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Our Story

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!

Our Team

Led by manager Sasha Cork, our team includes destination and experience experts on the ground in Kenya. Be it on philanthropic, purposeful travel packages or stay-longer ‘slow safaris’, and whether amid the Maasai Mara’s great migrations or inside lesser-known and private reserves, our knowledgeable team is here to support you throughout your journey.

Sasha Cork

Being born and raised in Kenya, Sasha can not remember a life without safaris. From a very young age, she would be put in the back of her parents land rover in her moses basket, and whisked off on another exciting adventure in the bush!

Being born and raised in Kenya, Sasha can not remember a life without safaris. From a very young age, she would be put in the back of her parents land rover in her moses basket, and whisked off on another exciting adventure in the bush! Her love for the wildlife and outdoors led her to pursue a degree in hospitality and tourism management in the Uk, following which her career began selling safaris to sub-saharan Africa - her desire being to enable other people to experience the magic of her beloved Kenya that she was so lucky to have grown up with. In 2009, Sasha returned home to Kenya and continued gaining industry experience. Sasha feels very passionately about responsible travel and journeys that make a difference, and feels that it is more important now than ever before to understand the impact of your choices and make informed decisions for the benefit of future generations. Her favourite animal is the graceful giraffe and their incredible eyelashes!

Hussein Asmani

Born and raised in Nairobi Kenya, Hussein has been interested in outdoor activities and technology from a young age. Having received a degree in Information technology, he started working for Cottar's Safaris 5 years ago assisting with the social media pages and IT related matters.

Born and raised in Nairobi Kenya, Hussein has been interested in outdoor activities and technology from a young age. Having received a degree in Information technology, he started working for Cottar's Safaris 5 years ago assisting with the social media pages and IT related matters. Being curious to learn, Hussein developed an interest in the safari planning process and when the opportunity to grow arose, Louise and Calvin Cottar saw potential in him and offered him a chance to support the tours team. Hussein took the opportunity with both hands and has been with the Cottar's team ever since.

Hussein loves anything with 2 wheels (cycling or motorcycling), music and travelling.

“My favourite animal has to be the Thomson Gazelle. Gazelles live in herds and they understand the basic rule of life, which is to work with other members for survival. They mimic human social behaviour by needing their herd around for meaningful living just like humans. I sometimes wonder why people want to protect and feed their insecurity by pretending that they don’t need others in their life to succeed.”

Monica Mbuthia

Monicah Mbuthia was born and brought up in central Kenya, specifically at the foot of Mt Kenya. “The beauty of this scenery marked my childhood amazingly. I knew I was getting late for school whenever I saw the sun begin to rise behind the mountain.

Monicah Mbuthia was born and brought up in central Kenya, specifically at the foot of Mt Kenya. “The beauty of this scenery marked my childhood amazingly. I knew I was getting late for school whenever I saw the sun begin to rise behind the mountain. My dad, a tour guide, inspired my love for wildlife and travelling. I love sales and ensuring every client gets to enjoy every bit of their safari, I love the sustainability projects in the tour industry as we definitely want our generations to enjoy what has been passed down to us. This job brings me great satisfaction.”

Apart from sales, she loves data science, travelling and socialising. Her favourite animal is a Lion, she admires their fierce and fearless spirit.

Our Responsibility

We aim to tread lightly and make an impactful contribution to the many wonderful destinations where we operate. You can rest easy knowing that as you explore East Africa, you do so with a unique and positive approach to sustainability, with a full 20% of our own net profits going toward conservation and community.

The Cottar family established the Cottar’s Wildlife Conservation Trust (CWCT), which works with the local Maasai community to protect the 7,608-acre Olderkesi Conservancy that borders the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Find out more

Cottar’s Safari Services is
proudly associated with

We are proud to be a member of The Long Run, selected for the positive impact we have on nature and people.

The Long Run is a community of properties, travel partners and experts committed to protecting and regenerating ecosystems for the benefit of all. The organisation supports, connects and inspires members to operate according to a balance of the 4Cs — Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce. Through this journey, travel experiences have a positive impact, and conservation is socially and financially sustainable. Collectively, Long Run members safeguard over 23 million acres of ecosystems, protect more than 400 endangered species, and improve the lives of 750,000 people.

We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose