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E X P E R T-L E D G R O U P TO U R S 2020

DISCOVER EXTRAORDINARY WITH OUR EXPERTS Our brightest minds, with you all the way


Strength in numbers Welcome to our 2020 Expert-led Group Tours brochure. This year is a milestone for Steppes Travel – it marks our 30th anniversary. Over the years, we have learnt that quality always trumps quantity. Our experts have been meticulously selected for their expertise; group sizes are always carefully considered for your enjoyment; and we’ve made sure that we can connect you to the finest experiences right across the world. Added up, it means that every trip is insightful, intimate and diverse. I do hope that you find our brochure as thrilling to browse as we found it to create. And remember, there is always more to discover at Steppes Travel, like our upcoming wildlife tour in Kenya with Brian Jackman. Simply get in touch with our experts if you would like more information. Here’s to the next 30 years. Justin Wateridge Managing Director


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Contents 6

EUROPE

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Crimea, Historical Journey to Yalta

16

CENTRAL ASIA

18 19 20 21 22 23

Central Asia, Five Stans

24

INDIAN SUBCONTINENT

26 27

India, Exploring Gujarat’s Culture, Art and Wildlife

Albania, Origins of Illyria Georgia, Highlights of Transcaucasia Greece, Ancient Epirus and Beyond Romania, Beyond the Carpathian Mountains Russia, Jewels of St Petersburg Turkey, Ancient Civilisations of Eastern Turkey Expert-led Tours - Our Rising Stars

China & Tibet, Tibetan Horse Festivals Mongolia, Western Altai Adventure Kyrgyzstan & China, Journey Along the Silk Road Uzbekistan, Carpet Ride to Khiva An interview with Chris Aslan Alexander

India, Tribes of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh

28 29

India, On the Trail of Snow Leopards

30

ASIA & THE FAR EAST

32 33

Australia, Tasmanian Wildlife Photography with Sue Flood

34

Japan, Nature, Culture and Science with New Scientist

35 36 37

Japan, Winter Wildlife Photography with Sue Flood

India, Tiger Conservation with New Scientist

Indonesia, Borneo, Orangutan Conservation

Malaysia, Borneo Wildlife Photography Expert-led Tours - Perfectly Scaled

39


19

32

38

AFRICA

40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47

Angola, Desert Tribes and Hidden Landscapes

48

THE AMERICAS

50 51 52 53 54 55 56

Antarctica, Ross Sea with The Friends of The Scott Polar Research Institute

Cameroon, Nguon Festival and Baka Communities Cameroon & CAR, Forest Bais of Central Africa Eritrea, Inside Africa’s Forgotten Kingdom Gabon, Wildlife and Culture of Africa’s Eden Madagascar, Endemic Wildlife and Limestone Landscapes with New Scientist Togo & Benin, Voodoo Traditions and West African Culture Uganda, Wildlife Photography with Harry Skeggs

Brazil, Jaguar and Maned Wolf Conservation

USA, Hawaii Cruise with Richard Dawkins

Canada, West Coast Wildlife Cruise

57 58 59 60

Galapagos Islands, Cruise with Jonathan Green Galapagos Islands, Cruise with Jo Ruxton and New Scientist

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2020 EXPERT-LED TOUR CALENDAR

Canada, Great Bear Rainforest Cruise with Sue Flood Canada, Grizzly Bear Wildlife Photography with Sue Flood

USA, Yellowstone Wildlife Safari Expert-led Tours - Your Ideal Tour Expert-led Tours - Always a Step Ahead


EUROPE The bridge between east and west; and a beautiful patchwork of cultures, landscapes and experiences. Chat to our team about any of the following group experiences – we are always here to help you discover extraordinary.

6 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


I HAVE TAKEN MANY GROUP TOURS IN THE LAST TEN YEARS AND THIS ONE WAS THE BEST. CAROLYN PERRY’S KNOWLEDGE, WEALTH OF INFORMATION AND COMMAND OF DETAIL (FROM THE HISTORICAL TO THE ANECDOTAL) ADDED SO MUCH RICH TEXTURE TO MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE HELLENIC AGE.

Adrian, Greece 2019

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Crimea

Historical Journey to Yalta Accompanied by Katya Galitzine 9th – 18th May 2020 | 10 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £3,995pp Single supplement: £415pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Explore the Nikitsky Botanical Gardens, the second largest

in the world

• Visit the incredible wine cellars of the Massandra Winery • Explore Livadia Palace, homeplace of many historic meetings

Discover ancient palaces, medieval city-fortresses, historic ports and stunning mountainous landscapes on our tour discovering the highlights of Crimea. Begin in St Petersburg, with time spent at the Hermitage Museum before flying to Simferopol and exploring Sevastapol, a key commercial/military port in the Black Sea. Visit Bakhchysarai, the capital of Tatar Crimea, home to the largest mosque in the area. Continue onto Balaklava, a peaceful area close to Sevastopol’s centre and drive to Yalta. From here, spend time travelling to various sites including Alupka, Swallow’s Nest, Livadia Palace, Massandra Winery, Gurzuf and the Nikitsky Botanical Gardens. 8 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813

Katya Galitzine is a direct descendant of Catherine the Great and went to live in the former Soviet Union in 1989 to learn Russian and study sculpture. She studied at the prestigious Repin Academy of Arts in the studio of Mikhail Anikushin, the People’s Sculptor of the Soviet Union and ended up making St Petersburg her home for 10 years. Katya has written articles for many publications and has led tours since the mid-1990s.

