Mount Nemrut at sunset in Turkey

2021 Expert-Led Group Tours

Expert-led group tours are a rare opportunity to meet leading minds and like-minded travellers to explore cultures and wildlife in ways that inspire you whilst preserving them. Through our COVID-19 protocols, you can now keep enjoying moments rich with wonder for the natural world and our own history. We’ve kept our group numbers to a minimum, ensured partners follow strict transport and dining safety guidelines and created a flexible booking and payment process that is backed by COVID-19 specialist insurance.

Scroll down the page and start discovering Pakistan, Uzbekistan, the Galapagos Islands, Indonesia and Turkey and more in ways that few ever do.

Speak to our team today about creating an experience for 2021 that is certainly worth the wait.

Cultural Tours

Accompanied by experts in their field, our tours embrace the intriguing ancient history, rich cultural and religious influence, or architectural wonders of a region.

Inner courtyard of the Kalyan Mosque, part of the Po-i-Kalyan Complex in Bukhara
Kalyan Mosque, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Chor Minor Mosque, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Chor Minor Mosque, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Ata Darvoza, Itchan Kala, Khiva, Uzbekistan
Khiva, Uzbekistan
Curved mud brick walls and ramparts of  Khiva ancient city walls.
Khiva, Uzbekistan
Full frame close up of patterned red carpet.
View of mosque dome against blue sky.
Islamic architecture in Khiva

Uzbekistan: Carpet ride to Khiva

Travel along the fabled Silk Road past ancient caravanserais and across the remote Central Asian landscape on our tour that takes in the highlights of Uzbekistan. Marvel at incredible Islamic architecture and learn about a history that crosses cultures and spans millennia. Highlights include exploring Samarkand, stormed by Alexander the Great and reduced to ashes by Genghis Khan, the city was then transformed into the most glittering city in Transoxiana by Tamerlane, who made it his capital in the 14th century.

Pamir Mountains, Karakoram Highway, Pakistan
Uch Sharif, Pakistan
Uch Sharif, Pakistan
View from Altit Fort towards Hunza River, Karakorum Mountains, Pakistan
Altit, Pakistan
Pakistan Monument, Islamabad, Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan
Derawar Defense Walls, Sindh, Pakistan
Thatta, Pakistan
Badshahi masjid, Lahore, Pakistan
Lahore, Pakistan

Pakistan: Journey beyond the Karakoram Highway

Join our long-anticipated tour to Pakistan and journey across the country from its breath-taking mountain landscapes of the North-West Frontier to the architectural melange of Lahore and the desert forts and ancient sites of the south. Highlights include crossing soaring mountain plateaus and driving along the famous Karakoram Highway, exploring the UNESCO sites of Lahore, Taxila, Mohenjo Daro and Harappa and learning about the Mughal, Sikh and British history in Lahore, Multan and Sukkur.

Buthrotum Ruins, Butrint, Albania
Albania Coastline near Llogara Pass, Albania
Holy Trinity Church, Berat, Albania
Berat, Albania
Gjirokaster Village, Albania
Gjirokaster, Albania
Bunker, Albania
Baku, Albania
Kruja, Durres, Albania

Albania: Origins of Illyria

Journey through the ‘Land of Eagles’, known as Illyria throughout the classical era and discover a country with a fascinating past and present. Travelling in Albania gives a window on an age that was rich with tales of empires, war, riches and rebellion. Archaeological sites, such as Byllis, tell stories of everyday life in ancient times, whereas impressive ancient Butrint, described by Virgil as ‘Troy in miniature’, boasts links to the famous legend of Aeneas. Travel to Albania’s coast and explore Durres, ancient Dyrrhachium, fought over by Caesar and Pompey.

Angola Serra de Leba, Angola
Mucubal women in colourful dress, Angola
Sunset with baobab, Lubango, Angola
Lubango, Angola
Nguendelengo women in colourful clothing, Angola

Angola: Desert Tribes and Hidden Landscapes

Set out on this overland journey to explore a remote region of one of Africa’s least visited countries. Deep within Angola’s southern deserts, meet tribal communities whose traditions remain remarkably intact, discover crumbling Portuguese colonial relics and explore the dramatic desert landscapes. Highlights include travelling in the company of anthropologist and tribal specialist Joan Riera, exploring Angola’s remote southern deserts, home to numerous tribes and meeting isolated communities, whose customs and lives remain largely unchanged.

