Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Authentic small group photo tours to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

Trip Reports

On this page you will find Trip Reports which are posted at the end of every completed photo safari.

Our trip reports showcase the variety of species and opportunties that were seen and enjoyed on one specific trip. We do it this way to show what is achievable on our tours. Every safari will offer different experiences and opportunities, and we prefer to display this, rather than an all time best collection.

Etosha & Secrets of the Kalahari photo safari trip report 1 - August 2017

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 14th Aug 2017

We are pleased to release this photo trip report from our very first "Etosha and Secrets of the Kalahari" photo safari. The main aim of this trip was to spend time in two of Africa's dry environments, namely Etosha National Park in Namibia and the Kalahari in South Africa where a variety of very different species manage to eke out a living for themselves. Along with a number species seen in the other wildlife hotspots of Africa, such as Greater Kudu, Zebra, Ostrich, Elephants, Lions, Blue Wildebeest, Giraffe, Black Backed Jackal, Spotted Hyaena and African Wilddog, these dry environments offer a fantastic collection of less commonly photographed animals. We were...

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LIONS and LEOPARDS of KRUGER photo safari trip report - July 2017

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 29th Jul 2017

The first "Lions & Leopards of Kruger" photo safari began with the clients arrival at Hoedspruit airport. Due to a delay in the flight arrival time, we headed off to Ngala and went straight out on our first afternoon game drive.  There is no better way to begin a 13 day photo safari than with a visit to one of the resident Ngala Lion prides known as the Birmingham pride. A few adult females with small cubs were in the group. The pride is suffering with a bit of Sarcoptic Mange, but they looked well fed having recently finished off a Buffalo kill. Our two night stay at Ngala offered another sighting of the...

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FOCUS on the Kruger photo trip report May / June 2017

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 9th Jun 2017

Our first Focus on the Kruger Photo Tour, led by our colleaugue, good friend and fellow guide, Stefan Viljoen, has just ended. This photo safari is a 10 night tour based entirely in South Africa's flagship National Park, the KRUGER. Stefan's trip report reveals just how special this reserve really is. TEXT & PHOTOS by Stefan Viljoen: On our recent photo safari to Kruger, we had many brilliant opportunities to photograph and spend time with the wildlife of Kruger. Having patience to wait for special moments is something I have learned from working in the African bush. When these moments do happen, one has to take full advantage of them to achieve great...

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BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari TRIP REPORT - May 2017

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 2nd Jun 2017

Our second "Best of Botswana" photo safari for 2017 started only 3 days after the first trip and already there were changes in the water level, both in the Delta and at the Chobe River. The tour however stared with the optional extension to see the famous Victoria Falls on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. From a personal perspective, the falls is one of my favourite places in all of Africa, the sheer size and magnitude is amazing. We visited the falls at sunrise, in the afternoon, took a helicopter flight (the best way to see the whole falls) and for the first time, we visited the falls to try and photograph the Lunar Rainbow -...

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BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari TRIP REPORT - April / May 2017

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 7th May 2017

An unusually heavy rainy season has resulted in a lot of the Okavangao Delta being underwater. Moremi Game Reserve and the Khwai concession were very wet indeed and this meant that a lot of the the regular roads were unpassable which restricted our game drives to certain areas. However regardless of how wet the delta was, we still managed to find an abundance of photo opportunties with birds featuring high on the list. Water bird activity was of course very busy and we spent a lot fo time with Fish Eagles, Saddle Billed storks, Squacco herons, Cormoroants and King fishers. Our first three nights were spent in the Xini area of Moremi which has a...

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This years Namibia trip focussed on the Namib desert and its wonderful and unique landscapes, as well as the wildlife that amazingly manages to eke out an existence in this extreme environment. Kolmanskop Ghost Diamond mining town near Luderitz was our first stop and we enjoyed a sunrise and a sunset photo shoot in the town capturing the derelict houses in various degrees of collapse. The rooms, now filled with piles of sand offer lots of photo opportunities and this was a great way to get the tour started. Our next stop was a visit to the Namib Rand Nature Reserve, here we stayed at 3 different locations and were able to capture...

