Mamai was born and raised in the northern frontier of Kenya and is a member of one of the most famous of Kenya's tribal groups, the Maasai. Not only will you have wonderful wildlife experiences with Mamai, but he also loves to share and interpret his personal insight into his fascinating Maasai culture.
Mamai is married with four children and they live on a group ranch in the Laikipia area.
After completing secondary school, Mamai joined the Amboseli institute of Hotel and Travel where he graduated with a Diploma in Tour guiding and administration. For the past 14 years, Mamai has been involved in wildlife projects and tourism. He has worked with the Laikipia Predator Project, that focuses on the ecology and conservation of African Predators and the growing issue of Human & Wildlife Conflict. He also worked as a safari guide in the Loisaba Wilderness area for 5 and a half years, after which he moved to the famous Maasai Mara - Kenya's finest game viewing area. Here he worked as a guide at Kicheche Mara Camp. During his time in the Mara Mamai built up an amazing knowledge of the Reserve and knows it like the back of his hand.
After a number of years at Kicheche, Mamai moved to Nairobi and has continued to work as a safari guide. I was very fortunate to meet Mamai on safari and I immediately noticed how in tune he was with predicting animal behaviour and how good he was at positioning the safari vehicle for photographers, taking into account the light, distance from the subject and the background. He is an absolute pleasure to work with, always punctual, always smiling, soft spoken and has an amazing knowledge of the wildlife, the reserves and his country.
Mamai is also an excellent birding guide which is why he is the perfect person to lead the “BIRDS of KENYA” photo safari. His birding knowledge started at an early age when he and his friends competed with each other to see how many birds they could identify. Since then Mamai has participated in various ornithological courses and has led many birding specific safaris.
Mamai has a very keen interest in his own photography and loves photographing the amazing diversity of Kenya's Wildlife. Having a guide like Mamai who is patient, considerate, knowledgeable and who knows where to go and what to look for in a photograph is extremely valuable on a photographic safari.
Mamai is a certified member of the KENYA PROFESSIONAL SAFARI GUIDES ASSOCIATION (KPSGA) and a licensed safari guide through the Tourism Regulatory Authority of Kenya.
“Through my experiences I have learned that guiding is about an honest enjoyment of the bush and all the facets of nature. It's also about a genuine enjoyment of people and communication; its about teaching people about the bush and creating an experience and a holiday that they will never forget.”
Shopping for a travel adventure on the Web is somewhat risky, but when I wanted to go on an African photo safari, I really had no choice. I looked around and finally picked Wild4 Photographic Safaris for one reason: the vehicle. It was obvious that this was an outfit that understood photographic details and the needs of serious wildlife photographers. With a capacity for 10 passengers, the vehicle takes just three photographers. The three photographers' benches feature platforms to steady big lenses on both sides of the vehicle, and loads of storage space and pockets for lenses, bodies, accessories, binoculars, field guides, water, etc. I can not imagine a better platform for photography in the bush veldt. What is not as obvious in the on-line description is that the vehicle comes equipped with Stu Porter, the Wild4 owner and guide. Stu, who bears a striking resemblance to movie actor Matt Damon, is a deceptively shy young man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kruger National Park, its animals, geography, geology, climate, seasons, and, of course, rules. He also has the eyes of an eagle and is the best leopard spotter in South Africa. Stu's knowledge and patience are seemingly infinite, and he somehow manages to be aware both of his passengers' needs and everything around us. He does everything humanly possible to give you the opportunity to get the best shot. And if you need more than just the opportunity, he can instruct even the most seasoned photographer on technique. Stu grew up next to Kruger National Park, and his mother (who does the meal preparation for the safari) started taking him there as soon as he was old enough. He has been accumulating his knowledge of the park and its animals all his life, and that comes in very handy when you need to know something about animal behavior. In short, Wild4 Photographic Safaris is all about the vehicle, with spacious seats, shooting platforms and Stu Porter as standard equipment. You can't do better. Thank you, Stu!
George Cathcart, USA
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 way. 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 knowledge of the habitat and habits of the animals and birds to be found in Kruger National Park is simply encyclopaedic. 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 Wild4 was truly the experience of a life-time.
Andrew Oliver, CANADA