Mount Nemrut at sunset in Turkey
Gobekli Tepe, Sanliurfa, Turkey
Gobekli Tepe, Turkey
Van Castle, Lake Van, Turkey
Van Castle, Lake Van, Turkey

Turkey: Ancient civilisations of Eastern Turkey

Home to some of the most important and iconic archaeological sites found anywhere in the world, Eastern Turkey is a fascinating melting pot just waiting for the intrepid traveller. Be lured by the ancient town of Ani, Mount Ararat and Noah’s Ark, the walled city of Diyarbakir, Mount Nemrut and Gobekli Tepe, the world’s first temple. Discover spectacular scenery, ancient civilisations and the many Biblical sites of Eastern Turkey.

Wildlife Tours

Seeing wildlife in its natural habitat is not only a privilege but also an exciting, visceral and often emotional experience. We only work with the very best of guides and naturalists to ensure that your wildlife encounters and experiences are truly memorable.

Jaguar Conservation Safari, Pantanal, Brazil
Jaguar Conservation Safari, Pantanal, Brazil
Peach Fronted Parakeet, Pantanal, Brazil
Peach Fronted Parakeet, Pantanal, Brazil
South American Coati, Caiman Ecolodge, Pantanal, Brazil
South American coati, Brazil
Landscape of the Brazilian cerrado in the Chapada dos Veadeiros, Brazil
Cerrado, Brazil

Brazil: Jaguars and maned wolf conservation

Travel across two vastly different ecosystems, the Cerrado and the Pantanal, to go in search of Brazil’s most iconic big cat, the jaguar and its most endangered canid, the maned wolf. The Cerrado is the most biodiverse savannah in the world, home to more than 850 species of birds, 251 mammals, 482 reptiles and amphibians and 1,200 fish as well as 13,000 plant species. Just as spectacular, the Pantanal, or wetlands of Mato Grosso, is one of nature’s last frontiers, the world’s largest animal reserve, and home to more than 600 different species of birds and 230 varieties of fish.

Blue footed booby at Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Blue footed booby, Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Sea Lions,  Gardner Bay, Espanola, Galapagos Islands
Espanola , Galapagos Islands
Galapagos giant tortoise, galapagos islands
Galapagos giant tortoise
Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Galapagos Islands
Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Galapagos Islands
Blue Footed Booby, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos Islands
Sea Lions, Galapagos Islands
Sea Lions, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands: Cruise with Jonathan R Green

Spend eight days exploring the western and southern islands of the Galapagos archipelago in the company of seasoned naturalist and marine biologist Jonathan R Green. Discover the marine-rich Isabela Island, home to blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and the largest concentration of flamingos in the Galapagos while also boasting some of the island’s most spectacular snorkelling sites. Spend your days off the boat exploring the islands and surrounding waters with your guides, either on foot, by kayak, panga (a small motorised boat) or snorkelling.

Young Orangutan, Borneo
Young orangutan
Up Close with Proboscis Monkey, Camp Leakey, Borneo, Indonesia
Up close with a proboscis monkey in Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia
Orangutan, Borneo
Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia
Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo
Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo

Indonesia: Borneo Orangutan Conservation

Journey deep into the lush rainforests of Indonesian Borneo for a unique opportunity to visit Lamandau, in co-operation with the Orangutan Foundation. Come face-to-face with the orangutans in their fragile natural environment and spend time at the three feeding sites, including the famous Camp Leakey, established in 1971 by Dr Birute Galdikas. Whilst deep in the rainforest of Tanjung Puting, journey along the rivers and spot the fascinating wildlife that lives there, including the proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards and kingfishers.

