First Descents has been organizing outdoor adventures—kayaking, climbing, surfing, you name it—for young cancer patients and survivors since 2001. Each trip is designed to help empower these individuals to move beyond their diagnoses and live life to the fullest. In February they took a group of 13 people on this epic FDX Africa adventure, a weeklong safari hosted by the award-winning Mark Thornton Safaris.
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We are pleased to announce that Nat Geo has again awarded our safaris as a Best Trip of the year! Our 100 kilometer foot traverse of Serengeti National Park’s wilderness has been named by National Geographic as their Trip of the Year for 2015. Great recognition for what is an epic “first-ever” walking safari.
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In 2013 Mark Thornton Safaris was recognized as a global leader in responsible tourism. Based on our record of conservation, working with communities, fair trade and our "light footprint" safari operation, we were shortlisted for the 2013 Global Responsible Tourism Awards. Out of thousands of entries, less than 20 made the shortlist. It was an incredible honour!
This is the deceptively simple story of Moses, a street child who scrounges a living on the harsh streets of Dar es Salaam. His ingrained need to be free takes him deep into the Tanzanian wilderness, where he faces both the tragedy of life and the hope it offers. Unsentimental, honest, both brutal and lyrical, this hypnotically written book provides an insight into the issues that affect modern Africa: the relationship between human beings and the wilderness, the needs of the displaced and the dispossessed and, ultimately, the ties that bind us to one another.
"An exquisite narrative, harrowing, yet poignant." BOOKSLIVE
"Reading 'Kid Moses', you not only feel the heat, visualize the colors, and smell the scents of Africa, but you come away with Thornton's appreciation of the human spirit. And the ending is masterful!" AMAZON REVIEWS > READ MORE
"Kid Moses is a lyrical, touching and profound book." THE WITNESS, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
"An open-ended odyssey, as restless and contemplative as a traveler in the trackless veld." THE CAPE TIMES, SOUTH AFRICA
"This is a wonderfully honest, unsentimental and brutal look at issues that are affecting Africa today.." THE CAPE TIMES, SOUTH AFRICA
"Kid Moses is a deeply introspective novel that evokes the despair and loneliness of JM Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K; Wilma Stockenstrom's The Expedition to the Baobab and Aher Arop Bol's The Lost Boy." JACANA MEDIA, SOUTH AFRICA
In March, 2011, journalist Jessica Bruder, joined us on safari in the Simanjiro Plains to have a look at our walking safaris and conservation efforts through the Simanjiro Conservation Easement. The full page article appeared in the Travel section of the New York Times. This was not only wonderful publicity for our safaris, but also brought to light the challenges faced by the Maasai and the wildlife in the Maasai Steppe. > READ MORE
Again, it was our Serengeti Trek that was the highlighted trip of the year for Nat Geo Traveler. This is the 3rd time our extended walking safaris have won such an award. It really makes us realize just what a rare privilege it is to be the only ones accessing such a massive, roadless swath of untouched Serengeti wilderness. And even us guides never tire of walking in those cool mornings along the high ridges of the Serengeti, often stopping for views of over 10 large mammal species at once. > READ MORE
Well, if you have flown as an elite member of Singapore Airlines recently, you may have seen the article about our safaris in their Priority magazine for their KrisFlyer Club. While I am certainly no member of this club (!), I did get the article... and it was a wonderful mention of both our walks and more luxurious-focused safaris (yes, we do also outfit super-lux trips!). > READ MORE
For the April, 2010 issue, Outside Magazine conducted a rigorous survey from companies all over the world and chose our Serengeti Trek as one of their Trips of a Lifetime for unique, adventuresome and one of a kind expeditions.
For the 2nd year running, Nat Geo Adventure conducted their ratings of worldwide adventure outfitters. It is a prestigious ranking in the travel world and we're proud and honored that again we scored the highest overall at 98.07 amongst all companies surveyed! > READ MORE
Mark Thornton Safaris' new epic bushtrek inside the Serengeti National Park was featured as one of the 25 best new trips in the world. The walk explores the truly remote sections of the park which were previously closed to tourism. It is one of the finest walking areas in Africa and serious big game country. > READ MORE
In 2008, National Geographic Adventure Magazine undertook the first-ever comprehensive rating survey of worldwide outfitters. Each company was scored based on Sustainability, Spirit of Adventure, Quality of Service, References and Education. Mark Thornton Safaris scored a 97.7 which was the highest rating of all 300 companies chosen to partake in the survey.
"For a truly standout experience in this great continent's wild plains, Mark Thornton Safaris is the way to go. Get out of the 4x4 and walk alongside Africa's wildlife." AMY A. CLARK, OUTSIDE ONLINE
Thornton's walking trip in the Serengeti is "the definitive safari classic".
Features our multiple day bushtrek through the Loliondo wilderness along the border of Serengeti National Park.
"Taking Charge", Written by Mark, the article covers the conservation work he was involved with in the Richtersveld Community Conservancy along the border of South Africa and Namibia, and which was recently declared a World Heritage Site.
In June, 2007, Mark led a group of 26 high school students and teachers on an educational expedition to Ngorongoro, the remote Loliondo wilderness and the Rift Valley. Wilderness camping, game viewing, walking and shared time with the Maasai provided an inspirational and eye opening educational experience for the students with a highlight being the resident buffalo and bushpigs in camp!
"Welcome to a day in the life of Mark Thornton: safari guide, entrepreneur, conservation expert and economic development consultant. Thornton has what many people would consider a dream job. As owner of Mark Thornton Safaris, he leads tours of wilderness conservation areas in Tanzania adjacent to two of the country's mammoth national parks, the Tarangire and the Serengeti..."