Rated Africa's Number One Safari Outfitter by National Geographic Adventure

Mark Thornton: Mark first came to Tanzania in 1994 to research wildlife ecology and conservation in Tarangire. He soon began to guide and in 1998 started his own operation, exploring Uganda, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania for the finest safari areas. He has guided river exploratories in search of the elusive shoebill stork to desert expeditions to film spitting cobras to documentaries searching for Hemingway's old hunting trails. With formal training and certification as a walking safari guide, Mark has led filmmakers for Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, journalists for The New York Times, photographers, historians, ecology students and just regular folks and families on vacation.

Mark holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Management from University of Cape Town and has consulted on numerous conservation projects in Tanzania, Namibia and South Africa for UNDP, Conservation International, the Government of South Africa, the Finish Foreign Ministry and the government of Zanzibar writing their first-ever State of Environment Report. Mark also wrote the nomination dossier for UNESCO for the Richtersveld Community Conservancy World Heritage Site which was approved in 2006. Mark is a member of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa, Interpretive Guides Society and the Simanjiro Conservation Easement which assists Maasai to protect their grasslands for wildlife and cattle grazing.

Mark is also a novelist with his first book, 'Kid Moses', published in 2011. He lives with his family outside of Arusha.

Gabriel Kayange: Gabriel has been guiding for close to thirty years and with Mark since 1996. Gabs, or Gabe as many know him, is one of the top guides in Tanzania with a truly unbeatable knowledge of wildlife.

An expert on the Tanzanian national parks and reserves, such as Serengeti, Tarangire and Ngorongoro Crater, he has guided documentary film shoots for Animal Planet, photographers, various organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, and those in search of high quality, high-end wildlife viewing safaris.

He has formal training as a professional guide in Tanzania and numerous other certifications over the years from advanced birding to first aid. He is also a member of the Interpretive Guides Society. With an uncanny knack of finding cats in the bush, Gabs knows the hidden corners of the Serengeti better than most anybody. Gabriel and his family make their home in Arusha.

Gian Schachenmann: Raised in Tanzania from his early years, in Arusha, Zanzibar and on a sisal farm, Gian is passionate about Tanzania and the wilderness. He lives on the edge of Arusha National Park and is fluent in Swahili.

Holding a degree in ecology and fisheries management, Gian has been with Mark Thornton Safaris for over five years as a guide and operations director. Before his time with us, he guided for some of the best camps in Tanzania, worked on Rubondo Island in Lake Victoria, and built bushcamps in Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks. He also spent a great deal of time in the remote areas of Loliondo, where he guided walking safaris and captured some of the finest wild dog photographs. For photographers on safari, he is a wonderful asset, himself being an avid and published photographer.

Gian has formal training and certification as a walking safari guide, is a member of the Interpretive Guides Society, and has a pure love of adventure, having once walked from the Serengeti plains to Arusha in three days! In his free time, Gian can be found building canoes in his backyard, climbing volcanoes, or adventuring across Tanzania on his motorbike or paramotor.

Emmanual Chagamba: From the Ikoma tribe on the western borders of the Serengeti, Chagamba, as he is known, was literally brought up in the bush. Tracking game from an early age, he learned the ins and outs of the wilderness and worked as a professional tracker for big game hunts in the Selous Game Reserve, experience that provided him with excellent skills on foot in the presence of elephants, buffalo and lion.

After further time tracking for two-week walks along the Rufiji River and in the areas next to Ruaha National Park, he then headed to Northern Tanzania, where he spent many years as a lead professional guide for several prestigious camps in the Serengeti and Tarangire.

In addition to his extensive 'hands-on' experience, Chagamba has formal training as a walking safari guide and is a member of the Interpretive Guides Society. His near-permanent residence in the bush over all these years has given Chagamba a remarkable bank of knowledge and an exciting compilation of stories! He's a real 'bush hand' and a great host, guide and leader on safari.

YOUR GUIDES

Mark Thornton: Mark first came to Tanzania in 1994 to research wildlife ecology and conservation in Tarangire. He soon began to guide and in 1998 started his own operation, exploring Uganda, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania for the finest safari areas. He has guided river exploratories in search... READ MORE

Gabriel Kayange: Gabriel has been guiding for close to thirty years and with Mark since 1996. Gabs, or Gabe as many know him, is one of the top guides in Tanzania with a truly unbeatable knowledge of wildlife. An expert on the Tanzanian national parks and reserves, such as Serengeti, Tarangire... READ MORE

Gian Schachenmann: Raised in Tanzania from his early years, in Arusha, Zanzibar and on a sisal farm, Gian is passionate about Tanzania and the wilderness. He lives on the edge of Arusha National Park and is fluent in Swahili. Holding a degree in ecology and fisheries management, Gian has been... READ MORE

Emmanual Chagamba: From the Ikoma tribe on the western borders of the Serengeti, Chagamba, as he is known, was literally brought up in the bush. Tracking game from an early age, he learned the ins and outs of the wilderness and worked as a professional tracker for big game hunts in the Selous Game... READ MORE

"I really think it was our guides, Gian and Gabriel, who made it such an exceptional trip. They really brought something special to the group and we feel very fortunate to have had them with us." K. STOKES
2017 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC & INTERNATIONAL TOURISM CONVENTION (ITB) TOP 3 FINALIST, CONSERVING NATURE, WORLD LEGACY AWARDS
2010 OUTSIDE MAGAZINE TRIP OF THE YEAR: MARK THORNTON SAFARIS' SERENGETI TREK
2017 TRAVINDY SUSTAINABLE TOURISM (TRAVINDY.COM) WORLD LEGACY AWARD INTERVIEW
2009 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE TOUR OF A LIFETIME AWARD: MARK THORNTON SAFARIS' SERENGETI TREK
2015 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER TOUR OF THE YEAR AWARD: MARK THORNTON SAFARIS' SERENGETI TREK
2009 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE NUMBER 1 OUTFITTER IN AFRICA & THE WORLD: MARK THORNTON SAFARIS
2013 THE ACTIVE TIMES THE BEST NEW TRIP: MARK THORNTON SAFARIS' RUAHA WALKING SAFARI
2008 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE NUMBER 1 OUTFITTER IN AFRICA & THE WORLD: MARK THORNTON SAFARIS
2011 THE NEW YORK TIMES FULL PAGE ARTICLE: MARK THORNTON SAFARIS IN THE MAASAI STEPPE
2006 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE TOP SAFARI IN AFRICA: MARK THORNTON SAFARIS