In 1919, together with his sons, Mike, Bud and Ted, Charles Cottar established ‘Cottar’s Safari Service’, one of the very first registered safari companies offering superior explorations and film safaris outfitting throughout Africa, India and Indochina.

Charles Cottar survived elephant, buffalo, and three leopard attacks in his life, finally succumbing in 1939, at age 66, to a deadly rhino charge in the Mara region. Mike and Bud carried on the safari business guiding for the Duke and Duchess of York, Woolworth Donahue and Martin and Osa Johnson, amongst others. Mike Cottar was friends with many of the famous characters from ‘Out of Africa’ and was Beryl Markham’s first flying passenger.

Calvin Cottar

has been guiding in the African bush since he was fifteen years old, whether it be in vehicle or on foot travelling around the Maasai Mara with him is as similar as walking through a child hood home and pointing out locations that hold never ending stories of memories. He has been voted on several separate occasions as the Best Guide in Africa and has been interviewed, by countless international reporters, travel writers, published authors, and conservationist enthusiasts.

Safari experience

Cottar’s Safari Service is a family business that has, over the last 90 years, guided safaris with understated elegance and in the timeless style of our forefathers, descriptions of which are in many classic and contemporary Africana and safari history books. We are in the business of making lifelong memories for our guests, providing just the right mix of adventure and adrenaline and comfort. We are both proud and honoured to have taken generations of families on safari.


Best Tented Camp in the World

Tatler Magazine

Africa's Leading Luxury Private Villa 2016

World Travel Awards

The 50 Best Camp Sites

The Independent

Top Guides of Africa

Condé Nast Traveller

Best Guides

Harpers Bazaar

Gold Eco-rated

Ecotourism Society of Kenya

Best Safari Camp

Harpers & Queen

101 Best Hotels

Tatler Travel Guide

World Travel Market

Green Globe Award bv


The Long Run

Launched in 2009, the Long Run Initiative is the Zeitz Foundation’s flagship programme, built around Long Run Supporters; Long Run Alliance Members; and Long Run Destinations, but reaching out, into every aspect of our day to day life by putting the Long Run philosophy of acting today for a better tomorrow into practice.

Classic Safari Africa

Classic Safari Africa (previously Classic Safari Camps of Africa) is an association of independent, privately owned camps and lodges in some of the most beautiful wildlife areas in Eastern and Southern Africa.


The conservancy is managed by Cottar’s Wildlife Conservancy Trust (CWCT) , which leases from the Olderkesi Community Wildlife Conservancy (OCWC). The 7000 acres of the Olderkesi Conservancy is owned by all 6000 landowners of the 106,000 Olderkesi land unit, but it is rented by Cottar’s Wildlife Conservancy Trust.

EcoTourism Kenya

We are a Gold-rated property. Ecotourism Kenya is a membership organization and is one of seven private-sector associations that make up the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF). EK is an executive board member of the newly formed Federation of Community Tourism Organisations (FECTO) and the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership (GTTP) Kenya.

Pack for a purpose

MAKE YOUR TRAVELS MEANINGFUL. Have a Big Impact in the communities you visit. Simply use a small amount of space in your luggage to pack supplies needed by community projects around the world.