My boyfriend and I just left Cottar's 1920s Camp four days ago and I can't stop thinking about it. We are sitting on the most beautiful beach at Amanpulo in the Philippines and yes, I have Africa on my mind. We travel often and have stayed at some amazing places, but this was different. The only thing I can say is there are no words to describe the experience I had there. T.I.A. (thank you GG ;) Our guide was GG, and he is now our brother. I heard that the other guides were amazing too, so I can't speak about them, but know that coming here will be a life changing experience...at least it was for me. This was my first time coming to Africa and my boyfriend brought me here because he came to Cottar's 4 years ago, and although he has traveled the world he has always said he wanted to take me to this special place. I am so grateful he did and that we experienced this together. I now know why he wanted to bring me there.
The reviews were correct that you read; you get to see the animals alone, without other 'vans'. Yes, mini vans where people are crammed in and the windows are closed. Once in a blue moon we saw one and kind of chuckled (guilty). We kind of viewed them like the animals: "Vandabeast spotted!!" I only say this because there was no heart and soul behind a tour like that. I don't think the drivers were even guides...? And I have no clue how you get around the terrain of the Maasai with a Mini-van. I mean we were crossing deep rivers and going way off the beaten path in the most amazing, open Land-Rover type thing.
Anyways, run, don't walk to Cottars if you are trying to decide on which camp. Also, I couldn't imagine going to a 'Lodge' when trying to experience the real Africa. Must go tent style. They are luxury tents so you still have all the amenities you could ever ask for. We saw Zebras just hanging out in front of our tent the first night. So neat.
We got to know Calvin (the owner) a bit as he was around the camp. Great guy, very passionate about conserving the land and very involved with the government about it. We invited his sons on safari with us for one day and the oldest son, Danni, spotted a water bottle that was thrown on the ground in the Mara and had our guide stop so he could jump out and pick it up. I thought that was very classy and said a lot about the Cottars and how they were raised.
Another very neat thing was the (optional) communal eating for dinner and lunch. They serve everyone in the big tent and it allows you to laugh and talk about your experiences with the other guests. Many, many laughs were had with our crazy stories of our game drives and what we all saw. We made lasting friendships because of this ;)
This is my first review on tripadvisor because I couldn't believe Cottars was #13. Such an amazing place. We will definitely be back sooner rather than later!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for the fantastic review G+T.....Cottars should shoot up the listings with this ! The Boys enjoyed being your assistant guides alongside senior Bwana GG... Cheers for now and see you back soon! Calvin
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