequented by many A-list celebs as they are totally private, off the beaten path, can be set up at various private sites, and are light enough to easily be moved. Inside the tents there is a hot water shower, a flush toilet, electricity, storage, fans, etc. This is one of the best ways for guests to see a Mara River crossing during the migration while still being away from the crowds and hosted by the Cottar’s team. These are also the mobile tents that can get guest to the Loita Forest of the Lost Child, which is a sacred forest that holds deep meaning to the Maasai. It is the oldest old-growth forest in the country, full of bamboo and big game, including lots of leopards. The Maasai believe it is a place where God resides and so they honor and revere it. While sadly trees are being cut down on the Tanzanian side, the Kenyan side is still pristine. For an epic departure, take a chopper out as there is no airstrip; you’d otherwise drive out or, for a true athletic feet, hike or bike (quite hard and time consuming as you’ll go from 6000ft to 9000ft, or vice versa). I’ll take the chopper, thanks!

Two Masai Giraffe Cross Savannah In Sunshine
Two Masai giraffe cross savannah in sunshine-Nick Dale Photography copyright

Wouldn’t you rather be in Kenya? Safari and sea, safety and security, privacy and pampering… just sayin’ there will still be fewer guests than next summer when all the postponed plans will take place, so for those wanting the best of the best now, Kenya is Calling!