About Us

Why, Who and How

A glimpse into over three decades of pioneering change.

We believe in travel that supports our collective responsibility to positive social and environmental change.


The start of Steppes Travel

A simple idea – a travel company that uses exploration as a force for good – was born on the Great Steppe in 1989 by founder Nick Laing. Since then, we’ve made it our purpose to carefully create pioneering journeys in the world’s far-flung places.

Our Highlights

We’re now a B Corp!

We’re delighted to share that Steppes Travel are now (Aug 2022) a Certified B Corporation!

But what does that mean? B Corp is a global community of businesses, recognised for their high standards of social and environmental impact. Other businesses certified include the likes of Patagonia, Innocent Drinks, Emma Bridgewater, Abel & Cole, Sipsmith and teapigs!

We believe that the wellbeing of the natural world is closely aligned with the wellbeing of the people who inhabit it. Making a difference and ensuring our holidays have a positive impact underpins our ethos and drives what we do at Steppes.

The Steppes Beyond Travel Festival

We are proud to have held two festivals, both taking place at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), which celebrated our passion for protecting the world through positive-impact travel. Across these weekends, we invited intrepid explorers, adventurers, conservationists and organisations to join us for an enlightening programme of events that aimed to inspire conversation around new ways that travel can give back to the world.

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When carefully managed, tourism has the potential to create lifelong ambassadors for wildlife conservation throughout the world. For over thirty years, formerly under Discovery Initiatives, we have been working with inspiring conservation agencies to create meaningful wildlife experiences, such as snow leopard tracking in India, gorilla trekking in Rwanda and monitoring jaguars in the Pantanal in Brazil.

Our Events

Our past events have hosted some of the most captivating storytellers in travel and beyond. We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming iconic television personalities, like Steve Backshall and Michael Palin, mountaineers in the shape of Edurne Pasabane and Stephen Venables, and some of the world’s greatest explorers, conservationists and naturalists, including Sir Ralph Fiennes, Slyvia Earle and Hanli Prinsloo.

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Throughout our history, we have welcomed friends who share similar travel values with open arms, and many have gone on to become a part of our network. This has grown in such a way over these 30-plus years that our clients can now enjoy the talent and expertise of leading conservation groups, including Tusk, Whitley Fund for Nature, Durrell and Fauna and Flora International, when they want to experience our world’s natural spaces.


Whilst we’ve won a number of awards over the years, we’re particularly proud of our most recent accolades. In 2018, our Managing Director Justin Wateridge was awarded the first-ever Contribution to Luxury Award at the prestigious TTG Luxury Travel Awards. Not long after, our Head of Marketing Nadia Shahannaz Hussain received the Driving Innovation Award at the Vamoos App Awards. And most recently, Vanessa Humphrey won the LATA Self Published Feature of the Year Award for her story on Chile in our Steppes Traveller magazine.

Expert-Led Charters

We work with a carefully-selected group of experts, each one noted for their extensive personal insight and knowledge, who accompany our clients on exclusive boat journeys worldwide. Previous expert-led charters have included the Galapagos Islands with Liz Bonnin, Steven Pinker and Monty Halls, Papua New Guinea with Chris Packham, Antarctica with Wade Davis, Sue Flood and Stephen Venables.

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Expert-Led Groups

Accompanied by leaders in their fields, clients on our expert-led groups embrace intriguing ancient history, rich cultural and religious influences, architectural wonders and rare encounters with wildlife in fascinating detail. Previous trips have included partnerships with acclaimed institutions and foundations, including the British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Fauna & Flora International, the Orangutan Foundation, and the Jane Goodall Institute.

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The Steppes Fund for Change

The Steppes Fund for Change is a collection of initiatives to promote positive-impact travel, and a call-to-arms to the industry to take action. Our mission is to channel funds to the communities, conservation agencies and NGOs that we work with to raise awareness and support for a number of vital causes, such as the support of education for women and children in all corners of the world, the protection of endangered wildlife and environments, and the pursuit of clean energy solutions.

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The Steppes Travel Forest

At the end of 2019, and in partnership with the Woodland Trust, we began the ambitious task of creating a community forest near Scunthorpe, UK. By planting these first 4,000 trees in an area with some of the most polluted air in the country, we took another big step towards creating long-lasting change that is driven by our clients. You can donate a tree yourself, or for someone else passionate for about environment, by visiting our donation page.

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Our team of intrepid travellers

We’re a team of avid travellers, and former rangers, guides and camp managers, who have each explored their specialist countries in great detail. This intimate knowledge means that we can easily share the kind of invaluable first-hand insights that our clients keep returning for.

Meet the Team

Tribesmen, Mt Hagen, Papua New Guinea
Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea

Travel that benefits the world around it

Your adventures contribute to The Steppes Fund for Change and a collection of local initiatives across the planet, including supporting women’s education, protecting endangered wildlife and regenerating land to create our forest in Brigg. We also ensure that your flight emissions are completely offset and our on-the-ground partners never use plastics.

Positive Impact Travel

View of Islamic buildings through blue mosaic archway.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Your travel partners at every step

Aside from a passion for extraordinary exploration, we’re truly committed to ensuring that you feel confident on your holiday at all times. You’ll find one of our experts is on-hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help answer your questions and make swift changes to your travel plans.

Useful information

Time to get down to the details. Read on and see that we have everything covered.

Booking conditons

The following booking conditions, general information and the supplementary information, form the basis of your contract with us when booking your holiday.
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Travel Insurance

If you would like to obtain cover for your holiday please feel free to contact our specialist Insurance Brokers, Campbell Irvine for a quote. Click through to read more.
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Steppes Travel App

Every time you travel with us you will have access to your very own personalised travel app. Click through and read about all of its features and how you can use it on your next holiday.
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Refer a friend

Share your experience with a friend, inspire them to discover the extraordinary with us, and we will give both of you travel vouchers to use against future bookings.
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Privacy Policy

Our Privacy Policy explains how we collect, store and use the personal information you give to us and what to do if you have any questions or concerns.
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Cookies Policy

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure, through our physical and electronic procedures that safeguard the information we collect online.
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Find Inspiration

Here are some of the carefully-tailored, luxury experiences that we have recently created for our clients to give you a sense of what is possible when our expertise is put to the task.

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?

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