Stefan was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and spent many school holidays visiting the Kruger National Park with his parents. When Stefan was 11 years old, his family moved to White River - a town only 40 minutes from the Kruger Park. In high school Stefan developed a strong interest in reptiles and joined the Herpetology Association where he completed a number of courses, including snake handling and snake bite treatment. Whenever he could , Stefan would accompany his father to catch and release problem snakes, as well as treat and rehabilitate injured ones.
In 2002 Stefan trained to be a field guide with Ingwe Tourism Services where he obtained his FGASA and THETA guiding qualifications.
After a year of traveling and working in the United Kingdom, Stefan soon realized that he wanted to follow his passion, which was to work in the African Bush as a field guide.
For the past 12 years Stefan has worked as a freelance field guide in the Kruger National Park where he has built up an intimate knowledge of the many different habitats and the wildlife “hotspots”. Stefan has a passion for all the animals in Kruger, whether it be a member of the “Big 5”, birds, reptiles as well as insects. He loves to interpret animal behaviour and is a very talented photographer himself. His experience in predicting animal behaviour and where and how to position the vehicle for the best shot, is invaluable to any photographer in his vehicle.
The story of how Stefan met his wife Sandrine, is a true modern-day fairytale. Stefan began his day like any other, collecting guests for a day game drive in the Kruger National Park. Sandrine, a French school teacher at the time, began her day, excited to be in Africa and visiting South Africa's flagship National Park with the possibility of seeing an Elephant or even a Lion. It was love at first sight and a year later they were married !
Stefan's skill as a safari guide and Sandrine's skill as a translator offers a combined solution for French clients who want to come on a custom made photo safari.
I have worked with Stefan on many photo safaris and he is an excellent team player. He is humble, respectful and extremely patient. It is a pleasure to work with him. I have full confidence in his abilities to lead our Kruger National Park photo safaris and can highly recommend him.
This was my third photographic trip to Africa, and I have to say the best! Stu has great knowledge & passion for wildlife and photography that he is willing to share: I certainly learnt a lot. The setup for photography in the vehicles is extremely well thought out. There was an amazing variety of great photographic opportunities and I really enjoyed time spent with the animals, but the unexpected bonus for me was the day spent at the reptile centre (part of the extension). I am very pleased with the results! After coming away with the renewed enthusiasm for photography, I am planning to do another trip with them soon.”
Helen Clarke, AUSTRALIA
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 on the extension 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 only 3 photographers 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.
Greg Morgan, UK