Skip to main content
Cottar's Safaris Kinyaika


Poacher turned Tracker

Kinyaika is of the Wakamba tribe, born in the Ithumba area next to Tsavo East National Park. He grew up in a subsistence hunting family due to the harsh area not suitable for farming or livestock. He was a master hunter with bow and arrow by the time he was 17, and was arrested by the National Park wardens and put in jail for poaching in the early and mid 1960’s. Many of his jailed tribesmen started to die, as being cooped up after a lifetime of freedom and wilderness drove them to depression and suicide. The authorities decided to find them work in their area of expertise and Kinyaika was allocated to Calvins’ father Glen Cottar as a tracker. He worked in the safari photographic industry on and off with Glen, then joined Calvin in wildlife management and he proved more than excellent. Kinyaika joined Cottar’s 1920s Camp in 1998 and is currently our primary bushwalking escort, as well as head of the Maasai Warrior School activities.