Katya Galitzine


Albania Carolyn Perry

Origins of Illyria Accompanied by Carolyn Perry 15th – 23rd May 2020 | 9 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £1,995pp Single supplement: £225pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 Carolyn Perry holds a degree in classics and archaeology, and has lectured in ancient history and mythology at Queen Mary College. Carolyn has led tours for Steppes Travel for over five years and her research into the Illyrian kingdoms has led to this completely new itinerary. We thoroughly enjoy working with her – her incredible knowledge, passion for travel and warm disposition make her a client favourite.

HIGHLIGHTS • Take an in-depth tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site

of Butrint • Soak up stunning mountain scenery and hidden villages • Travel by boat to Grama Bay – a site of more than 1,500 inscriptions

Journey through the ‘Land of Eagles’ – known as Illyria throughout the classical era – and discover a country with a fascinating past and present. Rich archaeological sites, such a Byllis, will reveal stories of everyday life in ancient times, while Butrint – described by Virgil as ‘Troy in miniature’ – boasts links to the famous legend of Aeneas. The tour also takes time to explore Albania’s dramatic coast and to discover why Caesar and Pompey fought so bitterly over it. If you are looking for a window into an age of empire, war, treasure and rebellion, then this is for you.

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Georgia

Highlights of Transcaucasia Accompanied by Ian Colvin 10th – 23rd May 2020 | 14 days

Ian Colvin

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £3,995pp Single supplement: £785pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15

Ian Colvin is a historian and researcher at the University of Cambridge, who works on the South Caucasus, Byzantium and Sasanian Iran. Alongside work for the School Classics Project, he is Director of the AngloGeorgian Archaeological Expedition at the site of Nokalakevi, West Georgia – a project he established in 2001, in collaboration with the Georgian National Museum.

HIGHLIGHTS • Explore ancient cave cities and hilltop monasteries • Discover religious art and architecture from a range of

archaeological sites • Sample Georgia’s delicious food and innumerable wines Georgia is a beautiful country and a simply marvellous canvas for walkers and travellers of every kind. Discover a delicate balance of spectacular mountain scenery, vineyards, historic watchtowers and lush green valleys. Your days will be spent travelling through Tbilisi, Kvareli, Kazbegi, Kutaisi and Mestia – with expert guide Ian Colvin leading the tour and providing insights into the history, architecture and rural lifestyle of the Georgians. This is your chance to get off the beaten track and discover Georgia in ways that few have the chance to.

10 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Greece

Ancient Epirus and Beyond Accompanied by Carolyn Perry 3rd – 11th September 2020 | 9 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £3,495pp Single supplement: £460pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Retrace the step of the famous battle of Leonidas and his

300 Spartans • Visit the archaeological site of Nikopolis, the largest ancient city in Greece • Explore the labyrinthine passageways of the Sanctuary of Persephone and Hades This is a Greece with a difference, focusing not only on the great poleis or city-states of the south but also some of the fascinating sites of the regions of Acarnania, Epirus and Boeotia. The names of these regions of ancient Greece may be unfamiliar, but the events, personalities and settings will be well-known. In Acarnania you will see where the Battle of Actium, between Octavian and Antony and Cleopatra, took place, in Epirus visit Dodona the city of Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great, and capital of King Pyrrhus, and in Boeotia pass by the site of the battle of Thermopylae, where the legend of the 300 Spartans was forged.

Carolyn Perry holds a degree in classics and archaeology and lectures on aspects of the ancient Mediterranean and Islamic world and is a regular speaker at the British Museum and elsewhere on ancient Mediterranean history and mythology. Carolyn has led tours for Steppes Travel for over five years and will bring this beautiful region of Greece to life.

Carolyn Perry

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Romania Moldovita Monastery, Buchovina

Beyond the Carpathian Mountains Accompanied by local expert 19th – 28th September 2020 | 10 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £3,495pp Single supplement: £475pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS

Our Romania group tour will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide throughout the duration of the tour. They will meet you on arrival and travel with you throughout your time in Romania. Their in-depth knowledge and passion for their country will give you an intimate and personal perspective on Romania.

• Enter medieval monasteries, home to beautiful painted frescoes • Explore picturesque villages, learning about traditional life and crafts • Visit UNESCO-recognised fortified churches, preserved since

Saxon times

Travel through a timeless landscape where horse-drawn carts bounce over cobbled lanes and hay is still cut by hand. Begin with the frescoed medieval monasteries and churches of Bucovina, then continue to Breb, considered one of the most picturesque villages in Romania. Explore beautifully preserved wooden churches and little-visited village museums, before meeting local craftsman and sampling traditional (and potent) plum brandy. After this taste of rural life, head to the city of Cluj Napoca, home to some of the finest Gothic architecture in the country. Finish with the UNESCO-recognised Saxon villages of Viscri and Biertan – both home to magnificent fortified churches.

