2020 Custom Photographic Tours & Photo Safaris
Prices Tailored to your needs
We offer custom photo safaris for people with specific requests, for small groups of friends or camera club members, and for people who might not have the length of time available to join one of our scheduled photo safaris.
Scheduled photo safaris are my first priority, but if I am available, I will accompany custom photo safaris to offer photo tuition. If I am not available at the time you would like to travel, then, unfortunately, there would not be the option of photographic tuition available. However, we could still arrange a photographic safari for you that would include excellent photographic opportunities with professional guides who are sensitive to the needs of photographers.
We also arrange a number of private photo safaris for experienced photographers who simply do not require photographic tuition. This helps to cut the cost of the trip, and you will get access to our experience in setting up photo-specific itineraries that include the best and most photo-productive locations in Africa. Allow us to take care of all the photographic details and travel logistics for you so that you can concentrate solely on your photography.
Please fill out the enquiry form found alongside. Be sure to describe what it is you would like to focus on, the number of people in your group (or whether travelling alone), where you would like to go (which country/reserve), what level of accommodation you are happy with (basic, standard or luxury) and the expected duration of your trip.
If you have a specific set of dates you want to enquire about, please enter them into the main "Enquiry" box along with the rest of your enquiry.
We will get back to you with the most relevant information based on your specific needs.
Please read our "General Faq's" below
YES, any level from total beginner to experienced wildlife photographers can enjoy our photo safaris. Having a small group allows me to accommodate the different levels very easily. The amount of tuition and approach is tailored to the needs of individual clients on each trip.
As far as equipment goes, this can make a difference in your overall enjoyment of the safari. If you are concerned you might not have the appropriate equipment then please contact me to discuss this in more detail.
It is best to contact the embassy of the country you will be travelling to; to double check and see what their latest policies are with regards to Visas and whether you should apply for them before you travel or if you can obtain them at the port of entry.
Smoking is not allowed in the safari vehicle and generally it is not a very good idea to smoke in the bush as the grass is often tinder dry and bush fires can start easily. We do not take specific breaks for smoking either, but we will stop at relevant times for everyone to have a break and stretch their legs or have a cup of coffee. This would be your opportunity to have a smoke break. We ask you to respect the environment and carry your cigarette ends away with you.
Spending long hours in the safari vehicles will inevitably end up in folks needed a bathroom stop. We have to respect the rules of the different parks when it comes to this and these rules will be explained before the start of each safari. Generally the safari saying of "any tree is a lavatree (lavatory)" goes. We will make sure we stop in a safe location for the comfort break.
The Kruger National Park is the only location that has proper washroom facilities at designated picnic sites or in the camps, and as per the rules of the park we are required to stop at these specific places, not anywhere in the bush. Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania do not have such facilities, and stopping at an appropriate place in the bush is allowed.
All of our safaris have emergency procedures in place. We will have contact with the office via either radio, cell phone or satellite phone. The office would then dispatch the relevant help - be it medical or otherwise. In the case of medical assistance, the initial recovery from the field to the most relevant medical facility would be covered by our safari insurance. Your medical insurance would need to cover you for all other expenses.
From a photo tuition perspective, we have two options available to potential clients.
When I personally lead any photo safari, there will be photo tuition and guidance available. On some of our extensions and Bespoke Photo Safaris we really hit the photo tuition hard and work through as many elements of nature photography as we can in a "workshop" style. This is because it is at the request of the particular clients who have asked for a high level of tuition and because we have a good deal of time available to focus specifically on certain aspects.
On our scheduled photo safaris you will soon find that the days are long and tiring, we get up early, return late and barely have time to download the days images before getting to bed at a sensible time only to do it all over again on the following day. The tuition format is therefore very informal, I like to approach topics as they become relevant and we will do these in the field in front of real live situations - this is the best way to learn. There will be times when we are waiting patiently at a sighting and can discuss any topic that you feel you would like help with. Siesta times at midday are usually well used for that exact reason, but I am personally available at any time of day or night. I have sat up until midnight on many occasions running through workflow, camera technique and doing night photography with those who are keen.
I am on the safari so that you can pick my brain, ask questions, watch my workflow and teach me a new technique that you might like or find useful yourself !- there is always room to learn and I always learn a lot on each trip myself.
