FRONTED BEE EATER
CUB IN TREE
When two photo trips organised by my Netherlands based tour operator were cancelled. I looked around and found Wild4.
Justyna was extremely helpful in putting together a private tour for me.
I opted for 8 nights Kruger, 2 nights Big Cats & the 2 night Vulture / Reptile extension. Some emails later and all was booked and paid for.
In Nelspruit I met up with Jaco Venter, one of Stu's partners in crime for photo safaris. Jaco and I got on very well and we even talked, on occasion, a mixture of Afrikaans and Dutch, lots of fun there!
Like Stu, mentioned in another testimonial, Jaco has the eyes of an eagle !! .His knowledge and patience are seemingly infinite, he is also very service and safety minded.
I tend to shy away from flash but as we were doing a night shoot at the Big Cat Reserve, Jaco quickly taught me what to do (and not to do) and the photographs turned out wonderful. Fortunately he had a second flash with him. I'd brought along 2 pocket wizards to run one flash and we pulled it of by using slave mode on the other. In short, Wild4 Photographic Safaris is the one you want to book with to get the best opportunities.
This is not the last time I will make use of their services. Thank you Justyna, John and Jaco for a wonderful time.
We were very lucky to have found the Wild 4 Team in 2010 when we were able to take a short photographic safari as part of a business trip to Cape Town. So when we could plan a photography trip overseas, naturally we contacted Stu and Justyna. Based on on our 2010 experience, we were very excited to book a 2012 Lions and Leopards of Mala Mala Photo Safari. We also brought along a good friend who wanted to do her first photo safari. To say the three of us had a blast would be to underestimate the experience.
I wonder how many other photographers have been a few feet from a cheetah taking down an impala only to share the kill with a caracal. Other highlights included a rare king cheetah, mating leopards, a den of wild dogs with their pups, photographing and touching a boomslang, green mamba and black mamba, and being surrounded by a herd of elephants.
But perhaps the best part of all was being back with friends whom we know and trust. We know a good thing when we experience it. When we are ready for our next African adventure, you can bet we will contact the Wild 4 Team.
We just came back from our 10 nights, 11 days Safari adventure with Wild4 African Photographic Safaris. From our first email exchange with Justyna, to being dropped off at Hoedspruit airport, everything was handled professionally and well organized. Our wonderful guide, Jaco, picked us up at Nelspruit Airport. What we did not expect was we were also greeted by Stu and Justyna, together with their 2 beautiful daughters, 3 yrs old Molly and 1 yr old Jenny. Stu and Justyna came just to make a point to meet us and ensured that we were in good hands.
Over the next 10 days, we were enriched so much by Jaco's knowledge and experience towards wildlife. I will always remember, but could never understand, how 4 lions made a kill, a cape buffalo, but were chased away by 4 hyenas. But that was exactly what we were told by our guide even before the story was unfolding in front of our eyes. This can only interpret as excellent knowledge of animal behaviour.
The sightings are superb, accommodations are great, though not 5 star, but much more than adequate.
We have no hesitation in recommending Wild4. They are genuine, personable and will try their absolute best to make sure that your trip is going to be a memorable one.
Thanks again, Wild4, for an amazing trip.
Frank & Annette
|For a non photographer, the thought of two weeks in a vehicle with a bunch of avid photographers was rather daunting. However, thanks to Stu and his family I had an unforgettable experience.
From the time we met Stu & Justyna at the airport until the time John & Justyna waved us goodbye I was included as one of the group and made to feel at least as important as the photographers. Stu & John's knowledge and understsanding of all the animals and birds (between them they saw and identified 97 different birds) made it a real pleasure and privilege to sit beside them in the truck. Everyday I learnt something new and they were endlessly patient with all my questions. From choice I spent a day by myself in Lower Sabie Camp, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There are loads of birds and lizards in the camp and I sat on the cafe balcony and watched a herd of elephants cross the river below me - magical.
Ann's catering was amazing, beautifully packed breakfast & lunch and lots of snacks followed by a delicious meal in the evenings. All this was mixed with lots of fun and good natured banter with our fellow travellers, special thanks to John & Marie.
So, to anyone who is hesitating about joining their spouse I would say 'go, you will have an unforgettable experience'.
|'Thank you Stu for such a memorable safari to the Kruger.
WILD4 provided a totally professional service, from the pre-safari preparation to the sighting and photographing of so many animals and birds, at all stages your team provided first class support and advice. The package you provide is superb and that is why I am booking another safari with you.
