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.

Holly Tamlyn

Holly Tamlyn

  • Africa

As you will read from my favourite travels, I am very passionate about wildlife, with reptiles and horses being my most loved. I grew up in a very rural part of Dorset, surrounded by rolling green fields and hills, and much to my delight, many horses that I visited every day after school. 

It had been a dream of mine to work with horses and visit New Zealand. And it had been a dream of my boyfriend’s to travel around Asia in search of reptiles, but most importantly to see Komodo Dragons on Komodo Island. We saved our money in an effort to make these dreams come true and off we went for 18 months of the most amazing fun and exploration.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Not a Stone Left Unturned in Asia

In Thailand, we went for jogs in the park with many monitor lizards. In Laos, we explored pitch-black caves in Vang Vieng – the only company being each other, cave crickets and giant huntsman spiders. The search for reptiles continued as we explored the beautiful mazes of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Phrom, where rainbow-coloured skinks lurked in the crumbling ruins.

We celebrated Christmas and New Year in Vietnam, exploring Cuc Phuong National Park where we found a tarantula patiently waiting for food to venture into her lair. Malaysia took us back to basics when we stayed at Lupa Masa Rainforest Camp for four days with no electricity or running water.

The search for Komodo Dragons in Indonesia unfortunately didn’t go to plan – needless to say we still had a very enjoyable time and we were rewarded after all of our bad luck with orangutans.

Whilst visiting my Dad in a rural part of the Philippines we admired the beautiful landscape, enjoyed hearing his stories of the many cobras he had encountered whilst living there and found a whip scorpion – something that I have always wanted to see.

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View over French Pass, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Marlborough Sound, New Zealand

Living in New Zealand

On arrival in New Zealand, we stayed in a lovely family home in Northshore, Auckland with a relative of a former All Black Rugby player. We fell in love with New Zealand straight away and explored the North Island and South Island on the Kiwi Bus – an incredible experience.

Queenstown stole our hearts and that’s where we settled for 11 months, after a month of exploration. My dreams came true when I landed my dream job as a horse trek guide in Glenorchy – home of Lord of the Rings.

Knob-tailed gecko, Australia

Searching for Reptiles in Australia

This was undoubtedly the best month of my life – travelling from Darwin to Cairns on a private reptile tour completely tailored to what Josh and I wanted to see. Within five minutes of leaving our lovely Airbnb hosts’ accommodation, our guide Max spotted the first of many incredible reptiles we were to see on this trip, a Frilled Dragon.

Every day was filled with weird and wonderful wildlife encounters – not all reptiles. For the entire trip, we camped under the stars in our own swag always in the middle of nowhere. Our favourite part of the day was the night drives and night walks – the most productive time of day when looking for reptiles.

Zebra, Akagera, Rwanda
Akagera, Rwanda

My First Trip to Africa

My first experience of Africa was a jam-packed, fun-filled five days in Rwanda. The highlight of this journey was my visit to Akagera National Park for my first safari, which was astounding, especially when I came face to face and locked eyes with a leopard lounging on a tree branch above my open top vehicle.

Another highlight was visiting Nyungwe National Park. As ever, there was only one thing on my mind walking through this beautiful forest and that was finding any form of reptile. The closest thing I found was a giant earthworm – my favourite part of Nyungwe National Park, with the dizzying heights of the forest canopy walk a very close second.

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.

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