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.

Mucubal women in colourful dress, Angola

Desert Tribes and Hidden Landscapes


Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Joan Riera 1

Anthropologist Tour Leader

Travel in the company of anthropologist and tribal specialist Joan Riera

Natural canyon in Namibe Desert, Angola 2

Desert Landscapes

Explore Angola’s remote southern deserts, home to numerous tribes

Nguendelengo women in colourful clothing, Angola 3

Traditional Tribes

Meet isolated communities, whose customs and lives remain largely unchanged.

Cathedral, Lubango, Angola 4

Colonial History

Admire Portuguese colonial architecture, as well as dramatic desert scenery.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2

    Luanda - Lubango

  • Day 3


  • Day 4

    Lubango - Namibe

  • Day 5

    Namibe - Tchitundo Hulo

  • Day 6

    Tchitundo Hulo - Namibe

  • Day 7

    Namibe - Lubango

  • Day 8


  • Day 9

    Lubango - Luanda

  • Day 10


Day 1


Day 2

Luanda - Lubango

Day 3


Day 4

Lubango - Namibe

Day 5

Namibe - Tchitundo Hulo

Day 6

Tchitundo Hulo - Namibe

Day 7

Namibe - Lubango

Day 8


Day 9

Lubango - Luanda

Day 10


Angola Serra de Leba, Angola

Serra da Leba and the Mumuila

Start by visiting the colourful Mumuila people – with their mud-decorated hairstyles – close to the market town of Chibia. Then take the dramatic Serra da Leba mountain road out of Lubango and towards the ocean, passing over the escarpment. Encounter the dominant, cattle-rearing Mucubal people and the isolated, mountain-dwelling Nguendelengo.

Rock painting, Tchitundo Hulo, Angola
Tchitundo Hulo, Angola

Namibe and Tchitundo Hulo

Continue down Angola’s Atlantic coast, past the ornate colonial tombs and unearthly looking welwitschia plants of Namibe, and into Mucubal territory. Here, admire the rock engravings and cave paintings of Tchitundo Hulo. Meet the nomadic Mucuis people, who number less than 500 and rely heavily on their Mucuroca neighbours to trade. The Mucuroca are renowned for the beautiful hairstyles that young men gain during their initiation rites.

Mucuis Tribe, Angola

Red Rocks and the Nguendelengo

Visit the dramatic Red Rocks, before exploring the sleepy port town of Tomboua and then the oasis of Arco – home to the descendants of escape Umbundu slaves. Afterwards, leave the coast and head to the old Portugues settlement of Garganta, at the heart of Nguendelengo territory. Meet the local chief and locals, visiting their fascinating homes, then explore the colonial desert enclave of Bibala, nearby.

Tundavala, Angola

Tundavala and Santiago Beach

Eventually return to Lubango, visiting the spectacular Tundavala Gap, with its astonishing views. Also meet the colourful Handa people, with their intricate hairstyles and heavy pearl necklaces, before flying back to Luanda. Spend a final day exploring the beautiful Santiago Beach, north of Luanda and one of Africa’s largest ship cemeteries.

Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience Matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Size Matters

Our average group size is typically eight to ten people, smaller than other group tours typically offered – a factor which many of our clients appreciate. Travelling as part of a smaller group provides a more intimate, personalised and relaxed atmosphere.

4.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

3.Like-Minded People

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people – interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

5.Value for money

Our tours are well-priced to ensure you get real value for money. We include gratuities on the majority of our tours and do not pass on currency surcharges. We strive to look after single travellers as well as we can, keeping single supplements to a minimum.

6.Peace of Mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Accommodation in hotels and tents (mattresses and sleeping bag provided)
  • Accompanied by an English-speaking guide
  • Daily excursions and site visits
  • Full board meal basis
  • Internal flight Luanda – Lubango – Luanda
  • Mineral water
  • Transport (minibus in Luanda and 4x4 vehicle in the south)
  • £25 to help fund the communities, conservation agencies and NGOs that we work with
  • £25 contribution to ‘Trees and Science’ in mitigation of your carbon emissions

What is excluded

  • Drinks
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Tourist Visa (Letter of invitation and assistance will be provided)
  • Travel insurance

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 880 980

Send us an enquiry

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Explore similar expert-led group tours

With an average group size of just eight to ten people our group tour itineraries enable you to travel to some of the most intriguing regions of the world in the company of experts guides in the field and, of course, with likeminded people.

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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