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

Family of Asian elephants walking into the river at sunset.

Carol Buckley

My Expertise

  • India Flag India
  • Nepal Flag Nepal
  • Thailand Flag Thailand

Thousands of elephants live not in the wild but in captivity, enslaved by humans, used for elephant back safaris and as performers for human entertainment. They spend their lives shackled and chained.

Carol Buckley, a visionary and conservationist decided to dedicate her life to changing this centuries-old culture and practice of brutalising elephants and she is doing it one elephant at a time.

As a young college student, this extraordinary woman met Tarra, a young Burmese elephant imported to America as a pet for a local store. Carol became the elephant’s carer which triggered a lifelong commitment to improving conditions for elephants in captivity. Carol created a sanctuary for elephants, providing refuge for retiring elephants from zoos and circuses. This new home became internationally recognised as the foremost natural habitat refuge for endangered elephants. She didn’t stop there.

Aware of the issue with captive elephants in Asia, Carol went on to establish Elephant Aid International. And today is making a big difference. With EIA, Carol has spearheaded multiple projects working in the US and Asia and has gone on to influence countless sanctuaries, circuses and zoos to make positive changes to the policies and standards of care for captive elephants.

She has worked tirelessly for chain free captivity and has taught others to train elephants humanly and out of chains. Carol Buckley has recognised and implemented a new standard of care for captive elephants.

Nepal and Thailand are the first to shift to offering spacious chain-free corrals for all elephants – it’s working. First to experience the cultural shift.

She has dedicated her life to this and has written numerous children’s books, created an award-winning documentary and has gone on to receive the Care2 accolade naming her as one of nine women saving the planet alongside Jane Goodall and Dr Sylvia Earle. Carol was also honoured for her innovative work by the 2001 Genesis Awards and as a hero for the planet by Time Magazine.

Tiger Tops Elephant Camp, Chitwan, Nepal
Tiger Tops Elephant Camp, Chitwan, Nepal

The Wild Side of Nepal – Family Conservation Holiday

Tiger Tops in Chitwan National Park offers unique experiences. Gain an insight into the conservation efforts introduced by Carol Buckley which include chain-free corrals and banning the use of bullhooks and sticks. Head to Tiger tops with Steppes Travel to live as an honorary member of the herd. See these chain free Pachyderms feeding washing playing and leading you on an unforgettable walking tour.

13 days

from £3,450 pp

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Thoughts. Opinions. Experiences

Elephant Safari, Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Elephant Safari in Chitwan
Steppes Travel
Experiential is the buzz word in travel at present. An elephant safari at Tiger Tops in Chitwan National Park, Nepal, is…
Himalayas, Nepal
Nepal: The Echo of Laughter
Steppes Travel
This article is an excerpt from our new Steppes Traveller magazine – please get in touch with us to receive your…
Tiger walking along road, Dudhwa National Park, India
New Wildlife Experience – Dudhwa National Park, India
Steppes Travel
Dudhwa National Park reopens on the 16th November this year. Wildlife lovers trickled in by the handful last season and they…
Going to Everest, Nepal
Eye opening view of Everest
Steppes Travel
Despite the influx of trekkers heading to Everest Basecamp, the Khumbu valley is still a very beautiful and awe-inspiring corner of…
Forest Elephants, Dzanga-Sangha, Republic of Congo
Bai’s, Ba’ka and Bull Elephants in the Congo
Chris Johnston
Flying over the Congolese rainforest into Dzanga Sangha Forest Reserve, was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. Hundreds…
Aerial View, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Botswana – the best safari wilderness
Steppes Travel
I left the cold and rainy Cirencester for warm and sunny Botswana, very excited at the thought of exploring this beautiful…
Bull elephants stand off, Dzanga Bai, Dzanga Sangha, Central African Republic
Congo Wildlife Adventure
Chris Johnston
Our chartered aircraft flew high above the endless expanse of Congo rainforest, where hundreds of feet below, the dazzling and surprisingly…
Footsteps, Bushcamp Company, South Luangwa, Zambia
An African Remedy
Steppes Travel
“You should have said something!” Gasped Brian our very animated guide, when I show him the tsetse fly bite on my…
Interior double room, Abu Camp, Okavango delta, Botswana
An Elephant for Christmas at Abu Camp, Botswana
Illona Cross
Sherini, one of the famed elephants of Abu Camp, is due to give birth to her third calf in mid December…
Orangutan, Borneo Expedition, Sabah, Borneo
Captive animal – The nature of animal tourism
Jarrod Kyte
The Sunday Times article on captive animal tourism has reignited a healthy debate in the Steppes office and has made us…
Fighting Male Elephant
Elephants – Worth more alive than dead
Justin Wateridge
Whilst I am not an advocate of hunting, I can see a commercial argument for it in marginalised areas. However, I…
Elephant walking towards camera in shallow river surrounded by jungle.
Elephant Whispering on a Monday morning
Steppes Travel
As office manager, my Monday mornings follow a familiar pattern, however, this Monday was anything but normal. Today I’m not in…
Buffaloes, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Safari Vet School
Illona Cross
Tonight at 8pm tune into the new ITV series Safari Vet School. Filmed and set in one of the world’s toughest…
Lowland Bongo Antelope, Lango Camp, Odzala, Rep of Congo
Exceptional wildlife sighting in the Congo
Chris Johnston
Following on from another successful Congo and Central African tour, it seems that our group have been very lucky with wildlife,…

Other Travel Heroes & Heroines

Who goes further, higher, faster, into the unknown, fights to protect the planet, saves lives, dreams big and ultimately inspires us?

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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.

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