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TANZANIA and ELEPHANTS of AMBOSELI photo safari - February / March 2017

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 21st Mar 2017

This years photo safari to Amboseli in Kenya and the Serengeti, Ndutu and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania has just ended. These locations always provide a multitude of photo opportunities and great experiences. An image of snow capped Kilimanjaro with Elephants in the foreground is a classic and iconic photo, sadly, for the first time on our trips to Amboseli, Kilimanjaro was shrouded in a cloudy haze for our entire stay and we were unable to achieve this photo. However the other opportunties we had more than made up for this and on our first game drive, a Lioness chased and caught a baby Wildebeest, only to have it stolen by a male Lion....

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BEST of KENYA photo safari TRIP REPORT Nov 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 30th Nov 2016

The November "Best of Kenya" photo safari always produces a lot of excellent photo opportunities and experiences, and this years trip was no different. The rains were late this year and Samburu and the Mara were quite dry compared with last years trip. Samburu was our first destination and some of the special highlights were the Lions (including 2 males with their unusual short manes), a beautiful young male Leopard with a Waterbuck kill, a female Cheetah with 2 cubs, excellent Elephants, the unusual Gerenuk, Grevy's Zebra, Beisa Oryx, Martial Eagles, Reticulated Giraffe, a Palmnut Vulture and the beautiful Rosy-breasted Bushshrike.  On our way out of Samburu we were treated to a very clear view...

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BIRDS of KRUGER photo safari - October 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 4th Nov 2016

Kruger this year has been feeling the effects of quite a severe drought and the park was looking very dry. There was very little grass cover evident throughout the park and of course there was a shortage of water. The Hippo population has been particuarly badly hit and we saw many Hippo carcasses on our journey from the North of the park to the South. However despite the drough the bird encounters remained very good with a total of 185 species seen and photographed. Northern Kruger again provided some special sightings and we got to see and photograph the Meve's Starling, Trumpeter Hornbill at a nest site and the unusual looking Crested Guineafowl,...

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ETOSHA - Namibia scouting trip September 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 3rd Oct 2016

This is a collection of photos taken on a 6 day scouting trip I recently completed. I spent 3 nights in the west and 3 nights in the east of Etosha National Park in Namibia to get a better feel of the park and to scout some of the better waterholes that offer photographic opportunties. Highlights were a Leopard at Olifant Bad waterhole, a male Cheetah, Lions at Okondekka, my first sighting of a Ludwig's Bustard, lots of Giraffe, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok and Springbok, Elephants and a fantastic martial Eagle. These are the kind of images we can expect to achieve on next years "ETOSHA & SECRETS of the KALAHARI DESERT" photo safari, which will be focussing...

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GREAT MIGRATION photo safari KENYA - August 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 5th Sep 2016

This year's "GREAT MIGRATION" photographic safari to Kenya's Maasai Mara offered a great variety of photographic opportunities. The mega herds of Wildebeest were on the Mara Triangle side of the Mara River and in total we saw 5 river crossings. The best crossings took place at the "Main crossing" point just below Serena and there were a number of crocodile attacks. Other highlights apart from the migration animals and the crossings were excellent Lion sightings which included cubs, mating Lions and a dispute between the resident males of the Musiara Pride and a new arrival who who had sneaked into their territory and was subsequently chased off. The Hyaena den near Serena was very...

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LIONS and LEOPARDS of KRUGER photo safari trip report - August 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 19th Aug 2016

Here are the trip report photos from the second of our 2016 "Lions & Leopards of Kruger" Photo Safari. We also did the 4 night pre-tour extension for Vultures, Reptiles and the photo hides at Ndlovu River Lodge. The Vulture shoot offered the perfect wind conditions and great light and we photographed two of the 5 vulture species at the feed. We then spent a full day at the Kinyonga Reptile Park where we photographed Green & Black Mambas, Snouted Cobra, Scorpions, Baboon Spiders, Boomslang and Geckos. Next stop was our 2 night stay at the Indlovu River Lodge in Karongwe Game Reserve. Here we spent 4 sessions in the specially built and very comfortable photo hides. Baboons, Nyala,...

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LIONS and LEOPARDS of KRUGER photo safari trip report - July 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 31st Jul 2016

Here are the trip report photos from the Lions & Leopards of Kruger Photo Safari as well as some images from the African Reptile workshop and Photo Hides at Indlovu River Lodge. Altogether we visited 5 different locations on this photo safari which offers the best variety that the Kruger area can offer. The trip started off with the Vulture photo shoot at Moholoholo and a good number of birds responded despite all the food that is currently available for them in the Kruger National Park as a result of the drought that the park has been experiencing. We then spent a full day at the Kinyonga Reptile Park where we photographed Green & Black...