12 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Russia

Jewels of St Petersburg Accompanied by Katya Galitzine 26th February - 1st March 2020 | 5 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £1,995pp Single supplement: £300pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Discover delicate jewels at the Faberge Museum • See the hidden treasures of the State Hermitage Museum • Take tea at the Prince George Galitzine Memorial Library

Take a journey through the splendour of the tsars with Princess Katya Galitzine, a member of one of the oldest noble families in Russian history. In particular, Katya’s connections will introduce you to the jewels and treasures of pre-revolutionary Russia. Explore some of the vaults within the State Hermitage Museum; view over 1,500 beautiful examples of Faberge eggs in a private collection at the Shuvalov Palace; and uncover exceptional gems and riches at the Mining Institute. This is a rare and dazzling exploration of St Petersburg and some of its most precious artefacts.

Katya Galitzine is a direct descendant of Catherine the Great – and went to live in the former Soviet Union in 1989 to learn Russian and study sculpture. She studied at the prestigious Repin Academy of Arts in the studio of Mikhail Anikushin, the People’s Sculptor of the Soviet Union. Katya has written articles for many newspapers and magazines, and has led cultural tours since the mid 1990s.

Katya Galitzine

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Turkey

Ancient Civilisations of Eastern Turkey Accompanied by Ian Colvin 27th June – 9th July 2020 | 13 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £2,495pp Single supplement: £220pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Visit Gobekli Tepe – the recently excavated 9,000-year-

old temple

Ian Colvin is a historian and Byzantinist specialising in late antiquity and the South Caucasus, with interests in the wider history of the region. He has more than twenty years’ experience of studying and teaching the history and archaeology of the South Caucasus, and Turkey.

• Explore Lake Van, the largest alkaline lake in the world • Discover Mount Nemrut – one of the highest peaks of

Mesopotamia

Prepare yourself for a fascinating melting pot of experiences that’s perfect for any intrepid traveller. The first step of this journey will see you start at Trabzon and travel along the Black Sea coast to Ani. Lake Van, Diyarbakir and Gobekli Tepe – the world’s first temple – are next on the map. Your final stop will be Sanliurfa – also known as the ‘the city that changed human history’. Join expert guide Ian Colvin to discover why the city gained this colourful moniker. Explore spectacular scenery, uncover ancient civilisations and much more. 14 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813

Ian Colvin


RISING STARS. We choose our experts because of their bright minds, warm personalities and how they shine in their fields. Join one of our group tours and know that the knowledge of our team will show you a completely new world of culture, history and wildlife.

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CENTRAL

ASIA

One of the most enigmatic regions on Earth – a must for anyone interested in lavish cities, rich heritage and dramatic scenery. Chat to our team about any of the following group experiences – we are always here to help you discover extraordinary.

16 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


John, Uzbekistan 2019

CHRIS ASLAN ALEXANDER IS A WONDERFUL TOUR EXPERT. HUGELY KNOWLEDGEABLE. COULD NOT HAVE ASKED FOR MORE. EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS AND HIS EXPERIENCE OF LIVING IN THE COUNTRY MADE SUCH A DIFFERENCE.

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Central Asia Mehreen Chida-Razvi

Five Stans Accompanied by Mehreen Chida-Razvi 26th August – 11th September 2020 | 17 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £4,995pp Single supplement: £550pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Visit Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and

Dr Mehreen Chida-Razvi is a Research Associate in the Department of the History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She has been leading group tours over Central Asia, India, Pakistan and Lebanon.

Turkmenistan • Visit the colourful bazaars and architectural wonders of Samarkand and Bukhara • Discover the world of intrigue that was the Great Game Travelling through Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, this journey has been created to allow you to see the highlights of Central Asia. Begin in Bishkek, settled in the shadows of the imposing Tien Shan Mountains, travelling onto Almaty, Kazakhstan’s trading and cultural hub. From here, fly to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, situated on the Varzob River, as well as Khujand, one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. Cross into Uzbekistan, with its stunning architecture, before concluding in Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, known for its white marble buildings and magnificent national monuments.

18 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


China & Tibet

Tibetan Horse Festivals Accompanied by Gina Corrigan 23rd July – 5th August 2020 | 14 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £4,495pp Single supplement: £585pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Visit Yushu’s sacred Mani Wall, decorated with countless

coloured inscriptions • Experience colourful and energetic horse festivals in Yushu and Litang • Explore this remote 4,000-metre-high plateau, overlooked by snow-capped peaks

Gina first visited China in 1972 and has been working in the region since then by organising and leading tours. She has travelled widely throughout China – and now specialises in Southwest China and the Tibetan Cultural Region. Her Tibetan collection has been acquired by Liverpool World Museum.

