Our People
  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Big Bible, Axum, Tigrae, Ethiopia

Axum

Situated in the far north of the historic circuit, this fascinating town is Ethiopia’s most ancient capital and the holiest city of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Once part of a huge empire which reached across the Red Sea, Axum holds many treasures.

The Ark of the Covenant, one of the most precious relics of the Judeo-Christian tradition is said to be housed in a small church compound in town, watched over and attended by a priest who has dedicated his life to tending it. A few yards from the church is a field of stone stelae, said to be the largest single pieces of standing stone in the world.

Time spent in Axum typically includes a visit to the Axum Museum, the Stelae Field, the castle of King Kaleb, King Basen’s tomb, Mai Shum (the baths of the Queen of Sheba) and the Mariamtsion Church.

Experiences

Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Explore Axum’s History

Visit palace ruins and burial grounds in Axum. Visit the legendary baths of the Queen of Sheba.

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Ancient Stelae

See the colossal rock stelae, for which Axum is famous.

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Discover Axum

Learn about Ethiopia’s ancient capital and the holiest city of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

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The Ark of the Covenant

Visit a small church that is said to house the Ark of the Covenant, one of Christianity’s most precious relics. It is watched over by a priest who has dedicated his life to this task.

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Landscape, Gheralta Lodge, Tigray
Gheralta Lodge, Ethiopia

Gheralta Lodge

Located in the heart of the Historic Route, between Axum and Mekele, Gheralta Lodge is a comfortable and friendly base from which to explore this scenically beautiful area.

The lodge has great views over the Gheralta Mountains and its bungalow rooms are tastefully decorated in Tigray style. Owned and run by an Italian couple, the restaurant serves up hearty Italian food with ingredients grown on site.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management. My desire to see more led me to work as a guide for AndBeyond, first in South Africa, then in Tanzania as the company expanded. Here, I lived and worked in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro, guiding and running safari camps.
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Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
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  • 01285 601 784

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Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

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Illona was very efficient and helpful and clearly knew the country well.

Ethiopia

No words can accurately describe the service afforded by Bridget. She solved problems that weren't of her making which resulted in saving my holiday!

Ethiopia

We were kept very well informed right up until we left for our trip. We were alerted to a better flight home and had all the documents we needed to take with us.

Ethiopia

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes