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.

  • Chris Packham 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.

Chris Johnston, Democratic Republic of Congo

Chris Johnston

  • Africa

My Favourite Countries

  • Tanzania
  • Madagascar
  • Zimbabwe
  • Zambia
  • Botswana
  • Uganda
  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Gabon
  • Djibouti
  • Republic of Congo
  • Central African Republic
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Benin
  • Cameroon
  • Togo

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

Who knew I’d find mermaids in Cameroon or share a drink with ghosts in the Congo? Where else but in Africa, could I step foot on the Eighth Continent or be stepped on by a mountain gorilla? It took 10 years of safaris before I saw a leopard, ironically, from the bar in one of Botswana’s luxury lodges. Longer still before I saw the migration, which was out of season and without the crowds. Every time I go back it is both familiar and new although I am ever hopeful that one day, I will finally get to see a pangolin.

Parade during Nguon, Foumban, Cameroon
Foumban, Cameroon

Cameroon Festival

A 500-year-old pagan festival, in the highlands of Cameroon brings together communities from across West Africa. A carnival of top hats, tails and tattoos, whirling dervishes and giant spiders. Crumbling palaces are home to secret societies, sorcerers and sultans. Hypnotic and surreal, join the pilgrims and pay your respects to the King. My most thrilling and surreal trip.

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Andringitra National Park, Madagascar
Andringitra National Park, Madagascar

Madagascar Trekking

The World Heritage Site of Andringitra gets my vote for the greatest national park in Madagascar. A spectacular central mountain range, flanked by deep valleys, dotted with traditional villages, it offers a hiker’s paradise. Beautiful waterfalls, ancient baobabs and even ring-tail lemurs. Few people even know it exists.

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Mountain gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Mountain gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Rediscovering Rwanda

Botswana has long been considered Africa’s leading light in high-yield, low-impact tourism. Where else can you find, remote, cutting-edge design lodges at the forefront of wildlife conservation? Try Rwanda. Luxury lodge owners are falling over themselves to gain a foothold here. Parks the size of the Mara to yourself, Big Five on the open plains and pioneering conservation initiatives. With added gorillas.

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My Favourite Experiences

Life and Death in the Serengeti

Watching two dung-beetles fight to the death over a tiny ball of pooh on the Serengeti plains. It’s not all about the big stuff.

Nyiragongo in Virunga

Peering over the edge of the mighty Nyiragongo Volcano to see the worlds largest lava lake boiling under a full moon.

Gorilla Trekking

The very first time I saw a gorilla and realised they are the only animal that really stare at you.

Meet the rest of the Africa team

The Africa team at Steppes Travel are considered to be the most experienced Africa experts in the travel industry. With more years of hands on African experience than they care to remember, they have run and managed safari lodges in East Africa, qualified as safari guides in Southern Africa, pioneered new expeditions in Central and West Africa and worked on conservation projects throughout the continent.

Let’s chat

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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Chris was very knowledgeable and clearly has a love of Madagascar. It was great to talk the itinerary through with him. Both he and Deborah were very prompt in responding to my questions. I really appreciate having a digital copy of the itinerary.

Madagascar

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.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes