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.
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. 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!! highly recommended!
Con Foley, USA
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