I like to pick up on elements that would be relevant to each photographer. I adjust the level of tuition to the needs of each individual, again this is the beauty of having a small group. I like to talk my way through scenarios as they unfold in front of us and let you know what I am trying to achieve.
If you are a more experienced wildlife photographer, this option would suit you better. During the past 14 years I have met and worked with many excellent safari guides who are not necessarily professional photographers. However they know what the needs of photographers are and how to position the vehicle and predict animal behaviour. They are also very keen photographers themselves and I can highly recommend them as specialist photographic guides. If you are a confident & experienced photographer you can confidently book a safari with one of our specialist guides in the knowledge that they will always be looking out for photographic opportunities, and not simply trying to show you african wildlife, which would be the case on a regular safari with a regular safari guide.
In this option you would then not receive any specialist photo tuition or assistance with setting up your camera or which settings to use etc.., but you will be in very capable hands as far as getting photographs would be concerned. These safaris are also better priced compared with the scheduled trips that I personally lead as I do not have to build my own accommodation, travel and personal costs into the safari.
Regardless of which safari you register for, I will also send you my own set of PDF Photo Tuition Documents which include a pre-safari Camera Set-up guide and my "Seven Top Tips". Reading these before the safari begins will help to prepare you for the types of things you will be doing on safari.
Yes, myself and the guides I use do take photos and I feel that it is important for us to do this. We are constantly looking for the best angle for a good photograph. We have many years of experience in the African bush and can predict a lot of animal behaviour. Getting the vehicle into position where we feel it would make a good photo often helps others who are unsure of where to park, which lens to use, how to compose, which settings to use and what behaviour might follow.
We all have an interest in photography but our passion is our business; which is guiding people on a photo safari. We want to make sure you achieve the best photos possible.
Our main aim is not to sell our portfolios, it is to sell our photo safaris. We do need good photos of animals to do this, but more importantly we want our clients to go home with the best portfolio possible.
Yes we can cater for special medical dietary requirements, but you need to inform us of these requirements when you register. We will then be able to inform the lodges / camps we will be staying at about your requests well in advance.
Depending on what your special requirements are there may be a surcharge for this service.
Your time on safari is YOURS, you can feel free to use it as you wish. However I can confidently say that very few people have ever opted to sleep in or spend time at the pool. This is a photo safari after all. Our main reason for being on the safari is to spend every possible minute doing photography so leisure time is not something people normally request.
On occasion people have wanted to sleep in on one day or skip an afternoon game drive, this is entirely up to you. However please note that we will not change our usual schedule to accommodate "leisure time" If for example you decided to sleep in, you would not have the right to request the vehicle to come back and collect you at a more convenient time.
The photographers who go out with the vehicle can decide when to return. If you have a private vehicle to yourself then you can do as you please.
Credit Cards are by far the most convenient 90% of the time. Bringing along some cash as a backup is also a good idea. US$ are readily accepted in most African Countries and can also be used in some local shops (**Please note that there are some exceptions like South Africa and Namibia - both of these countries DO NOT ALLOW the use of US$
** If you are unsure please ASK us about which option is most suitable for the safari you are doing.
As far as tipping goes (more on the tipping section) you could separate it into the following two scenarios:
1) Your Local Driver / Guide / Ranger: - this can be done in US$ - CASH only
2) Lodge / Camp staff
> Kenya - this can be done in US$ - CASH or CARD
> Tanzania - this can be done in US$ - CASH only
> Botswana - this can be done in US$ - CASH only
> South Africa - this can be done in US$ - CASH or CARD ** this depends on the actual accommodation used - please ask us for clarity **
> Namibia - this can be done in US$ - CASH or CARD ** this depends on the actual accommodation used - please ask us for clarity **
Any other major foreign currency will also be readily accepted (EURO, GBP)
If you have any concerns please contact us and we will clarify it for you further.
All of our scheduled photo safaris (except for Namibia) are vehicle based for the majority of the time. You will need to be in reasonable health but we will not undergo any long walks or hikes unless you personally choose to do so, or unless it is detailed in the safari description. Our extensions and custom safaris might warrant a different fitness level - please ask us for more details about the fitness level required for your specific custom photo safari or chosen extension.
