Walk on the Wild Side

Close encounters in the Serengeti.

Safari without the Land Cruiser     Photo: Photograph by Mark Thornton Safaris

In 2007, Serengeti National Park officials rewrote their tourism plan to include walking safaris in select areas of the 5,700-square-mile savannah. Now, after several recon trips, luxury outfitter Mark Thornton Safaris is one of only three companies permitted to lead trips for up-close encounters with lions, buffalo, and elephants. (Yes, the guides carry rifles.) The three-to-six-day trips are usually added to longer tours of Tanzania, and begin each morning with a six-hour trek and end each night with sundowner drinks. All itineraries are customized. Departures between May and March; From $650 per person per day for a group of four, including transfers from the airport in Arusha; thorntonsafaris.com

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