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.

Sustainability - Positive Impact Travel

Where each step builds on over 30 years of supporting local communities, cultures and environments.

Since 1989, the team at Steppes Travel has been creating inspirational journeys that carve a different path. From the beginning, our clients’ needs were paramount, yet we soon realised that the needs of our hosts should be on an equal footing, if our holidays were to make a positive difference.

This realisation developed to incorporate the needs of the environment and we were soon of a mind that if travel was to be sustainable, then it must be of mutual benefit to both host, planet and traveller. As the world faces a climate crisis, we remain steadfast in the belief that travel can be a force for good, as long as we work together to create measured, purposeful and conscionable holidays. We look forward to helping you make a positive impact on your next trip.

Elephant rock in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

Solid Foundations

Building on over three decades of commitment to the positive influence of travel, we launched the Steppes Fund for Change in 2019 that saw Steppes Travel create a forest regeneration scheme in Brigg, support vital research into nuclear fusion energy and partner with 20 projects across the globe.

With the arrival of COVID-19 and global travel being put on pause, we took the time to redefine what Positive Impact Travel means, working with e-collective, the travel industry’s carbon calculating experts and aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we are striving to make a measurable and positive impact on the world.

Our Carbon Quest

We fully acknowledge that travelling around the world creates harmful carbon emissions however we believe the benefits of positive impact travel are far reaching and with careful curation, the sum of a holiday’s parts can outweigh the negative impact of its carbon footprint. Carbon is far more complex than just offsetting flight emissions and our work in 2021 with e-collective, the travel industry’s carbon calculating experts, has helped broaden our understanding of where we can best reduce and mitigate the carbon footprint throughout Steppes Travel.

Our focus on continually measuring, improving and adapting is applied to all areas of our business, from reducing the footprint of our office right up to carefully assessing individual hotels in our portfolio. Have a read about our ‘net positive’ approach below.

Ponheary foundation girls on bikes waving
Ponheary Ly Foundation, Cambodia

What is ‘net positive’ travel?

In 2021, we began working with e-collective, the travel industry’s carbon calculating experts to help us develop a calculator that measures the carbon footprint of flights and hotels, which we have since asked our hotel partners to use to establish their own individual carbon emissions. Conscious of the need to weigh up both the positive and negative impacts of travel, we have also created a scoring system that measures the positive impact that a hotel has on a social, environmental and economic level. By turning the carbon emission kg CO2e score into a negative and then adding the score assigned to the hotel for its positive social, environmental and economic impact, we are able to come up with a net impact score for individual travel itineraries.

Three grey and white red shanked douc monkeys say in tree tops looking towards camera.

Measuring Carbon to Improve Flights

In August 2021 we launched our flight carbon emissions calculator which allows us to continuously measure and reduce the impact of our holidays in detail. This means that our team can work with you to create and refine your itinerary in a way that makes reducing carbon emissions easy and unobtrusive.

We are also offsetting the carbon emissions of international and domestic flights for all of our holidays, whether or not you book your flights through us. We’ll be calculating and offsetting these emissions based on travel in economy class, whilst giving you the option to pay the difference if travelling in a higher class. The offsetting will all be done through World Land Trust’s reforestation projects, which simultaneously capture excess carbon and help regenerate threatened ecosystems.

Stilt Fishermen, Galle, Sri Lanka
Stilt Fishermen, Galle, Sri Lanka

UN Sustainable Development Goals

We have chosen to align our vision of Positive Impact Travel with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Not only do these goals offer a comprehensive guide to solving the challenges facing our world, but they act as a focal point around which we can all rally. We have made a commitment to ensure every holiday you book with Steppes Travel supports at least three of these goals.

Explore UN Sustainable Development Goals

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

Biodiversity, Female Education and Green Energy in Focus

While our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals is all-encompassing, we believe sustainable travel can have the biggest impact through the promotion of biodiversity, female education and renewable energy. Each booking that a client makes with us goes on to support a chosen partner that is working with passion and commitment towards these goals.

Our Core Goals

rice terrace, vietnam

What This Means For Our Clients

We have one simple goal in mind: to create holidays that have a positive impact now, so we can continue to travel in the future.

We want to measure carbon emissions while also demonstrating the social, environmental and economic benefits of the holidays we create for you. By working with our partners on the ground, we will strive to create ‘net positive’ travel; holidays that are not only fulfilling, fun and transformational for you but are of tangible benefit to the places you visit, the people you meet and the wildlife you encounter.

Travelling with Us

Thoughts. Opinions. Experiences

Side of a dark brown bears body and head amidst green foliage.
Experience Europe’s wildness, with purpose
Steppes Travel
The world is changing. The past year has been a staggering challenge for all; travel grounded to a halt, and the…
Flamingo, shot by Alfie Bowen
Wild World by Alfie Bowen
Nadia Shahanaz Hussain
Alfie Bowen is an exceptionally talented young autistic photographer and wildlife activist. His latest project - Wild World - offers a…
Frog, Amazon
What to watch on WaterBear
Nadia Shahanaz Hussain
If you haven't heard of WaterBear, it is the first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Whatever…
Panoramic view of lush karst peaks and valley floor from top of a mountains.
Our Tourism Declares Plan
Justin Wateridge
We have a duty to give our world a chance to truly thrive, not just as an industry, but as a…
Ant, Napo, Ecuadorian Amazon
Small changes, big impact
Nadia Shahanaz Hussain
Incorporating these changes when thinking about your holiday or travelling can have a big impact on our environment, the wildlife we…
Bisate Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Our Favourite Properties Creating a Positive Impact
Nadia Shahanaz Hussain
When done responsibly, travel can have a real, long-lasting positive impact on the world; on the local communities, wildlife and environment,…
Aerial Road, Awasi Iguazu, Argentina
Positive impact travel in 2021 and beyond
Justin Wateridge
‘'Our planet is one in a billion, a world teeming with life. But now, a new dominant force is changing the…
Black lion tamarin, Brazil
Conservation Heroes 2020 Award Winners
Nadia Shahanaz Hussain
While 2020 will be remembered for many things, there will always be the prevailing sense of hope and unity that we…
Looking Forward at a Better World – October 2020
Justin Wateridge
As our inner worlds collide with new people, places and things, we imprint a part of ourselves on them, and them…
Debs B-D planting trees at Scunthorpe
Steppes Travel Forest in Brigg, Scunthorpe
Steppes Travel
Tackling the climate crisis - In 2019, Steppes Travel issued a call to arms on carbon emissions through a pioneering land-concession…

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?

More about Steppes