Our Landscape tours of Namibia do require a fairly good level of fitness to get the most out of them. There is a lot of sand in Namibia and walking in this sand and up sand dunes is part of the trip. If you have more questions about fitness levels PLEASE ask us before signing up on any of our safaris.
On any trip to Africa there is a risk of getting Malaria. Some areas have a higher risk than others. As we are not medical doctors we cannot advise you about whether or not you should take malaria medication. Our advice is to consult your local doctor or travel clinic.
This is also a question you would need to consult a doctor or travel clinic about as details of these change on an ongoing basis. Be sure to ask your doctor or clinic about YELLOW FEVER as it is relevant in some of the countries we visit.
Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs do not have a specific birthing season and give birth at anytime. The short answer to this question is "anytime" it really depends on your luck at the time of your visit.
Yes we do spend time on photographing birds but we have two safaris which are truly dedicated to bird photography - the "BIRDS of KRUGER" photo safari and the "BIRDS of KENYA" photo safari, both of these usually run every November.
On our other scheduled photo safaris we will be stopping for "the large and colourful birds". If you would like to try and cover the birds and the mammals in detail then we recommend you travel with a like minded photographer or that you book out a private safari vehicle so that you can go entirely at your own pace.
The pace of a regular photo safari compared with a bird photo safari is very different. If you want to stop for every single bird no matter the distance or size, you will fall far behind the other vehicles who might find other sightings that you might not be able to get to in time. You would need to understand this and know that you cannot be everywhere at the same time.
In general we would recommend that you stick to bottled drinking water on all the safaris. In Kenya and Tanzania this also includes brushing your teeth with bottled water. In South Africa it is possible to drink the local water and brush your teeth with it, so the risk of getting ill is small, however we still recommend you drink bottled water.
Yes the vehicles in our group are in radio contact with each other and we do pass on relevant information about photo opportunities to each other.
Each country has its own electrical and plug system. After you have registered to do a safari with us, we will send out the "PLUG & VOLTAGE" document which will explain this topic in more detail
YES it is possible to add on an extension to any of our safaris if you wanted to stay longer or visit a different place. There are some extension suggestions on the photo safari pages under the "EXTENSIONS" tab. Please ask us if you need help with this or if you would like to tailor a specific extension.
Yes this is possible to arrange for you - please ask at the time of registration
Yes this is possible to arrange, there will of course be a surcharge for the exclusive use of the safari vehicle, please ask us what this would be for the safari you are interested in.
Having worked with many different guides in different locations I have found that it is always nice and refreshing to have a guide with new ideas and suggestions and work together to achieve new images. It is also important though that the basics are understood by all the guides we use on our photo safaris which is why my training manual came to be.
The manual covers the basics of how to guide photographers, looking at the light, the distance from the subject and parking in a position to predict the animals next move. The manual also illustrates "in the field examples" so that guides know what we photographers are talking about when we say "can we move 1 meter forward, my background is not good from this position, etc etc..." !!
The manual has a big section on communication - this is the key to a successful safari. both guides and photographers need to know what is going on so that they can prepare for potential situations, never assume, always ask, it will allow you to achieve more successful images.
We secure the use of "Private Safari Vehicles" on all of our safaris. This is a very important element of a successful photographic safari. Essentially it means that you will not share the vehicle with other guests staying at the lodge / camp who are not part of our group. Regular safari clients and nature photographers do not mix very well. You will want to stay for extended periods at a sighting waiting for the best photo opportunities.
Many regular safari clients just want to see an animal, take one picture and leave to go and look for more animals to tick off their list. We avoid this by securing private safari vehicles at all locations. Understandably there is a surcharge to hire these vehicles as the lodge or camp has to issue a specific vehicle and guide for our group and the vehicle is not filled with up to 9 people as it often is on regular safaris. In our case there will only be a maximum of 3 photographers per vehicle.
We must receive a formal written notification of your cancellation.
Deposits are non-refundable.
All Photo Safaris:
In the case of a cancellation, we must receive written notification, at which time the following fees will apply:
* Deposit is non-refundable
* 89 to 60 days before departure: 75% of tour fee
* 59 or fewer days before departure: 100% of tour fee.
