Private Home Stays on the African Plains

Posted by Kristan Schiller on February 5, 2013 at 1:59:37 PM EST | Post a Comment


This year brings exciting news for travelers wanting a distinctive—and very private—African safari experience. The East African savannah is now the address of Cottar’s Private Homestead and Singita Serengeti House, two exclusive-use private homes associated with established high-end African lodges.

The esteemed Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp has opened the 9,000 square foot Cottar's Private Homestead in Kenya, which borders the Masai Mara and offers views of the Olderekesi Hills. The home, built by hand with the use of indigenous and eco-friendly materials, includes five en-suite bedrooms, a large living room, dining room and viewing deck.


Often thought of as the "first family" of the safari business, the Cottar clan moved to Kenya from Iowa in 1911, eventually founding Cottar's Safari Service in 1919. Today, Cottar's Camp is situated on the lower slopes of a forested hillside, overlooking the Masai Mara with Tanzania's famous Serengeti beyond. The newly available private house is available separately from the rest of the camp, with exclusive use of its own living areas, staff, and vehicles. Game viewing—something almost every world traveler has on their "to-do" list—is superb at all times of the year, though especially during the Great Migration (which generally runs from July through November in Kenya, though changes year to year in both timing and location as it is a natural event.)


Further south in Tanzania, the illustrious Singita has opened Singita Serengeti House, an exclusive-use homestead housing up to eight guests. Perched on Sasakwa Hill and surrounded by 347,000 acres of game-rich savanna, the home (which includes a lap pool, a private tennis court, and a dedicated house team) was converted from a manager’s former residence using environmentally friendly practices.


Serengeti House offers two suites in the main house and two additional garden suites, all featuring private outdoor showers and terraces. The main house also includes spacious dining and lounge areas and ample deck space with day beds—perfect for viewing the game that comes to drink at a nearby waterhole. Simple classic furniture in an ebony and ivory palette creates a quintessentially African ambience.

Photo Credits: Photos courtesy of Cottar's Safari Service and Singita

Kristan Schiller

Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations

I grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and attended Middlebury College and the University of London, where I earned an MA in African Studies with a focus on the illegal ivory trade. My articles have appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler and, among other publications.

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