Kenya’s Cottar’s Safaris has created a series of new meaningful experiences that connects guests with local communities and the environment like never before.
A fifth-generation family-operated company, Cottar’s Safaris has seen it all over the last century, from wars, and economic shocks to significant biodiversity decline and the recent lull caused by the COvid-19 pandemic has allowed the company to re-emphasize the role of conservation and sustainability in its operations. The result is a series of new immersive experiences that provide value, purpose, and impact and which aid the local Maasai community, as well as the unique wildlife that travelers visit the Kenyan safari company‘s camps to see.
The new experiences include Vulture Rehabilitation. In just 30 years, more than half of the vulture population of Kenya’s Maasai Mara has been decimated, seven of Africa’s 11 vulture species are on the edge of extinction, and 90% of reported vulture deaths in Africa are from medicinal use and poisoning. During which guests will have the opportunity to learn more from the Kenya Birds of Prey Trust and ride along with their researcher to visit and identify nest sites.
The Mara Predator Project experience provides science for conservation on cheetahs and lions, as well as enhancing understanding of the predator’s role within the broader ecosystem. An ongoing and age-old conflict between the Maasai people and predators has resulted in lions being significantly affected, resulting in population decline by a third in the last two decades. The Mara Predator Project experience is a fascinating opportunity for guests to enjoy a half-day drive with researchers and get an in-depth understanding of the mara’s predators – there might even be an opportunity to help collar predators.
Cottar’s is also home to the only all-female ranger unit in the Maasai Mara, and the Learning with the Female Rangers experience is an opportunity to support the important conservation, community, and culture-breaking initiatives that they work on, and to understand their goals and key challenges. Guests are able to join the rangers on their daily patrols, de-snaring, game counting, and liaising with the Maasai community.
The new Medicinal Walk & Talk experience is an engaging opportunity to walk with and learn from Letilet, Cottar’s in-house Il Torobo hunter-gatherer. Il Torobo is a disappearing tribe, with a unique knowledge of the medicinal values of the flora that surrounds the camp. This activity not only supports invaluable local knowledge and values biodiversity, but it will also help the team to compile a list of the local flora and its medicinal uses.
Finally, Cottar’s ‘Full Circle’ Safari experience is a unique way to explore the diverse Maasai Mara. Using a combination of four camps, Cottar’s Full Circle Safari enables guests to stay longer and experience the range of ecosystems, wildlife, and unique culture within this vast 1,500sq km reserve, all with the same dedicated safari team (private guide, spotter, waiter and room steward) to maximize privacy and minimize Covid-19 risk.
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