PARTNERS > CALVIN COTTAR
Calvin Cottar was almost literally born to safari: his family has been involved in safaris well before Karen Blixen lived Out of Africa. Calvin grew up hanging out the back of his dad’s safari jeep, learning bushcraft from some of the best. He joined his parents at Cottar’s Mara Camp at the age of 15 and never looked back, professionally guiding and running the camp with his sister until the early 80s, when he left to explore other more remote corners of the African continent, guiding safaris in Tanzania and the Central African Republic.
Deeply disturbed by escalating threats to the survival of Africa’s wildlife, Calvin returned back home to Kenya in 1990, determined to make a difference in the fight against poaching and in promoting education around human-wildlife conflict management. He soon established a company to train and assist landowners in wildlife management, working with Dr. Richard Leakey’s "wildlife user rights" scheme, and successfully training landowners in dozens of land units and several districts of the country. He started consulting directly with the Kenya Wildlife Service to help refine the system to better service both the Kenyan people and the Kenyan wildlife. He later initiated a training program which succeeded in reducing elephant deaths from human-wildlife conflicts down from an average 360 per year throughout the country to 45 per year - within 3 years.
In 1998, Calvin returned to his roots in tourism and created a unique 1920's style safari camp on Olderkesi Group Ranch on the edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. He and his wife Louise made the camp one of Kenya's preeminent safari destinations, featuring in many international magazines and films on safari, hosting many celebrities and royals over the years, and achieving the highest ecological award, Global Ecosphere Resort (GER) status.
Calvin is a member of the Executive Committee of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association, and participated in the formative meetings and early discussions that created both the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association, and the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association. Calvin is a gold level KPSGA guide himself.
Calvin and Louise live in Nairobi with their four children Danni, Jasper, Charlie and Ella.
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