Our People
  • Amy Waters 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.

Ashley Leiman

My Favourite Countries

  • Indonesia

Ashley first went to the Malaysian rainforest in 1976 and being in the forest was a profound experience for her. In the early 1980s, she was an active member of the Natural History and Conservation Society of Hong Kong.

In 1986, she went to Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, where she met with Dr Birute Galdikas. At that time, she was living in New York where there was plenty of focus on the rainforests of South America, a little on the Congo but the third-largest rainforest – Indonesia received hardly any attention and neither did orangutans.

She moved back to the UK in 1989 and a year later the Orangutan Foundation was born in her upstairs bedroom. It was the first UK registered charity working to save the orangutan and its habitat through conservation, research and education. To this day, Ashley is one of the leading figures in orangutan conservation.

Ashley has made numerous radio and television appearances and authored several scientific papers. Spending up to a third of the year in the field (most usually Indonesian Borneo) her in-depth knowledge and passion for this region will inspire you long after you return home from a trip in her company – the reason why many of our past clients are still active members of the Orangutan Foundation.

Orangutan in the jungle of Borneo, Malaysia
Orangutan in the jungle of Borneo, Malaysia

Indonesia – Borneo Orangutan Conservation

Join Ashley to journey deep into the lush rainforests of Indonesian Borneo for a unique opportunity to visit Lamandau in co-operation with the Orangutan Foundation.

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Orangutan in the jungle of indonesia, Borneo
Indonesia, Indonesia

Indonesia – 30 years of Conservation

This unique tour celebrates 30 years of conservation. Join Steppes Travel and Ashley on this adventure to Indonesian Borneo and Sumatra for an exclusive insight into the work of the Orangutan Foundation and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.

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Thoughts. Opinions. Experiences

Mother and Baby Orangutan, Borneo
Q & A
Leading Ladies: One of our own – Q & A with Ashley Leiman
Steppes Travel
Ashley Leiman founded the Orangutan Foundation UK in 1990. One of the leading figures in orangutan conservation, Ashley spends approx a…
Orangutans hands holding branch of a tree with sun shining through its fur.
Indonesian Borneo – The Future of the Forest
Clare Higginson
Many of us already know that the forest is disappearing in Indonesian Borneo, due to the oil palm industry and forest…
Palm plantation at East Asia
The Effects of Palm Oil On The Environment And Wildlife
Steppes Travel
Palm oil, you may have heard about it but how much do you know about what it is, where it comes…
Danum Valley, Malaysia
In search of Malaysia’s wildlife
Amy Waters
“Hope to see everything and expect to see nothing.” Our guide at Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Ned, spoke these few words to…
Orangutan, Camp Leakey, Borneo, Indonesia
A family adventure in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo
Justin Wateridge
“Can we hold one of the baby orangutans?” “You can’t hold them. That wouldn’t be right. They need to be released…

Start planning your trip

Get in touch by phone or email to start creating a holiday guaranteed to leave you with stories for a lifetime.

01285 880 980

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. 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 once again?

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