Our 14 days with Wild4 Safaris will always be remembered as the best learning experience we have ever embarked on. Not only for the improvement in photographic skills and knowledge, but also the animal behavioral knowledge that we gained. We were totally immersed in the world of wildlife photography in the best place in the world with one of the best pro photographers around. Stu genuinely enjoys sharing his knowledge and passing. More than a holiday, it was an unbelievably rewarding learning experience and has taken our skill level up significantly.
Stu and his team were able to help us learn about our equipment and coach us to apply these new skills quickly. Their sharing of knowledge, expertise in photography, and being able to read wildlife behaviour along with the excellent booklet (which became Marie's bible) are world class. This ensured we got to places that others didn't and that we were always in the best position to shoot. We also booked the 2 night Forest Lodge extension ( done at the beginning of the trip) and were most impressed with the "behind the scenes" access we gained at each Reserve. Stu didn't disappoint and in fact was able to put together some memorable opportunities for us to get many excellent shots.
The whole package was first class, from the pick up at Nelspruit, accommodation, food and day trips, to the people (now friends) who we met on the trip. This is one of those bucket list adventures that we will be doing again with WILD4.
John and Marie
|From the moment we contacted Wild 4 we were impressed with the prompt, friendly, enthusiastic way our queries were answered.
Stu is a passionate wildlife photographer eager to pass on skills, ideas, techniques and information.
The wildlife sightings leopards, lions with cubs, rhinos, elephant herds the list goes on - Awesome, Amazing, Exciting are just a few words that come to mind. Thanks to Stu and guides Jaco, Iwan and Yuri. Not forgetting the support of John, Ann (excellent food) and of course Justyna nothing was to much trouble for them.
We have had many safaris in various countries but this surpassed them all.
The only decision now is not if, but when we return
LIONS & LEOPARDS OF MALA MALA JULY 2011
|The Wild 4 team made my trip to South Africa a truly memorable experience. Photographing some of the orphaned captive animals at the private game reserve was a great way to start the holiday, and Stu's tuition on techniques, composition and familiarity with your gear was the foundation for the rest of the trip.
In Kruger we had some wonderful sightings - including the 'Big 5' all in one day on two consecutive days! The highlights were spending 20 minutes with a leopard cub in a tree no more than 30 metres away, and on the last day watching a pride of 14 lions stalking a herd of zebra for more than an hour - just wonderful experiences! I'm sure the quality of the shots I took was infinitely better than if I'd gone on a regular safari, as the whole focus of the experience is expertly designed to maximise photographic opportunities - including the small number of people in the specially designed vehicle.
Stu's knowledge, enthusiasm and patience were boundless, and Ann's spotting and catering skills were also priceless! I hope to visit Africa again soon, and without doubt Wild 4 will be my first option.
BEST OF KRUGER PLUS BIG CATS
|As a return customer I can't recommend enough the experience of these trips as well as photographic opportunities that surpass all expectations.
In addition I have now visited the reptile centre, as part of the Forest Lodge extension, twice. Both times I have been delighted with the skill and expertise of the rangers there.
The opportunities set up for photography are exceptional and that coupled with Stu's masterclass in close up and macro provides a day to remember.
If you get the opportunity to do the Forest Lodge extension, take it as it's worth every minute.
I would like to express my thanks
to you for your excellent tuition on the "Lions &
Leopards of Klaserie" photographic safari. During the
course of a few days, you lifted my photographic skills
to greater heights by introducing me to additional techniques
and making me work with my camera to achieve extremely pleasing
I must also compliment you on the organisation of the trip,
the logistics were seamless, the food and staff excellent
and without exception, every game drive provided great animal
encounters, allowing us to put into practice our new found
Once again, many, many thanks for a wonderful trip.
|For thirty-five years
I had dreamed of going on a photographic safari in South Africa.
This year I finally realized that dream and it is fair to
say that my hopes and expectations were surpassed in every
I had done extensive research on African photographic safaris
on the Internet before settling on Wild 4 photo safaris. What
an inspired choice that turned out to be! This family company
run by Stu Porter and his wife, Justyna, and aided by Stu’s
parents, John and Ann, provides the perfect safari experience
for photographers of every skill level.
Stu is one South Africa’s finest wild-life photographers
and a first-class teacher into the bargain. His and John’s
knowledge of the habitat and habits of the animals and birds
to be found in Kruger National Park is simply encyclopedic.