Gina Corrigan

Discover the Tibetan borderlands of Amdo and Kham, part of historical Tibet. Here, for generations, nomads have grazed their yaks and sheep on high mountain pastures. Despite a century of Chinese rule, Tibetan traditions still thrive. Explore the culture and landscapes of these beautiful regions, beginning and ending with two spectacular horse festivals. In Yushu, observe energetic dancing, singing, acrobatic riding and horse racing. And in Litang, surrounded by miles of high-altitude grasslands, watch local clans display their exceptional horsemanship - complemented by crowds dressed in their finest clothes and wearing exquisite handmade jewellery. Discover extraordinary with our experts | 19


Mongolia

Western Altai Adventure Accompanied by Jonathan Stacey 13th – 25th June 2020 | 13 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £5,995pp Single supplement: £1,925pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS • Camp in luxury ger tents amidst breath-taking

panoramic landscapes • Explore lush pastures, vast plains, colossal lakes and sprawling sand dunes • Spend time with local nomadic families, learning about their culture A fascinating insight into both Kazakh and Mongolian culture in one trip awaits. The Kazakh enclaves of Hokh Serkhiin Nuruu, Chigertei and Khovd are combined with a spectacular journey into and across the Great Lakes Basin to Dorgon Nuur. This western frontier of Mongolia has very little infrastructure and life on the Mongolian steppe has barely changed since the time of Genghis Khan – certainly making its untamed, beautiful and active landscape a unique experience. 20 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813

Jonathan Stacey is an ecologist who has been working in the fields of biodiversity conservation and ecotourism for over 30 years. He is currently a member of the Altai Research and Conservation Institute, which is developing communitybased sustainable livelihoods based on the outstanding biodiversity of the Altai Mountains and deserts of western and southern Mongolia.

Jonathan Stacey


Kyrgyzstan & China Diana Driscoll

Journey Along the Silk Road Accompanied by Diana Driscoll 2nd – 17th June 2020 | 16 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £4,995pp Single supplement: £650pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Discover Kyrgyzstan’s dramatic landscapes of forested

mountains and lush valleys

Diana Driscoll is a leading Islamic world guide and lecturer with an emphasis on Central Asia. Diana has led tours for Steppes Travel for the past three years. Educated at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Diana has over 30 years of experience studying and exploring ancient Near and Middle East history.

• Explore inside Tash Rabat, an ancient caravanserai of the Silk Road • Visit Xian’s extraordinary Terracotta Warriors, built to guard the

tomb of China’s first emperor

Journey eastward, by road, rail and air; following the route of the ancient Silk Road. Explore the historic sites that dot one of the world’s oldest and most challenging trade routes. Begin in Bishkek, settled in the shadows of the imposing Tien Shan Mountains. Traverse this stunning range - obstacles to Silk Road travellers for millennia - and drop down into the deserts of China. Visit the ancient trade hub of Kashgar, then skirt the edge of the magnificent Taklimakan Desert and head towards the vast Turpan Depression. From here travel to the richly decorated Mogao Caves at Dunhuang. End at the Silk Road’s eastern terminus, Xian, home to the massed ranks of the famous Terracotta Army.

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Uzbekistan

Carpet Ride to Khiva Accompanied by Chris Aslan Alexander 5th – 15th September 2020 | 11 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Chris Aslan Alexander

Tour price: £3,295pp Single supplement: £350pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS

Born and raised in Turkey and Lebanon, Chris travelled to Uzbekistan in 1998 to work on a guidebook. He was adopted by a local family, fell in love with the place and people, and stayed. ‘A Carpet Ride to Khiva – Seven years on the Silk Road’ tells this story. After completing his book, he went on to live in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and speaks fluent Uzbek.

• Photograph the turquoise domes of Timurid architecture • Visit Samarkand’s spectacular, UNESCO World Heritage site,

Registan Square

• Explore the bazaars of Bukhara, home to traditional artisans

Escorted by expert Chris Aslan Alexander, this tour to Uzbekistan is a wonderful cultural overview of the country. With its dazzling array of mosques, madrassas, tombs and tales of Tamerlane reflecting the depth of its history, Uzbekistan is the perfect introduction to the Central Asian Plateau. Discover the art, architecture and culture of the fabled Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Roam the winding medieval streets of Khiva’s old city, journey across the vast Kizilkum Desert and experience the thriving food markets of Bukhara. Finally, marvel at the intricate tile work of Samarkand’s Registan and the vibrant Soviet-influenced city of Tashkent.

