Kenya’s Cottar’s Safaris has created a new Children’s Entomology Safari that brings the insect world to life for little adventurers.
Insects often appear unassuming, yet these little creatures underpin our entire ecosystem, performing essential services such as pollination, decomposition, pest control and food for many animal species. Schools teach children the critical importance of insects from an early age with the topic ‘minibeasts’ dominating the UK Early Years Curriculum. Yet as vital as these minibeasts are, recent scientific reports highlight that more than 40% of insect species globally are in decline and a third are endangered. The rate of insect extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles.
The pioneering team at Cottar’s Safaris have created a captivating brand new 4-night Children’s Entomology Safari for their bug-mad mini guests to enjoy, in addition to thrilling game-rich wildlife drives. Led by their in-house conservation expert and gold-level guide, Douglas Nagi, this new safari experience promises a tantalising combination of serious fun, hands-on adventures and in-depth knowledge from specialist local guides.
All children booked on the safari will receive a fabulous Cottar’s Junior Entomology kit complete with bug jar; brush for gently sweeping up insects; magnifying glass; net; tweezers; an entomology guide; notebook and spotter list; game of BUGS Top Trumps – and memories to last a lifetime.
Highlights of the new 4-night Entomology Safari include Bush walks to identify a plethora of insects; outings with Letilet, the in-house Maasai hunter-gatherer, learning all about the local flora and fauna and the medicinal value of local plants; hunting down the ever-popular Dung Beetle, and hearing exactly what they do and why it’s so important for the ecosystem; and Tracking animals on foot close to camp. The kids will also make a “butty-bait” from old bananas and beer (with a sprinkling of leopard poop for extra luck!); set butterfly nets and then identify and draw the specimens attracted before releasing them back into the wild; and catch Antlions and learn how they dig their pits in the sand to outwit their prey.
There’s also an afternoon at the Maasai Warrior School, learning traditional skills such as making fire, spear throwing, Maasai archery (including making their own bows and arrows) and the importance of Maasai customs; evening toasting marshmallows, stargazing and listening out for the eerie calls of hyenas and roars of lions; and exploring and swimming at the stunning local waterfall.
Cottar’s Safaris – the first camp in Africa to attain the ‘Preferred by Nature Ecosystem Restoration Validation Certificate’ – puts conservation at the forefront of everything they do, and restoring the ecosystem surrounding the camp is intrinsically linked to their conservation efforts. For Cottar’s Safaris, it is paramount that they create engaging and purposeful safari experiences, which not only have a positive effect on the guest but also on the complex and unique biodiversity surrounding them, as well as on the local Maasai community