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.
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
When two photo trips organised by my tour operator were cancelled. I looked around and found Wild4. Justyna was extremely helpful in putting together a tailor made tour just for me. I opted for 8 nights Kruger, 2 nights Big Cats & the Reptile extension. Some emails later and all was booked and paid for. I tend to shy away from flash but as we were doing a night shoot at the Big Cat Reserve, I quickly learned a great new technique and the photographs turned out wonderful. 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 & Stu for a wonderful time.
Rob Pelle, NETHERLANDS