Cottar’s Safari Services is a fifth generational family business, established in 1919.
We were one of the very first registered safari companies in Kenya, and certainly, the first offering superior explorations and film safaris throughout Africa, India and Indochina.
Over the last 100 years, the family continues to provide professionally guided, purposeful, luxury safaris. Family to family, we are in the business of making lifelong memories for our guests, providing just the right mix of adventure, adrenaline and comfort.
In our family, it was normal to have lions, leopards, wild dogs and chimpanzees as family pets. 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 (Charles’ sons) 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.
Mike’s son Glen, with his wife Pat, continued the family business and pioneered photographic explorations into remote parts of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Zaire and Botswana. Glen and Pat established the tented camps dedicated just for photographic safaris in the early sixties in Tsavo National Park; Cottar’s Mara Camp in the Maasai Mara in the seventies; and Cottar’s Kimana and Cottar’s Bushtops in the eighties. Glen passed away in 1996 and Pat in 2010. Glen’s son Calvin, together with his partner Louise, began Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp in the Maasai Mara in the mid-nineties and continues to this day to represent the Cottar family safari heritage. It is hoped that some of our children (Danni, Jasper, Charlie and Ella) will continue the safari legacy into the future!