22 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


An adventurer’s insight

Q&A

WITH CHRIS ASLAN ALEXANDER

We asked Chris to share his thoughts on who has inspired him, his best travel advice and more…

HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAVEL? I’ve just spent a couple of years studying fulltime at Oxford with the long holidays that come with it and got to travel through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China, which was wonderful. I also think it’s impossible to tire of the incredible natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan or the breathtaking Silk Road cityscapes of Uzbekistan. WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU TO DO WHAT YOU DO? I love reading historic travel accounts of Central Asia. There were never huge entourages of coolies and servants or anything like that, but plucky women and men who knew what it was to rough it. I particularly love how Mildred and French, missionaries to inland China and Mongolia, managed to write with wonder, compassion, and respect about the people they met. WHICH COUNTRY SURPRISED YOU? It was my dream for many years to visit Iran, which is really hard to do as a Brit, although I finally made it last year. I was so surprised at how secular Iran was. Underneath the compulsory chador or headscarves, there’s

a whole hidden existence and quiet rebellion towards the government. WHERE IS NEXT ON YOUR TRAVEL ‘BUCKET LIST’? I’ve always wanted to visit Madagascar, and have a really good friend who lives there and married a Malagasy. Peru is also high up on my list and I’m itching to do the Inca Trail. WHAT IS THE ONE ESSENTIAL YOU TRAVEL WITH? My Kindle. As an author, I’ll always prefer paper, but gone are the days when I used to worry about running out of books on a holiday. WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF TRAVEL ADVICE? I was leading a group recently and we went through a particularly demeaning and rigorous security check in an ethnically-troubled part of China, which included having the soles of our feet scanned and having to remove all batterypowered items from our hold luggage. “I find it helps,” said one of the women in the group, “to remember that this isn’t a holiday, it’s travel. They’re both wonderful, but they are different.” Discover extraordinary with our experts | 23


I NDIAN

SUBCONTINENT

An area of enchanting experiences. Prepare yourself for colour, excitement and intrigue. Chat to our team about any of the following group experiences – we are always here to help you discover extraordinary.

24 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


DAVID WAS INCREDIBLY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND HIS ROLE WITH THE SNOW LEOPARD CONSERVANCY ADDED AN EXTRA DIMENSION.

Carol, India 2018

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India Amelia Dalton

Exploring Gujarat’s Culture, Art and Wildlife Accompanied by Amelia Dalton 1st – 10th November 2020 | 10 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £4,395pp Single supplement: £550pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS Amelia Dalton has led unique itineraries for a number of the world’s leading small luxury tour operators and charities. She draws on her experience and knowledge of both the natural and cultural world with a particular specialism in leading tours to Costa Rica, Madagascar, India and Indonesia.

• Visit the exquisite Aina Mahal, known as the Palace of Mirrors • Explore the ancient capital of Patan, renowned for the quality of

its dyes and silk saris • Gain special access to remote Banni tribal villages

Step off the main tourist trail and travel through Gujarat in India’s north-west to experience the region’s rich blend of temples, palaces, textiles, tribal people and extraordinary wildlife. Meet the artisans of Bhuj with their instinctive eye for colour and design. Visit Dasada to learn the origins of ajrak prints, among the oldest textiles in the world, dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation. Explore the Rann of Kutch, home to the only remaining population of Indian wild ass, alongside nilgai, blackbuck, desert cats and flamingos. Visit sacred Jain and Hindu pilgrimage sites before finishing your tour in Ahmedabad, India’s first UNESCO heritage city.

26 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


India

Tribes of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh Accompanied by Joe Parkes 16th November – 1st December 2020 | 16 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £4,495pp Single supplement: £675pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Gain a unique insight into the charismatic tribes of Nagaland and

Arunachal Pradesh • Spend time in the Ziro valley at the Apatani tribal villages of Hong, Hari and Hija • Visit Pasighat, the gateway to Arunachal, renowned for its waterfalls and hanging bridges

Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are India’s last frontiers and are home to a way of life that is fast disappearing. Travel to Ziro to meet the ladies of the Apatani tribe with their tattooed faces and distinctive nose plugs. Spend time with the Konyaks, one of the main Naga tribes and easily recognisable by their pierced ears and extensive tattoos. They will proudly exhibit their collections of enemy skulls. Visit Longwa – a village where the Indo-Myanmar border passes directly through the houses of the Naga people that live there. This tour is for anybody wanting a fascinating yet sensitive insight into the world of north-east India’s last tribal elders.

Joe Parkes, Steppes India travel expert will accompany this pioneering tour. Travel has long been a passion for Joe and with over a decade arranging trips to the Indian Subcontinent he has travelled the length and breadth of this spectacular region. A brief foray to Nagaland in 2018 inspired this pioneering journey through both Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. This trip promises to be a real adventure.

