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While leading an elephant hunting expedition in Kenya, Ken Dufield, a "Great White Hunter," learns of a Mau Mau uprising near his farm in Nairobi. Rushing back to Nairobi, Ken finds his home in ashes and his young son murdered by Jeroge, a Mau Mau general who infiltrated the Dufield home by posing as a house boy. When Ken vows to avenge his son's murder, the provincial governor revokes his hunter's license until the police can capture Jeroge. Soon after, Sir Vincent Brampton, a ruthless English lord, arrives in Nairobi with his fiancée, a former showgirl named Linda, and his aide, Brian Sinden. Vincent is obsessed with killing the man-eating lion known as Atari, and upon learning that the hunter he chose to lead the expedition is unavailable, he launches into a tirade directed at Brian. When Roy Shaw, an organizer of hunting expeditions, suggests that Ken lead Vincent's party, Vincent coerces the governor into reinstating the hunter's license. After hiring a contingent of helpers, including Jerusalem, a trumpet playing cook, Odongo, a young boy who begs to go along, and the reliable Kakora, the hunting party sets out into Mau Mau territory. When they set up camp, Linda tries to strike up a conversation with the taciturn Ken, who rebuffs her overtures. Linda then admits that she has agreed to marry Vincent solely for his money and position. That night, Roy notifies Ken over the short-wave radio that one of his safari boys has taken the Mau Mau oath. Ken then contacts the Masai, an enemy of the Mau Mau, who inform him that Jeroge is in the vicinity. Upon discovering that Jeroge is but one hour away, Ken takes off after him with Kakora, thus allowing Jackson, the Mau Mau spy in camp, to steal Brian's rifle. Jackson delivers the rifle to Jeroge, who lies in wait for Ken. With Kakora's help, Ken fends off Jeroge's attack and returns to camp, where Vincent humiliates Brian for the loss of his rifle. Softening toward Linda, Ken goes to her tent to talk and is jealously watched by Vincent. Soon after, Jackson tries to sneak back into camp, but Kakora catches him. Escaping Kakora's grasp, Jackson runs into the bush and is pursued by Ken and the others, who leave Odongo behind to protect Linda. Sneaking back to camp, Jackson attacks Linda, but is repelled by Odongo and Jerusalem, who slams him over the head with a frying pan. Just as Jackson regains his balance and is about to assault Linda again, Ken returns and shoots him. The next day, Brian remains behind with Linda as Ken and Vincent track Atari. Linda drinks to compensate for her desperate unhappiness as Vincent's consort, and after finishing a bottle, decides to jump into a rubber raft and go fishing on the treacherous river. In the brush, meanwhile, Ken and Vincent spot Atari, and although Ken warns that they are at too great a distance to bring the animal down, Vincent fires anyway, wounding the beast, who then takes cover in the jungle. Just then, Brian arrives with news that Linda is drifting dangerously down the river. As her raft approaches the rapids, Linda is catapulted from the craft into the water and trailed by a hungry crocodile. Upon reaching the river bank, Ken shoots the crocodile and pulls Linda to shore. As Kakora, Ken and Vincent resume tracking the wounded lion, an enraged rhinoceros charges from the bush and gores Kakora. After sorrowfully burying his friend, Ken denounces Vincent as being responsible for Kakora's death. Later, alone with Ken, Linda announces that she is taking her final drink to fuel her courage so that she can proclaim her love for him. Soon after, Roy radios that a contingent of Mau Mau terrorists are heading toward them. When Ken orders the safari to move out immediately, Vincent, determined to bag the lion at any cost, pops a handful of pills and then heads into the night to kill his prey. When Ken goes after him, Vincent, crazed, threatens to shoot the hunter. Just then, Atari lunges at Vincent and mauls him. After Ken shoots the beast, he carries the gravely injured Vincent back to camp. Aware that they must quickly reach the hospital in Nairobi if they are to save Vincent's life, Ken decides to take a shortcut through Mau Mau country. As the safari enters the perilous territory, Jeroge and his men, positioned in the hills above the road, shoot out their tires and then attack. After Ken peppers the terrorists with gunfire, they retreat, waiting until dark to attack once more. To save his friends, Odongo risks his life and runs off to notify the territorial police of their peril. As night falls, Ken orders the others to pull out, but the Mau Mau swoop down upon them first, blocking the road with a felled tree. As Jerusalem, Linda and Ken fire at the terrorists, Vincent raves in delirium and is fatally struck by a Mau Mau bullet. Just as Odongo and the reinforcements arrive, Jeroge wounds Ken and is about to shoot Odongo when Ken rises up and slays him. Now safe, Linda kisses Ken and Odongo merrily laughs and muses that Ken will now look after Linda.