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

Rob Gardiner

  • Africa

My Expertise

  • Botswana
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Gabon
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Namibia
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

As with many people, my journey into a career in travel was entirely by accident. If I had to pick a starting point, it would be setting off by bicycle with the Silk Road laid out ahead of me and no return planned. Several years of adventures followed, taking me through more than 50 countries and across four continents. I translated James Blunt for curious Kazakh taxi drivers, dodged yaks on the Pamir Plateau and dined with Zoroastrians in India.

Somehow, this two-wheeled nomadism morphed into a job. And of all the continents, it was Africa that I was drawn to. The wilderness, the wild animals and the enigmatic peoples all left their mark. Instead of cycling, I found myself trekking for mountain gorillas, watching lions hunt, scaling active volcanoes and swimming with sea turtles.

Dawn over Langoue Bai, Ivindo National Park, Gabon
Ivindo National Park, Gabon

Gabon: Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Trekking deep into the rainforest of the Congo Basin, I accompanied a group of clients on our inaugural group trip to Gabon. We visited the remote Langoue Bai – a large forest opening, whose salt-rich soils attract a range of forest wildlife. We spent three days watching and waiting beside this rarely visited site, hoping for a glimpse of Gabon’s elusive jungle creatures.

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HIppo spraying water, Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Liwonde National Park, Malawi

Malawi: Room with a Mvuu

“Mvuu” means hippo in Chichewa, Malawi’s most widely spoken language. And Mvuu Lodge earns its name. Even before leaving camp, I was treated to a display of ferocity from these water-dwelling herbivores, before setting off to explore the termite-mound-dotted savannahs of Liwonde National Park.

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Lake Turkana, Kenya don't use
Lake Turkana, Kenya

Kenya: Lake Turkana

This remote, arid region of Kenya can only be truly appreciated from the air. Flying by private helicopter, the “Jade Sea” appeared below me, enveloping volcanic calderas and fringed by frozen lava flows. I stepped out of the helicopter and onto a ridge of hissing volcanic rock, with the black silhouettes of huge Nile crocodiles floating in the saline waters below me.

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My Favourite Experiences

Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Track Forest Elephants in Loango

Head to the beaches as dusk approaches, in search of families of forest elephants. They typically leave the forest as the sun begins to set and can be spotted strolling beside the surf.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Climb Mount Nyiragongo

Spend a night on Nyiragongo Volcano and watch the world’s largest lava lake from above.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Track Mountain Gorillas

Set out on foot into the park’s dense cloud forest. Come face to face with mountain gorillas and spend an hour in their company.

Suggested Holiday Idea

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 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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