Joe Parkes

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India

On the Trail of Snow Leopards Accompanied by Jennifer Nandi 14th – 26th February 2020 | 13 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £5,595pp Single supplement: £2,050pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 9 HIGHLIGHTS • Join expert trackers for optimum snow leopard sightings • Track snow leopards, blue sheep, ibex and Ladakhi urial on foot • Home-cooked meals and a comfortable bed in a Ladakhi

Jennifer Nandi has been a naturalist, trekker and guide with extensive field experience in ornithology for the past three decades. Over the past five years, Jennifer has led trips to Ladakh that include birdwatching and animalwatching. At home at this altitude and familiar with the environment, Jennifer takes pride in helping you to experience the best of Ladakh.

homestay

Ulley sits in the centre of three interlocking valleys and supports between eight and ten snow leopards, according to the last census. Sightings of the ‘Ghost of the Himalaya’ are not unusual here, especially when tracking is being led by experts Tchewang Norbu and Jennifer Nandi. Explore this less-frequented corner of Ladakh and embrace encounters with snow leopards, blue sheep, ibex and Ladakhi urial by vehicle and on foot. At the end of the day, return to the warmth of a traditional homestay to recount the day’s discoveries. 28 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813

Jennifer Nandi


India Julian Matthews

Tiger Conservation Safari with New Scientist Accompanied by Julian Matthews 26th March – 6th April 2020 | 12 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £5,295pp Single supplement: £1,050pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 14 HIGHLIGHTS Julian Matthews was the Founder of an awardwinning nature and safari travel business, which is now a part of Steppes Travel. In 2004, he launched the TOFTigers campaign to get the expanding nature tourism sector to support more sustainable nature tourism practices in tiger parks across the Indian subcontinent.

• Travel by canoe, jeep and on foot in Kanha, Pench and Satpura

National Parks

• Hands-on experiences, such as learning tracking skills • Meet conservation experts to learn about the current projects

Visit three of the best wildlife reserves in India - Kanha, Pench and Satpura – and go in search of Bengal tiger. Escorted by Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFT) founder Julian Matthews, gain privileged insight into the conservation efforts that are breathing new life into tiger populations in India. Visit the national parks and the communities that live side-by-side with the big cats in the buffer zones, whilst hearing from guest lecturers about on-going environmental issues and tiger relocation programmes. You will also hike, canoe, cycle and travel by jeep through some of the world’s most beautiful tiger habitat.

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ASIA

AND THE FAR EAST

Jungles, deserts, history and innovation - nothing quite matches the level of diversity on offer here. Chat to our team about any of the following group experiences – we are always here to help you discover extraordinary.

30 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


I WANTED TO SEE ORANGUTANS BUT BY THE END OF THE TOUR I FELT THAT I HAD REALLY EXPERIENCED SOMETHING SPECIAL: MUCH MORE THAN SEEING.

Jinnie, Indonesian Borneo 2018

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Australia

Tasmanian wildlife photography Accompanied by Sue Flood 17th – 28th November 2020 | 12 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Sue Flood

Tour price: £9,295pp Single supplement: £950pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS

Sue Flood is a photographer, author, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Sue was an Associate Producer on the BBC Blue Planet series, and also worked on Planet Earth. Sue Flood has been travelling with us for over eight years – she is always great fun to be with and you will undoubtedly hone your photographic skills under her engaging and considerate tuition.

• Expert tuition from wildlife photographer Sue Flood • Encounter endemic Australian species, Tasmanian devil and quoll • Visit, uninhabited Maria Island, refuge to endangered wildlife

Sitting 240 kilometres south of mainland, the Tasmania has an otherworldly feel to its landscape. It’s also a photographer’s dream, with an abundance of breath-taking landscapes, habituated wildlife, incredible colours and superb lighting. This is perfect for honing your skills under the fantastic tutelage of experienced wildlife photographer Sue Flood, as you photograph Tasmania’s unique wildlife, including Tasmanian devil, quoll and duck-billed platypus. In addition to Sue, Nick Mooney – one of Australia’s top wildlife and birding experts – will accompany you on the trip around Bruny Island, Mount Field National Park, Cradle Mountain and Maria Island.

32 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Indonesian Borneo

Orangutan Conservation Accompanied by Ashley Leiman 7th – 16th June 2020 | 10 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £3,595pp Single supplement: £675pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS • Accompanied by Ashley Leiman, founder of Orangutan

Foundation UK

Ashley founded the Orangutan Foundation UK in 1990, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020. She is one of the leading figures in orangutan conservation and has made numerous radio and television appearances and authored a number of scientific papers. Her in-depth knowledge and passion for this region will inspire you long after you return home.

• Visit Camp Leakey and gain special access to orangutan

release sites • Come face-to-face with orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park

A unique opportunity for those with a desire to understand the plight of the world’s most endangered great ape. In cooperation with the Orangutan Foundation, you will be given privileged access to the release site at Lamandau and the chance to understand the importance of the forest and local communities in securing the orangutans’ future. Visit areas in the region only accessible through this unique partnership. Escape the crowds and witness these magnificent creatures in the wildest parts of Indonesian Borneo. Get close to orangutans in their fragile natural environment whilst spending time at the three feeding sites, including Dr Galdikas’ famous Camp Leakey.

Ashley Leiman

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Japan

Nature, Culture, Science with New Scientist Accompanied by Rowan Hooper 18th - 29th October 2020 | 12 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £6,695pp Single supplement: £785pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Take an exclusive tour of the University of Tokyo and receive

a private talk on robotics

Rowan Hooper is managing editor of New Scientist magazine, where he has spent more than ten years writing about all aspects of science. He has a PhD in evolutionary biology and worked as a biologist in Japan for five years, before joining the Japan Times in Tokyo, and later taking up a fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin.