Both are excellent spotters and photographic opportunities
are constantly identified by these eagle-eyed guides. I was
accompanied on the trip by my 25 year-old daughter, Amy, and
we eagerly adapted to the early morning wake-up call to go
off into the wilds in one of Stu’s specially fitted
jeeps to photograph animals at sunrise.
Every day brought its special moments whether the spectacle
of lions mating just a few metres from the jeep, or leopards
lying lazily in the grass digesting a meal, or elephants and
hippos frolicking in a river. The days sped by and we returned
home with thousands of photographs of birds and animals to
sort through and cherish for the memories they bring back.
A safari with Wild 4 is more than a photographic experience
with a master photographer: it is an initiation into the wonders
of South Africa – its wild-life and spectacular landscapes
- and, above all, an experience of friendship as everyone
aboard the jeep bond in common purpose.
Everything about Wild 4 is first class: organization is superb,
accommodations excellent, choices of locale perfect. Our safari
with Stu and John, Justyna and Ann was truly the experience
of a life-time.
|This was our first
out of country photography trip. We were very excited and
nervous. We did our research. Could this be for real? Was
it too good to be true? Where was the catch?
Let us give you a clue…there was no catch! We were treated
in a warm and friendly manner from our first inquiry to our
final wave goodbye at the airport. Everything was handled
totally professionally! It was like a dream come true….days
spent on wildlife photography…and being tutored by someone
who really knows how to do it. Obviously Stu, Justyna, Ann
and John love what they do.
The only downside is sorting out several thousand photos in
Lightroom when we get home. There are just some tasks you
don't mind doing. It will be a labor of love.
Will we go on photo safari again? Only with Wild 4 folks!!!
|This was simply an
outstanding photographic safari all round – by far the
best that I have been on! As a keen enthusiast photographer,
looking to step up a level with view to entering 2 competitions
later in the year, I could not have hoped for more. Excellent
The family based Wild4 team is personable and friendly and
went the extra mile all the way through. They are very well
organized and their prompt and helpful responses to queries
pre-trip ensured they were easy and a pleasure to deal with.
Stu Porter can pitch his photographic tuition at any level
and his attention to detail and enthusiasm was spot on throughout
this trip. I was surprised by just how much I learn’t
because I was quite comfortable with my photo technique on
arrival. I have easily adopted his full-on manual approach,
every bit of which he was able to justify - a revelation!
I am quite picky, but I cannot praise these guys enough and
I will be back.
Very many thanks to the whole team.
Dear WILD4 Team,
thanks a lot for making our anniversary holiday so special.
The sightings were superb and your company was very enjoyable.
We cannot wait for the next trip to arrive.
All the best
Graham & Caroline
Very many thanks to all of you Stu, Ann, John, Justyna and
Molly - for a wonderful trip.
We really enjoyed our two weeks with you - the organisation
was superb, the food was excellent and the guiding and photographic
advice from you. Stu, was invaluable. I am sure that without
your expertise we would never have seen as many animals or
got as many images as we did. Several photographic friends
have already contacted us to enquire how our trip went and
we have highly recommended you to them.
With many thanks from us both,
David and Mary
We couldn’t have enjoyed
our trip with Wild 4 more. We were made to feel extremely
welcome right from our very first e-mail contact, something
which continued throughout our trip and beyond. We’d
like to thank Stu, Justyna, Ann, John and Molly for being
such wonderful and enthusiastic hosts. Being looked after
by such a friendly and caring family was a delight and we
were very reluctant to leave after two weeks.
Stu is a very knowledgeable, hard-working and helpful guide,
always on hand with useful pointers and offering us plenty
of encouragement to experiment with our photography. Having
a whole row each of a specially adapted safari vehicle was
a real find, ensuring we didn’t miss out on any of
the action. Being able to stay out in the bush all day was
also a real bonus. While many other vehicles drove off after
only a few minutes, we were able to spend hours observing
groups of lions and other wildlife.
As this was our first African safari, Stu suggested we spend
the first few nights at the Big Cats reserve and this proved
to be a magical experience, with some great close-up action
that resulted in some beautiful shots.
Given the opportunity we would go again tomorrow without
any hesitation. Simply perfect!
anyone is contemplating a photo trip to Africa, then we
would have absolutely no hesitation in recomending Stu Porter
and Wild4 Photographic Safaris. It doesn't really matter
what your level of skill is you will get as much or as little
help and advice as you wish to receive. Nothing is thrust
down your throat and Stu doesn't spend all his time taking
his own photographs as some do.
