Cottar’s 1920s Camp & Bush VillaMaasai Mara / Kenya
With a luxury aesthetic inspired by African safari expeditions 100 years ago, Cottar’s 1920s Camp along with it's sister Bush Villa and the fly tented Conservation Camp have their own 7,608-acre private conservancy, while sitting just on the edge of the Maasai Mara – one of the continent’s finest game reserves. Designed to accommodate a small number of visitors at any one time, it’s remarkable how quiet this conservancy with such incredible wildlife-spotting opportunities can be. It has also won big awards for its cutting-edge sustainability and conservation work.
What to love
- Sitting next to the Maasai Mara and the Tanzania Serengeti game reserve, the resort is incredibly positioned for game drives and bush walks. Professional guides with the highest qualifications in Africa are on-hand to accompany you on safari.
- Cottar's Wildlife Conservation Trust has a mission is to make natural biodiversity the most valuable and productive land use option for rural landowners in Africa.
- There is a willingness, a desire even, to show guests this beautiful wilderness and it's lovely people in a different way to many other operators and you should expect to genuinely miss the new friends that you will make at the conservancy.
What to know
- The 1920's camp has nine tents: four double tents, four family suites, and one unique honeymoon tent. The five-bedroom bush villa with private pool can also be reserved and can accommodate up to 12 guests. The Conservation Camp has seven comfortable fly tents.
- The Olderkesi Community Wildlife Conservancy is implementing a new model of conservation – demonstrating practices that could be replicated on a global level to empower local communities.
- Unwind after a day exploring the savannah with a range of massage and spa treatments.
The Cottar family has a history with safari in Africa that goes back five generations, which not only gives this truly unique place its 1920s-styled heart, but it also means there’s no better place to go for knowledge and insight into this remarkable part of the world.
The 7,608-acre private conservancy is watched over by the Olderkesi hills and looks across the wondrous savannah plains. It’s a spot with an unparalleled vantage point when it comes to wildlife, particularly for the annual wildebeest migration pattern. With such proximity to Kenya’s world-famous Maasai Mara reserve and Tanzania's Serengeti too, success rates for sightings of all the big five game are the best around. Cottar's also has the highest number of gold safari guides within one camp in Kenya. These are available to accompany guests on private game drives, night game drives and bush walks.
Over the years, the conservancy has actively engaged in preserving these crucial habitats as part of its award-winning conservation projects, securing the area from poachers while also keeping essential migration routes clear. It is also doing important work to support and maintain the traditions of the Maasai community, including numerous school, medical and water supply initiatives.
Cottar's 1920's camp prioritises style, comfort and privacy. Charming memorabilia from the area taps into the historic, cream-canvas tent aesthetic, while the amenities themselves are super-modern and luxe. The nearby Cottar’s Bush Villa is a somewhat more modern affair. Designed and built by hand using indigenous and eco-friendly materials the villa offers the only real private luxury home in the Maasai Mara. Lastly, for those seeking to learn more about the conservation work being done in the conservancy, a simpler but comfortable fly tented Conservation Camp is also available.
When to Travel
The Maasai Mara is an excellent destination to visit year round. When to go will depend on your preferences. July to October offer the easiest game viewing period as the season is dry and the vegetation less dense. The great wildebeest migration usually unfolds in the Mara from August to early November. This is naturally a busy time of year so you may prefer April to June when the rains turn the landscape vibrant green or December to March when there is still very good experiences to be had.
The conservancy is located just 1km to the east of Maasai Mara Reserve and north of the Serengeti. Most guests will travel from Nairobi from where you can take short shuttle flights to Cottar's or Keekorok airstrips (10 mins/90 mins respectively from camp).
Cottar's are very welcoming to families and children will love their adventure in the Mara. Activities particularly suitable for families include the Maasai Village visit which gives clients an insight to a day in the life of the Maasai.
Another great fun option is the Maasai warrior school - learn the Maasai warrior way of life including the use of spears, bow & arrows, lighting fire and the use of medicinal plants. When not seeking the next game sighting, children also enjoy visiting the local school and meeting children from the local community.
Cottar's Bush Villa is ideal for larger families or groups of families and can sleep up to 12 people. Cottar's 1920s Camp also has 4 Family Tented Suites with a King bed and additional twin beds for children. The tents are well spaced out and allow for privacy.