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BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari - June 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 5th Jul 2016

Our second "Best of Botswana" 2016 photo safari has just ended and although only a few weeks since the last trip, the water level in the delta was up whilst the water level on the Chobe River was down - nearly 2 meters !! Once again this shows how unpredictable things are when dealing with mother nature. Regardless of the water level, the trip was a great success. We first spent 4 nights in Moremi. Highlights in Moremi included a huge gathering of over 60 Fish Eagles around one big pan on Dead Tree Island, Side Striped Jackal, Pied Avocet, Banded Mongoose and a sighting of a lifetime - Lions bringing down an adult bull Cape Buffalo. When...

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BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari - May 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 2nd Jun 2016

The "Best of Botswana" 2016 photo safari has just ended and it was interesting to see how dry the Okavango Delta was but also to see how full the Chobe River was, quite contrasting locations and very different to the 2015 trips. Moremi Game Reserve was our first stop for 3 nights. Highlights in Moremi included two big male Lions, a Lion kill, great birdlife, a large herd of Cape Buffalo, Wattled Cranes and a very atmospheric visit to "Dead Tree Island".  Next stop on the tour was a 4 night stay in the Khwai community area where we were treated to a number of great Leopard sightings including one of a young female Leopard that used a...

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BEST of NAMIBIA Photo Safari May 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 26th May 2016

The second "Best of Namibia" photographic safari started with very different weather conditions compared to the first trip. We were greeted by the famous wind in Luderitz and the first afternoon photo shoot at Kolmanskop Ghost Town was very blustery. This has a good side to it though as the sand covers all the footprints left by visitors and creates lovely ripples. Our second shoot the following morning was great with fresh sand filling the rooms. Next stop was the Quiver Tree Forest at Namtib Reserve and we all got some great shots of these unusual trees against a clear blue Namibian Sky. Our two night stay at Wolwedans in the Namib Rand Reserve provided...

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BEST of NAMIBIA Photo Safari April 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 10th May 2016

The first of the 2016 Namibian photo safaris offered a great variety of both landscape and wildlife photo opportunities although the trip did focus more on the landscapes of Namibia and particularly those of the Namib desert. The two visits to Kolmanskop Ghost Diamond Mining town were great fun, we were so lucky to not have any wind, this is unusual for Luderitz, but it was great for photography. The many houses and rooms at the ghost town, now partially engulfed by sand offer a variety of creative opportunities. Next stop was Namtib Reserve and one of the most beautiful clear night skies in the world, star photography is a must here. The Quiver tree...

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TANZANIA and ELEPHANTS of AMBOSELI photo safari - February / March 2016

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 5th Mar 2016

This years photo safari to Amboseli in Kenya and the Serengeti, Ndutu and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania has just ended. Once again these locations provided us with a multitude of photo opportunities and great experiences. The sheer number of Elephants in Amboseli this year was staggering, we counted over 400 elephants in one scene as they marched across open land towards the marsh for their daily feed. One morning provided a mystical backdrop as the Elephants fed in thick mist. As the mist burned off that amazing mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro appeared behind them. Crossing over into Tanzania and heading to the Serengeti is always a very interesting drive and the Serengeti offered up Cats in...

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BEST of KENYA photo safari TRIP REPORT Nov 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 27th Nov 2015

This photo safari took place in three of Kenya's top wildlife parks, Samburu, Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara. There was also an extension to Rwanda to photograph the Mountain Gorillas. Some of the highlights included a swimming Oryx, an Aardwolf, incredible Samburu Birds, a Crowned Eagle, 17 different Cheetahs, Bahati the Leopard with her two cubs, Zebras swimming across the flooding Mara River, 4 Black Rhinos together as well as Cheetah and Lion hunts, tremendous rain storms, dramatic skies, superb sunsets, mud, flooding rivers and river crossings, this safari proved again that November in Kenya is one of the best times to visit and take photographs. It is also...

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BIRDS of KRUGER photo safari - October 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 3rd Nov 2015

This years Birds of Kruger Photo Safari offered us fantastic opportunities and great weather too. A total bird count of 168 with a very impressive 153 photos (of different species) The aim of this safari is not to tick species off, but instead the challenge is to try and get some decent photos of Kruger's birds, with the additional challenge of trying to improve upon existing shots when better opportunities present themselves. We began the tour with a drive from Phalaborwa Gate all the way to the northern most National Park Camp, Punda Maria. We stayed for 4 nights here and visited the birding mecca of Pafuri twice. Once again this area proved to be very...

