15 Apr 2021

Cottar’s Raptor Experience


At Cottar's we have been working hard to develop inspiring, engaging and impactful activities, many of which also support various conservation charities in our local area. 

For guests with a special interest in birds and desire to learn more about raptors, Cottar’s has formed a partnership with the Mara Raptor Project to offer a more in-depth experience spending time with a raptor specialist in return for a donation to the charity in desperate need of greater support. 

Raptors may not be as traditionally endearing as the elephants, lions and cheetahs, but they are a critically important species in desperate need of help. In just 30 years, more than half of the vulture population in Kenya’s Masai Mara has been decimated. Seven of Africa’s 11 vulture species are on the edge of extinction, and 90% of reported vulture deaths in Africa are from medicinal use and poisoning; vultures are often the unintended victims of poisoning incidents where humans place poison into carcasses to kill carnivores such as lions. Vultures are critical to the health of the African ecosystem. they perform a crucial but massively underrated ecosystem service: the rapid clean up, and recycling, of dead animals. 

Lemein Par is from Orkoroi in Narok County. He is a project coordinator and a research assistant with Kenya Bird of Prey Trust working under Stratton Hatfield. He manages relationships with stakeholders and guests in the Mara. In the field, he monitors raptor breeding sites and locates prey remains to ground-truth transmitter data. Lemein will come to camp and spend the evening with you to introduce you to our raptors; eagles, hawks, kites, falcons, and owls and often vultures are all considered raptors and give you more insight into the vital role they play in the Mara / Serengeti ecosystem. He comes fully loaded with information and is incredibly passionate about his research. The next morning you will head out with your guide, spotter and Lemein to see what you can find in the local area. Lemein is constantly looking for clues and will often be jumping out of the car to find this specimen and that to discuss with you.

Upon return to camp, Lemein will go through the morning’s findings and has a presentation he can show guests in our Explorer’s Tent along with any samples and findings we have to support the topics he touches on. He will certainly leave you with a far greater appreciation and respect for these key species in our environment.

Furthermore, Cottars Wildlife Conservation Trust have also entered into an agreement with the Kenya Birds of Prey Trust for the development, in 2021, of a Raptor Rehabilitation Centre located in the Olderekesi conservancy in the Maasai Mara. The centre will rescue, rehabilitate, reinstate, research and conserve vultures and will roll out an educational and awareness campaign and down the line this will also be something we would love to involve and include our guests in.

Click here for more information on this and other impact activities at Cottar's.