When elephant biologist Marilyn leads safari clientele on a dawn trek, a band of poachers kidnaps her and Vogue writer Nancee for no apparent reason. Bonding in misery, the dissimilar women suffer the gang's harassment and endure the primitiveness of their hideout, empty miles from nowhere. Notes threaten Harry Ace, the camp bwana, with a gruesome death for fiancee Marilyn unless he arranges the shutdown of the area's antipoaching unit (APU). Contrary to instructions, he risks bringing in faraway authorities, who then insist the ransom demand can't be met, since it could lead to the slaughter of internationally treasured wildlife. The murder of Nancee's querulous husband near camp muddies the situation.Although his death seems connected to the kidnapping, safari guests become suspect because all detested the victim. The murder investigation sidetracks the hostage search. Bush-smart Marilyn and tenderfoot Nancee manage to escape on foot after a lion mauls one of the gang. They elude pursuers and predators for two harrowing days until, on the verge of freedom, the gang recaptures them aboard a river pontoon. The physical toll and the gang's wrath lengthen the odds against their survival at a new hideout. Harry uncovers links between the gang and the APU, whose corrupted chief disappears. After Harry and Red Berets backtrack the hostage trail, they conclude the women may be dead. An alleged ringleader of the gang is subsequently killed before he's interrogated, and once in custody, the APU chief professes ignorance of the kidnapping. Marilyn and Nancee summon all their courage, thwart rape, and flee mindless into the bush without food or water. They suffer a bizarre existence while foraging off the land, determined to survive despite their slim chances. An ambush of the gang leaves none alive for questioning. Hell-bent on avenging the women, Harry pieces together the real reason for the kidnapping and related camp murder; he confronts and outwits the mastermind in a showdown, aware that the culprit's lawyers may win in the end.