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Here are a few photos from a recent custom photographic safari to Mala Mala and Kruger National Park in South Africa. The weather was rather unusual for this time of year and we had to deal with a number of rainy days. This was magic for the bush and the wildlife, but not too much fun with camera equipment !! Some highlights were seeing a very newly born baby Elephant with its herd in the Sand River at Mala Mala. Such a tiny version of the adult, but new borns can still weigh in at close to 100 kgs !! We followed a very hungry looking Airstrip Male Leopard who eventually lay down and observed a...

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SAMBURU, LAKE NAKURU & MIGRATION photo safari KENYA - August 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 22nd Aug 2015

This safari to Kenya offers the best diversity of all our photo safaris. Not only are there diverse species at all three locations visited, there are also very different landscapes and habitats to explore. Our first stop was Samburu Reserve north of Nairobi. We spent 4 nights at this location and went in search of the unusuall species that are found here. We managed to observe and photograph all of the "specials" that Samburu has to offer, these included the Beisa Oryx, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk, Grevy's Zebra and the beautifully marked Vulturine Guinea fowl. Dik Dik, Elephant, Somali Ostrich, Leopard and Cheetah were also seen and photographed. The Ewaso Nyiro River that flows through...

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CUSTOM Photo Safari - MALA MALA, South Africa - July / Aug 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 21st Aug 2015

Here is a trip report from a recent Custom Photo Safari to Mala Mala Private Game Reserve in South Africa. This time of year is one of the best times to visit the Kruger area. Winter offers clear skies, mild temperatures and the animals are attracted to water. One of the best things about Mala Mala is the fact that they have the beautiful Sand River flowing through their property and it flows all year round. The river acts as a magnet for the local wildlife who need to quench their thirst more than usual as a result of the dry vegetation they feed on. The high use of the riverine area attracts predators...

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CUSTOM Photo Safari - NGALA & MALA MALA, South Africa - July 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 29th Jul 2015

We have just completed a 6 night custom photographic safari which included 3 nights at Ngala Private Game Reserve followed by another 3 nights at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve. This was the first ever WILD4 Photo Safari to experience two Wilddog den sites on the same safari. In the Kruger area these dogs number just over 200 individuals making them a highly endangered carnivore. Just to catch a fleeting glimpse of one in the wild is a fantastic priveledge. On this safari we were extremely fortunate to be able to spend time at the den site at Ngala where the Alpha female had given birth to 17 puppies !!! this is an incredible feat and we really hope that...

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BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari - June 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 30th Jun 2015

The second of our "Best of Botswana" Photo Safaris offered a totally different experience to the previous one, and that is what wildlife photography is all about, every day is different and the possible scenarios and opportunities are endless. Moremi provided fantastic bird photo opportunities as well as a large pack of African Wilddogs. Our camp was in a stunning location on the edge of a pan where the sunrises were spectacular. Khwai was our next stop and again we were treated to great African Wilddog sightings, the den site with the two puppies was especially rewarding to see. Four magnificent Lionesses, Elephants everywhere, Hippos and the female Leopard who's cubs we had seen...

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BEST of BOTSWANA photo safari - May 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 6th Jun 2015

The May "Best of Botswana" photo safari has just ended and it provided us with an amazing diversity of photo opportunities. Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai concession and the famous Savuti revealed many unique and photo productive encounters with Leopards, Lions, Hyena's, Elephants, maginificent birds and even a pair of fighting Black Mambas ! The extension to Victoria Falls was also very successful, "the smoke that thunders" lived up to its name and rightly deserves to be one of the 7 "natural wonders of the world". We completed our journey from Johannesburg into the Okavango Delta with a short charter flight from Maun to Xakanaka where we were met by our two expert Letaka guides, Nkosi and...

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NAMIBIA scouting Trip - April 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 2nd May 2015

I have finally managed to get to Namibia to take a look at this amazing country and to see and photograph some of the many photo hotspots it has to offer. The aim of this trip was to choose the most productive photo locations for next year's "BEST of NAMIBIA" photo safari that will run for the first time in April 2016. During this trip I wanted to determine a number of things at each of the locations I visited. Namibia, is without doubt, the most beautiful country I have visited in terms of its varied and interesting landscapes. There are photos around every corner and over each rise and it is difficult to return...