• Explore The National Museum of Emerging Science and

Innovation (Miraikan)

• Visit Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan’s most cosmopolitan and iconic cities

Japan is a must-see destination for science and nature lovers, and this tour offers the chance to delve deeper into one of the most fascinating countries in the world. Join our exclusive 12-day tour across Japan with special access to research facilities and institutions on the cutting edge of technology. Miraikan, a particular highlight, provides a fascinating insight into neutrino observation, space and frontier exploration, natural disasters, induced pluripotent stem cell research (iPS) and next-generation medicines. Travel from lively cities to snow-capped mountains, and from hot springs to volcanic islands, taking in the cities of Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto and Kagoshima. 34 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813

Rowan Hooper


Japan

Winter Wildlife Photography with Sue Flood Accompanied by Sue Flood 24th February – 7th March 2020 | 13 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £10,950pp Single supplement: £995pp Sue Flood

GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS • Photograph iconic wildlife such as red-crowned cranes, Steller’s

sea eagles and snow monkeys

Sue Flood is a photographer, author, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Following the success of the tour to Japan with Sue last year and its overwhelming popularity we have ensured it is available in 2020 too. Sue is great fun to be with and will be on hand throughout the tour for shooting tips and to answer questions you may have.

• Explore the wild winter in Honshu, home to the Japanese

snow monkey

• Travel and learn from expert wildlife photographer Sue Flood

This is a rare opportunity to spend 13 days exploring Japan’s Central Honshu and Northern Hokkaido regions in the company of wildlife and travel photographer, Sue Flood. The diverse landscapes of Hokkaido are home to growing populations of red fox, sika deer, whooper swans and a surprising number of brown bears. Perhaps most famous of all, East Hokkaido is known for its breeding population of the rare red-crowned cranes. There will also be the opportunity to get close to the famous Japanese macaques in Central Honshu. Alongside wildlife viewing, discover Japan’s cultural attractions with a visit to Crow Castle in Matsumoto, one of the premier castles of the country, and the Hokusai Gallery.

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Malaysia

Borneo Wildlife Photography Accompanied by George Chan 28th September – 7th October 2020 | 10 days

PRICE (excl. flights) George Chan

Tour price: £4,495pp Single supplement: £565pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS

George Chan has been a photographer and cameraman for more than 30 years. He worked on David Attenborough’s State of the Planet, the BBC’s most comprehensive series about conservation. He also worked on the first series of Planet Earth travelling to the Amazon and the Arctic. He has a PhD in evolutionary biology and a degree in zoology from Oxford University.

• Receive expert photographic tuition throughout from George Chan • Behind-the-scenes access at the Bornean Sun Bear

Conservation Centre • Explore Gomantong Caves, the largest cave system in Sabah

Charles Darwin called Borneo “one great wild untidy luxuriant hothouse made by nature for herself”. It is wild and exciting and remains the preserve of the true traveller. This tour is perfectly suited for those that have a genuine interest in conservation issues at a grassroot level and a love of the rainforest, wildlife, not to mention photography. Journey from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre for an insight into this endangered species before moving onto the Kinabatangan River, home to the proboscis monkey. Finally, conclude the tour in the Danum Valley where some of the island’s most pristine rainforest can be found.

36 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


PERFECTLY SCALED. You want to really be able to dig your claws into your travels. Our group tours are always small, intimate and enjoy a high guide-to-traveller ratio. Get closer than ever to what’s waiting.

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AFR ICA A hotbed of wildlife, conservation and pioneering expeditions. Chat to our team about any of the following group experiences – we are always here to help you discover extraordinary.

38 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Linda, Cameroon 2018

THE GUIDES WERE FABULOUS. THEY HAD DEEP KNOWLEDGE, EXPLAINED MUCH ABOUT THE COUNTRY AND WERE FLEXIBLE IN INCLUDING A FEW EXPERIENCES WE REQUESTED.

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Angola Joan Riera

Desert Tribes and Hidden Landscapes Accompanied by Joan Riera 22nd June – 1st July 2020 | 10 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £6,295pp Single supplement: £650pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 8 HIGHLIGHTS • Explore Angola’s remote southern deserts, home to

numerous tribes

• Meet isolated communities, whose customs and lives remain

An anthropologist specialising in African cultures, Joan Riera splits his time between West Africa and Europe. His travels have taken him across the continent, from Benin and Cameroon to Angola and South Sudan. A Catalan who grew up in Africa, he has spent much of his life studying various African cultures.

largely unchanged • Admire Portuguese colonial architecture, as well as dramatic desert scenery Set out on this overland journey to explore a remote region of one of Africa’s least visited countries. Deep within Angola’s southern deserts, meet tribal communities whose traditions remain remarkably intact, discover crumbling Portuguese colonial relics and explore the dramatic desert landscapes. This sparsely populated area is home to a mixture of Khoisan nomadic hunter-gatherers, Bantu nomadic shepherds and Bantu sedentary agriculturalists. Within these main groups, a number of different tribes exist. And although Christian missionaries have brought European religion to the region, little else has changed in thousands of years for many people, with inherited traditions playing a large part in everyday life.

