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.

Ali Franklin, Kenya

Ali Franklin

  • The Americas

My Expertise

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Cuba
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Trinidad And Tobago
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • USA

Being fortunate enough to have many Mediterranean holidays as a child, I fell in love with the excitement of a new country, new languages, new sights, smells and sounds, so my job choice was more a less a given. My travel career started at the age of 15 with work experience in a small local travel agency in the town where I still live and I never looked back.

For more or less the next 30+ years I worked for and managed local independent travel companies which allowed me to create travel experiences for my clients. I had two very different passions; Africa, which I have travelled to many times. I would go on a safari at the drop of a hat. And the Caribbean; stunning island gems that I believe are very underestimated and offer so much more than a ‘fly and flop’ holiday. Now I have moved to a behind the scenes role where I manage the logistics and administration for our clients within the Americas team. I still have the same passion for travel that I always had and don’t mind admitting that the ‘kid in a sweetshop’ excitement is still prevalent with every destination I am fortunate enough to visit. Central American countries are fast becoming a new passion! Travel gets into the blood, and although I have been doing this job since before the advent of computers, every day brings something new and exciting and I hope to continue exploring this great globe for many years to come.

Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua
Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua

The Cerro Negro

After driving along a nicely tarmacked road, the journey became much more of an off-road experience. The tarmac was replaced by a narrow, rough dirt track and we bounced along for several miles – passing locals herding their cattle on horseback, and even on motorbikes. Vast volcanic peaks loomed ever closer and before too long we arrived at the base of Cerro Negro, a still-active volcano in the Cordillera de los Maribios mountain range. This was the one we were about to climb. To say my heart was booming away in my chest was an understatement.

My Most Memorable Experiences

Volcan Cerro Negro

Hike the blackened slopes of Volcan Cerro Negro.

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Discover Antigua

Take a walking tour of Antigua and surrounding textile villages.

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Discover Costa Rican Wildlife

A number of National Parks offer the opportunity to seek out crocodiles, spider monkeys, scarlet macaws and poison arrow frogs.

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Sunset over Antigua

Watch the sunset over English Harbour as the steel bands and reggae music ring out over the ruins of the old 18th century English guard-post.

Monkeys of Uganda

Spot red colobus, L’Hoest’s and numerous other monkey species.

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My Hand-Picked Holiday Ideas

Scroll to discover my pick of great journeys in the Americas. From sipping rum cocktails in heaving Havana to exploring in the shadow of Saint Lucia’s volcanic Pitons, I hope that this small selection of holiday ideas inspires an adventure of your own.

Read my Articles

Mountain View, Caribbean, St Lucia
Saint Lucia: Two Island Hideaways
Ali Franklin
There is something rather exclusive and endearing about the Caribbean archipelago, which I have been fortunate enough to explore in depth…
Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua
Nicaragua – Sandboarding the Cerro Negro volcano
Ali Franklin
After driving along a nicely tarmacked road, the journey became much more of an off-road experience. The tarmac was replaced by…

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Meet the Americas & Polar Experts

With a combined total of more than 180 years working in travel, we are a small and immensely knowledgeable team of experts. Having driven vintage cars in Havana, climbed granite domes in Yosemite, snorkelled with sea lions in the Galapagos and camped in Antarctica, our passion lies in curating bespoke journeys for our clients, balancing our in-depth local knowledge with a penchant for picking up on the little details that make you tick.

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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