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CUSTOM Photo Safari - MALA MALA, South Africa - March 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 28th Mar 2015

A short three night custom photo safari at the famous MALA MALA Private Game Reserve in South Africa proved once again that this is the best place in Africa to photograph wild Leopards. During our 6 game drives we encountered 10 different Leopards and got to spend a lot of time with some of them where we were treated to some excellent photo opportunities. Along with the Leopard sightings we also got to spend time with some of the Lions that are also found in the reserve. On our first afternoon we encountered the "Kikelezi" female Leopard who has managed to bring up both of her cubs who are now close to becoming independant. Our first morning...

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TANZANIA and ELEPHANTS of AMBOSELI photo safari - February / March 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 16th Mar 2015

This years photo safari was full of surprises and fantastic photo opportunities. Amboseli in Kenya is one of the most amazing places to photograph Elephants. The amazing variety of different situations that are on offer in Amboseli is second to none. Not only did we have wonderful views of Mount Kilimanjaro, we also found the Elephants in many other different photogenic situations. In the marsh, in the early morning mist, dust bathing and walking in single file over the open savanna.. this was a wonderful way to start the safari. Our next stop was Arusha after crossing through the Namanga Border post where we had an overnight stay before we headed off to the Serengeti....

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BIRDS of KRUGER photo safari - October 2014

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 27th Oct 2014

Yet again this proved to be a very successful photo safari with the focus being slanted towards trying to photograph the amazing bird diversity that the Kruger has to offer. A total bird count of 178 with a very impressive 144 photos (of different species) The aim of this safari is not to tick species off, but instead the challenge is to try and get some decent photos of Kruger's birds, with the additional challenge of trying to improve upon existing shots when better opportunities present themselves. Northern Kruger is the real hotspot as this area has some special species not commonly seen in the rest of Kruger. We did very well with the Crested Guineafowl...

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Testimonials Any aspiring photographer who has not yet been on a wildlife safari should join a WILD4 with Stu and Justyna Porter. You will be guided by a graduate professional photographer who is also a highly-qualified South African field guide. Stu's knowledge of photography and his understanding of African wildlife are exceptional. He is also blessed with an amazing spotter's eyesight. I often thought to myself, how on earth did he see that! As each day begins all these talents are passed on with sincerity and quiet enthusiasm to each photographer's needs. Nothing is ever too much trouble and his positioning of the vehicle for the best light and animal profile is always his first consideration. On our tour there were times for laughter and many times when action and adrenalin ran high. Any successful safari is only as good as its backup team. This family company is most ably supported by Stu's wife Justyna who is the drive behind the scenes and efficiently arranges the accommodation and all the logistics. Stu's mother, Ann Porter provides excellent food for the day in the park and around the campfire at night. Both are qualified field guides and their spotting abilities add greatly to each day's safari. This particular trip was most rewarding in both personal and photographic terms and one of the best we have ever enjoyed. Sincere thanks to you all.

Slim & Barbara Callaghan, UK

Testimonials We recently travelled to South Africa for a safari led by Wild 4 African Photographic Safaris. To put things simply, we were completely blown away. I had been on safari before, and had expectations that I thought were reasonable, but Wild 4 completely exceeded those expectations in so many ways. First of all, Justyna handled all of our travel and trip details with exceptional professionalism and always responded to even our most basic questions quickly and in a very detailed manner. Once we had arrived in South Africa, we were met by our guide Stu Porter, who I cannot say enough good things about. He is so organised and cordial. Stu was spotting things that we couldn’t believe that he was spotting, which almost always led to an amazing wildlife experience that we never saw coming. His knowledge and understanding of the wildlife and ecosystem was outstanding, and he went to great lengths to insure that we had the best chance of capturing a great photo, without compromising the rules of the park or the integrity of the animals and ecology within it. His understanding and respect for the wildlife and surroundings made the trip so much more than just a “drive around and look at whatever we see” kind of experience. I know that you can never predict what kind of experience you will have when you go out into the wild, and often it’s up to nature to decide what events you will be a part of, but in all honesty, I can’t imagine a better guide than Stu Porter. We will be doing our future trips to Africa with Wild 4, and cannot recommend them highly enough. Thank you so much for what a lot of people call “the trip of a lifetime”, although we feel that this is only the beginning of many trips of a lifetime. Thank you, Wild 4!!

James Smith, USA‚Ä®