We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance at the time of booking your tour with us to cover any eventualities relating to having to cancel your safari.
Authentic photo safaris, by their very nature have to be flexible. We do our utmost to accommodate our clients needs and requests which are often very different from a regular safari. We take each day as it comes and yes we are able to be flexible and stay out all day if a particular situation warrants it.
If we are far from camp and are patiently waiting for a Leopard to descend a tree, a Cheetah to hunt or a group of Wildebeest to cross the Mara River then we most certainly stay out. It is always a good idea to bring along some snack bars or take a piece of fruit with you in case we do not return for lunch. On most occasions our packed breakfasts have enough food in them to last the full day anyway.
If there is nothing to wait for and the day is particularly hot with animals resting in the shade, it would not be sensible to stay out and so we do return to camp on such occasions for a midday break, some lunch and then we head out again when the temperature drops and the animals become more active.
Tipping is a safari tradition in Africa. You are welcome to stick to your regular personal tipping policies but we politely recommend you try to follow our guidelines regarding tipping as it helps to set a standard.
Firstly, even though it is expected, it is not compulsory. If you feel that you have not been given excellent service then you do not have to tip. I personally feel that if somebody goes above and beyond their job description then it is polite to tip them and I am more than happy to do so.
We do our utmost to source quality safari companies and guides who have a similar work ethic and passion to us. The staff and guides work extremely hard to make sure we have a good time and they are incredibly patient and flexible.
Please ask us to send you our detailed recommended tipping policy for the specific photo safari you are interested in joining. It will also be in your Arrival Information Document, which will be sent to you 2 weeks before the start of your photo safari.
- First contact us to confirm that there are spaces available on the photo safari that you are interested in - (please use the enquiry form on this page)
- Once we confirm with you that there is space available, and you would like to make a booking, these are the steps you would follow:
We will send you a link that will take you to the photo safari that you want to join. Along with the link we will send a detailed PDF document that will guide you though the booking process.
We only accept International Bank Transfer as method of payment / or PayPal **
** PayPal - please note that an additional 4% handling fee will be added to all payments made through PayPal
Please note that ALL bank charges are for your account
Your place on the safari is only guaranteed once we have received your completed booking form/s and deposit payment/s
Once this is complete, will update your "outstanding balance" amount which will be due 90 days before the start date of the safari.
Please note that it is recommended that you take out your own travel insurance to cover unexpected trip cancellation, medical, personal and photographic equipment. WILD4 will not be held responsible in any way for the loss of or damage to any photographic equipment or personal belongings, nor for any medical expenses. Our medical insurance will only cover you for evacuation from the field to the closest most appropriate medical facility, at which point your medical insurance would take over.
Cancellation Fees & Refund Policy
We must receive a formal written notification of your cancellation.
Deposits are non-refundable.
If for any reason a participant ends a tour early or does not make use of a service that has been included in the price of any scheduled tour, tailor-made tour or tour extension, no refund for this unused portion or service will be made.
Tour fees are not transferable.
All Photo Safaris:
The per person non-refundable deposit amount stated on our website is required to secure a place on one of our photo safaris. Full payment of the outstanding tour fee is due 90 days prior to the departure date. In the case of a cancellation, we must receive written notification of your cancellation, at which time the following fees will apply:
- Deposit is non-refundable
- 89 to 60 days before departure: 75% of tour fee
- 59 or fewer days before departure: 100% of the tour fee.
- We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance (including trip cancellation insurance) at the time of booking your tour with us to cover any eventualities relating to having to cancel your safari.
- If due to circumstances out of our control, we are not able to run the photo safari, we are entitled to either cancel the trip, in which case our policy above will apply. Or, with the client's permission and consent, we could look into modifying or postponing the itinerary, which may also mean having to modify the price. Please note that in this case, your deposit would still be non-refundable and non-transferable.
We just came back from our photo safari with Wild4 African Photographic Safaris. From our first email exchange with Justyna, to being dropped off at Hoedspruit airport, everything was handled professionally and was so well organized. Our guide for our tailor made safari was Jaco who 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, Molly & 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 were superb and the accommodations were great. 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, CANADA
'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.
Pete Farmer, UK