Getting to Know the Safari Guides at Cottar’s

Cottars safari guide Feature

Safari Guides can make or break your safari experience in Africa.

The knowledge, experience and attitude of safari guides are critical. There is more to being a guide than just being able to answer questions and offer the odd fact or figure on a game drive. It is about providing guests with an experience- a genuinely wild African adventure.

So, where do you go for a genuinely wild African adventure with the best safari guides? Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp.

This award-winning camp has the highest number of Gold rated safari guides within one camp in Kenya (the highest professional level).

Scouting for wildlife with Cottar’s safari guides

Q & A session with the safari guides at Cottar’s

Ken Kinoti

Ken Kinoti, safari guide at Cottar’s

Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born on the northern slopes of Mount Kenya in Meru, where my parents continue to reside. I currently reside in Nairobi with my family which includes my two children, a boy and a girl.

Q: How long have you been a safari guide?
A: I have been leading safaris since 2003, and joined the Cottar’s team in 2009- so 15 years!

Q: What would you say are your strengths as a safari guide?
A: I am trained to handle firearms for guided walking safaris and my passion for ornithology (the study of birds). I have completed many educational courses including courses in hotel management, tours and travel from Cambridge Tutorial College. I am also planning on taking the FGASA (Field Guide Association of Southern Africa) course towards the end of 2018.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I love camping and farming!

Q: What is your favourite safari story?
A: One of my favourite stories to tell the guests is about his scary run in with a rhino while I was on a safari with some diehard rhino fans.

Q: What do you love most about being a safari guide?
A: Every day out in the bush is totally different. Being out there, experiencing the moment, capturing the moment and sharing the moment, is what it’s all about.

Enock Sayagie

Enock Sayagie, safari guide at Cottar’s

Q: Where are you from?
A: I grew up and went to school in Nkoilele in Siani of Masai Mara County.

Q: Tell us more about your qualifications:
A: I went to Kenya Utalli College for the 2 year internationally accredited Tour Guiding Course from 2007 to 2009, during which time I also undertook a course in Spanish Language. I successfully graduated in 2009 with a Diploma in Guiding and a Proficiency Certificate in Spanish.

After graduation from Kenya Utalii College, I have since worked at Siana Springs as a Masaai Cultural Lecturer, while undertaking further field-training in Guiding. I have been awarded a Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association Silver-Level Certificate.

I am currently undertaking studies for the KPSGA Gold-level certificate and expects to sit exams, and pass, in November of this year.

Q: How long have you been a safari guide at Cottar’s?
A: I joined the Cottar’s team in 2012 so, 6 years.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I am a big fan of Manchester United and enjoy playing local football for relaxation. I am also involved in the community work on a voluntary basis in the Siana
location. We focus on issues of wildlife conservation and the environment and I also stand in as a primary school teacher.

Q: What do you love most about the Masai Mara?
A: The Masai Mara is one of the greatest wildlife areas on the planet but to us this place is home. Growing up here means you form a very strong bond with the natural world, where it becomes an essential part of your life. As a Masai guide at Cottar’s we have an opportunity to share one of the greatest spectacles on earth.

Lucy Nabiki Takona

Lucy Nabiki Takona, safari guide at Cottar’s

Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in April 1991 in a village called Naroosura in Maasai Mara.

Q: You are the first female guide at Cottar’s, what inspired you to be part of this predominantly male career?
A: I started school at the age of 13 years; my dad had attempted to marry me off to a very old man who I had never met.

I was very disappointed because I wanted to complete school since I was the only girl who had gone to school in my village.
When I discovered that my dad wanted to marry me off, I ran to my aunt’s house to seek refuge as she was supportive of education and all her children were going to school. She then intervened and called a meeting with the elders and with my dad and they succeeded in convincing him to take me back to school.

It came at the time when the school went on a school trip to Nairobi National Park where I met a lady who took us around and from her I gained the interest of becoming a safari guide.

Q: How long have you been a safari guide?
A: After completing high school in 2010, I joined Koiyaki Guiding School in Maasai Mara at Naibosho Conservancy for 2 years where I graduated as a safari guide.
Later I joined African Impact Voluntary Project in Naibosho Conservancy that deals with the monitoring of the big cats and community work and gained 3 years’ experience in the field by working with them. Later, I moved to Enkewa Camp where I was given an opportunity of being the Safari guide.
I joined the Cottar’s safari team in the beginning of 2017 and delighted to be their first female guide.

A safari guide’s office in the Masai Mara. © Cottar’s 1920s Safari camp

What a life it must be to have the bush as your office.

Get in touch with us and meet the magnificent safari guides at Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp on your safari holiday.