Stu has taken a huge amount of time and trouble in customising
and setting up the vehicles used by his company and the
effort he's put in makes the whole experience so much more
enjoyable. Tethered bean bags are provided and secure plate
mounts on the side of the vehicle will also take your tripod
head ensuring a rock steady platform and Stu most certainly
knows where the animals are. Particularly enjoyable is the
time spent at the Big Cat Reserve which is an unbelieveable
Many thanks WILD4 !!
aspiring photographer who has not yet been on a wildlife safari
should join a WILD4 SAFARI with Stu and Justyna Porter in
Kruger National Park. You will be guided by a graduate professional
photographer who is also a highly-qualified South African
Stu's knowledge of photography and his understanding of Kruger's
wildlife are exceptional. He is also blessed with an amazing
spotter's eyesight. I often thought to myself, how on earth
did he see that!
As each day begins all these talents are passed on with sincerity
and quiet enthusiasm to each photographer's needs. Nothing
is ever too much trouble and his positioning of the vehicle
for the best light and animal profile is always his first
consideration. On our tour there were times for laughter and
many times when action and adrenalin ran high.
Any successful safari is only as good as its backup team.
This small company is most ably supported by Stu's wife Justyna
who is the drive behind the scenes and efficiently arranges
the accommodation not to mention the early morning hot water
bottles! Justyna and Ann Porter provide excellent food for
the day in the park and around the campfire at night. Both
are qualified field guides and their spotting abilities add
greatly to each day's safari.
This particular trip was most rewarding in both personal and
photographic terms and one of the best we have ever enjoyed.
Sincere thanks to you all.
recently returned from a "Wild 4 Photo Safari"
and can recommend them without reservation. Their skill,
professionalism and expertise is excelled only by the standard
of excellence shown in every aspect of the trip. From the
logistics to the accommodation, the food to the transportation,
their inside knowledge of African wildlife to their passion
for what they do, every aspect SUPERB!! If you are looking
for the ultimate "Photo Safari", this is it! I
will definitely book again!!!
In July 2008
I did a photo safari in and around Kruger National Park
with Wild4. At the end of the trip I could not think of
one significant thing that I would have changed to make
the experience better.
I have travelled to
various parts of East and Southern Africa many times to
photograph wildlife and I have to say that this was THE
most photographically productive trip of them all. Not
simply the volume of pictures, but the quality and variety
of images that I returned home with was simply awesome.
Key to this was Stu’s knowledge, enthusiasm and
patience. Most days we were photographing from first light
until sunset, and beyond on some occasions. I quickly
learned not to worry about getting the vehicle into the
best position for background, light, etc. We would see
an animal and I'd start to assess where I would like to
be for a shot, no sooner would I have done this I would
realise that Stu was already getting us into that very
position. The man is a first class guide AND an excellent
But these trips are
not just for photographers, anyone with a real interest
in observing wildlife and experiencing nature will not
be disappointed. It is hard to imagine a better way to
see Kruger, its wildlife, and the surrounding area.
The whole trip, from
start to finish, ran like clockwork. The camps were comfortable,
the food was great (especially the meals prepared by Justyna)
and the company delightful. Going on Safari with Stu and
Justyna was like being with friends, I had a truly unforgettable
do not come any better than this.
you are serious about nature photography, you can't do better
than booking with Wild 4.
Wild 4's itinerary, a mix of wild park (Kruger) and private
game parks provides sun-up to sundown quality photo-ops,
and you feel you are traveling with good friends who are
showing you their favorite spots.
This was our fourth African photo safari (three others in
East Africa) and we could not believe what a difference
it makes, when a professional photographer, who understands
light and animal behavior, just happens to be your driver,
in a photo vehicle he designed himself. There was super
spotting work from Justyna and Ann from a separate radio
equipped vehicle. We were the first on a leopard / impala
kill thanks to one of Ann's incredible sightings, resulting
in a sensational series of images shot over 45 minutes of
the leopard dragging her prey to her den.
After an exciting, productive day in the field, we were
treated to friendly conversation, sitting around a campfire,
and wonderful feasts magically prepared by Justyna and Ann.
Wild 4 is a totally professional and very special company.
Thanks Stu, Justyna and Ann for a sensational safari."