King Penguins at St Andrews Bay, Antartica
MV Magellan Explorer, Antarctic Peninsula
Magellan Explorer, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica
A huge colony of adult king penguins and their chicks against a backdrop of green foliage and blue sea on South Georgia Island in Antarctica
Colony of king penguins, South Georgia Island, Antarctica
Leopard seal, Antarctica
Leopard seal, Antarctica
Antarctica view from ship, Antarctic expedition
Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands, Antartic Peninsula
Group of King Penguins, Antarctica
Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica
Icebergs, Antarctica
Icebergs, Antarctica

Antarctica: South Georgia and Antarctica Fly-Cruise with New Scientist

Travel on the Steppes Travel and New Scientist part-chartered, luxury Magellan Explorer in November 2021. Experience the extraordinary landscapes and wildlife of both Antarctica and South Georgia. Steppes Travel is proud to work as one of New Scientist Discovery Tours key partners, creating exciting, educational and engaging small group tours to a number of destinations worldwide. As part of this charter, New Scientist journalist, Leah Crane will accompany this charter. In addition, we have a number of specialist lectures covering polar exploration, marine biology, photography, glaciology and the science of navigation.

Our Expert-Led Group Tours Calendar

For more inspiration for your next journey or to find out more about what we’re doing to ensure you can travel with confidence speak to our travel experts.

rice terrace, vietnam

Always a step ahead

We stay on the front foot when it comes to cultural and wildlife group tours. Not only are we considered specialists at creating cultural, archaeological and historical experiences, we also have strong bonds with conservation projects and world-renowned animal researchers across the world.

What’s different about Steppes Travel?

  • We understand that it takes more than just showing up to stand out. We only choose the most illuminating minds in their fields to show you the spaces to which they have devoted their lives
  • We only set small, intimate groups sizes so you can get to know and learn from your tour expert
  • We make sure you can always discover the extraordinary with pioneering, little-known locations
  • Enjoy zero single supplement charges on a number of tours
  • Gratuities for the local guides, drivers and hotel porters are almost always included.

Expert-Led Group Tours: COVID-19 Health & Safety

We are working closely with our partners around the world to ensure that you can have the most enjoyable and fulfilled travels possible. When you book with Steppes, you have our assurance that protocols will be in place when you travel, with an enhanced focus on hygiene and physical distancing, across transport, accommodation, guiding and visiting public places.

  • Group size

A unique part of our Steppes Travel expert-led tours has always been their small group size; a maximum of 15 travellers, with an average of 8-10 travellers per group. Small sizes not only enhance your experience on the ground but in current circumstances allows for physical distancing to be that much easier whilst travelling together.

  • Transport

All of our tours will have large vehicles transporting travellers on their journey. Although there will be space for distanced seating we do recommend face masks are still worn. All transport will be cleaned as per COVID-19 hygiene and cleanliness protocols and hand sanitiser will be available on-board for all to use.

  • Health and safety audits

We are continuing to work with all of our partners on the ground to ensure that all services including the accommodation that we use pass COVID-19 hygiene and cleanliness tests.

  • Local medical resources

All of our experts and local guides will have up-to-date knowledge of the nearest clinics during the whole itinerary, should our travellers require medical attention.

  • Flexible dining options

Where possible we will use outdoor seating at restaurants. However, if our groups have to dine indoors, you may need to sit separately or in smaller groups to allow for physical distancing. All meals will be served at the table, buffets will no longer be used.

  • Flexible payments

To ensure that you have greater flexibility when booking we have now only ask for a 10% deposit, have a cooling-off period during which time your deposit is 100% refundable and our final payment date is much later than normal.

  • Travel insurance during Covid-19

Steppes Traveller is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd, who are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and who now offer a brand new travel insurance policy that includes cover for cancellation or curtailment of a trip due to contracting coronavirus or through being quarantined or refused permission to travel due to infection or suspected infection. Find out more information here

  • Travelling responsibly

It is crucial that all travellers on our tours take responsibility for their personal conduct to keep everyone and the group at large feel safe. If you feel unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms it is important you make your tour expert or local guide aware straightaway. Equally, if you have symptoms when returning back home please do let us know.

The Times & Sunday Times Travel Awards

We’re delighted to announce that we have been nominated for the Best Luxury Tour Operator category in The Times & Sunday Times Awards. If you could take a few minutes to vote for us, it would mean the world, you can do so by completing this form here.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

Are you ready to Discover Extraordinary?

More about Steppes