Thank you so much for a fantastic safari experience, we all
had a wonderful time due in no short measure to your enthusiasm
and tireless efforts to ensure it was a success. As a non
photographer I was initially a little anxious that I could
get bored or feel left out but this was not at all the case.
I would recommend the trip to anyone with an interest in nature
whether a photographer or not. Having the time to absorb what
is going on, to watch the animals relax and get on with their
lives and to experience their behaviour at their pace was
fascinating. The enjoyment was greatly enhanced by Stu’s
knowledge and contagious enthusiasm for the wildlife around
us. His easy manner meant that everyone was included whether
they held a camera or not.
The support crew were also excellent, after a long day observing
in the park, it was great to return to the various camps,
to find our bags already in the rooms and a hot meal waiting
for us. There was obviously a lot of hard work going on behind
the scenes to prepare all the meals and picnics and it made
a real difference.
In conclusion thank you for a fantastic trip, we hope very
much to repeat the experience with you again and once again
I will only bring my binoculars.
Very best wishes
trip was awesome....made so, in large part, by WILD4. The
wildlife at Kruger was terrific. But, it was your teamwork
in the field, your uncanny ability to spot wildlife and your
willingness to accommodate our EVERY need that made the trip
a resounding success. Stu...you are an extremely knowledgeable
guide and a superb photographer. You even taught this old
dog some new tricks. Justyna...you made a huge contribution
to this trip, with your role as a "spotter," your
wonderful meals and your exceptionally positive attitude.
We could not have asked for a more talented, thoughtful and
gracious pair of folks to spend our vacation in South Africa
with. We wish you the very best success in your endeavor.
Please let us know how we can help to market Wild4 to folks
who share our love for wildlife and photography.
am a Molecular Biologist by profession and a serious amateur
nature photographer and have been on a number of organized
trips over the last 10 years with the dual aims of enjoying
nature and getting the best images possible.
The organization of a two week trip with Wild 4 Photographic
Safaris through Kruger National Park I shared with two other
photographers and their wives was as good as I have ever experienced.
The Porter family was friendly, knowledgeable and intuitively
supportive. Stu really knows his subjects and spared no effort
in getting the photographers into the best situation. He has
a very pleasant, calm personality and is an accomplished nature
photographer and naturalist which means he knows where the
light or action is best and often what is about to happen.
His vehicle is also well set-up for discriminating photographers.
Justyna was just brilliant in getting things organized and
making sure we were well and sensibly fed. Her bubbly personality
made everyone relaxed and happy around the campfire at night.
Having our own scout vehicle to report activity in the area
while we pursued other subjects, worked well, and on a number
of occasions provided photo opportunities we would have missed
In summary; rating out of 10…….no
doubt a 10.
We are all reasonably experienced nature photographers, a
couple of us have been to Africa before, and one of our members
is a very experienced nature photographer.
We have a particular affinity for bird photography, but also
enjoy the African game animals. I'm pleased to say we are
all thrilled with the entire trip. Stu met us at the airport
on day 1, and what was to have been a quick couple hour drive
to camp, took all afternoon until sunset, we found so many
things to shoot.
Then we wanted to do something slightly off the itinerary
on day 2, and Stu again accommodated us. It was like that
throughout the entire trip, the Porter family was very accommodating.
From Justyna's great cooking to the private spotting vehicle.
Even though we were in a big national park using public facilities,
the Porter family made us feel like we were in our own private
game reserve, and the animals were there just for us.
Stu's local knowledge of the birds and game is just great,
he's a walking guide book. And because he's in Kruger so often,
he knows where the best spots are. Also he knows all the other
guides, and they share information. And most importantly if
you are considering a photo safari, Stu is an accomplished
nature photographer himself. He knows the light and how to
position and approach for the best shot. He knows what photographers
want and how to get it. The experience might be quite different
if just any guide were to drive you around. And having a spotting
vehicle out searching for game really helped us see some extra
animals we wouldn't have seen.
The results were outstanding. We saw and photographed all
the of the big five, and several seldom seen animals totaling
33 mammal species and 164 bird species. All in all, the trip
was great value for the money, highly recommended!
spent a wonderful time with Stu, photographing from sunrise
to sunset in and around the Kruger Park, and it was without
doubt the most productive trip in terms of photography that
I have ever experienced.
Stu is a professional photographer and understands light,
and it was a pleasure to be taken to his favourite photographic
locations, based on his experience over many years".