40 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Cameroon

Nguon Festival and Baka Communities Accompanied by Joan Riera 2nd – 13th December 2020 | 12 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £5,395pp Single supplement: £650pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 8 HIGHLIGHTS • Visit the royal Nguon Festival, which only happens every

two years • Explore Cameroon’s highlands, forests and coastline • Meet the Baka people, hunter-gatherers living within the Central African rainforest Explore this remarkable and diverse country. Spend time at the heart of one of Africa’s last feudal kingdoms, experiencing the centuries-old Nguon Festival. Admire the frenetic dances, the elaborate costumes and the age-old rituals. Then head deep into the forest to meet Baka hunter-gatherers. Camp beside a remote Baka community and spend time exploring the forest – the Baka’s home, larder and medicine cabinet - in their company. Finally, head to the coast for a taste of Cameroonian beach life at Kribi, stopping en route to visit the unique island chimpanzee sanctuary of Pongo Songo.

An anthropologist specialising in African cultures, Joan Riera splits his time between West Africa and Europe. His travels have taken him across the continent, from Benin and Cameroon to Angola and South Sudan. A Catalan who grew up in Africa, he has spent much of his life studying various African cultures.

Joan Riera

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Cameroon & CAR

Forest Bais of Central Africa Accompanied by Guillermo Casasnovas December 2020 | 12 days

PRICE Get in touch to find out more GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS • Camp in remote Lobeke National Park, rarely visited by outsiders • Watch forest elephants dig for mineral salts at Dzanga Bai • Trek for lowland gorillas, pangolins and mangabeys in the jungles

of Central African Republic (CAR)

The rainforest of the Congo Basin holds many secrets. Rare and unique forest wildlife hides between the trees, hard to spot. But in certain places, the forest fades away to reveal magnificent bais – or clearings – where the mineral-rich soil attracts all kinds of wildlife. This trip explores the bais and surrounding jungles of remote Lobeke National Park, in Cameroon, and Dzanga-Sangha National Park, in CAR. The former offers a wild, untamed experience, exploring a park that few have visited. The latter is one of the best places to spot forest elephants but also offers the chance to see lowland gorillas, pangolins, mangabeys and picathartes. 42 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813

Guillermo Casasnovas is an expert in Cameroon, Gabon and the surrounding countries. He has guided extensively throughout west and central Africa. Guillermo is based in Douala, in Cameroon, and has explored the country thoroughly during the years he has lived there. These travels have taken him to the country’s remotest corners, including Lobeke, and across the border into CAR.

Guillermo Casasnovas


Eritrea

Inside Africa’s Forgotten Kingdom Accompanied by local Eritrean guide 4th – 14th March 2020 | 11 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £2,995pp Single supplement: £330pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 6 HIGHLIGHTS • Discover a friendly country that remains isolated after

decades of war • Explore charming Asmara, rebuilt as Africa’s ‘Little Rome’ by Mussolini • Admire Ottoman buildings, as well as Aksumite ruins, such as Qohaito

Our Eritrea group tour will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide throughout the duration of the trip. They will meet you on arrival and travel with you throughout your time; their in-depth knowledge and passion for their country will give you an intimate and personal perspective on Eritrea.

Explore this nascent and isolated country, only officially recognised in the 1990s. From the Art Deco Italian architecture and Coptic churches of Asmara to the Aksumite ruins and dramatic canyons of Adi Keyh, Eritrea is alive with culture, history and natural beauty. Begin in Asmara, exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site. Then escape to the southern highlands, visiting the dramatically located Aksumite ruins of Qohaito. Take a trip aboard a colonial-era steam train, before venturing north to Keren and its fascinating weekly market. From the mountains, drop down to the coast, and the port of Massawa with its Ottoman buildings and nearby archipelago of coralline islands.

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Gabon Guillermo Casasnovas

Wildlife and Culture of Africa’s Eden Accompanied by Guillermo Casasnovas 11th January – 23rd January 2020 | 13 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £6,995pp Single supplement: £800pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS • Discover the vast Ivindo National Park, home to Langoue Bai • Visit Loango National Park - encounter forest elephants and Guillermo Casasnovas is an expert in Cameroon, Gabon and the surrounding countries. He has guided extensively throughout west and central Africa. Guillermo is based in Douala, in neighbouring Cameroon, and has been to Gabon many times over the past 15 years.

trek for lowland gorillas • Experience an iboga-fuelled Bwiti ceremony, deep within Gabon’s inaccessible interior

This trip showcases all that Gabon has to offer, from its crashing waterfalls and captivating spiritual rituals to its beach-roaming wildlife and impenetrable rainforests. Explore a country that is a relative stranger to tourism, yet lays claim to some of the most remarkable biodiversity in Africa. Begin in Ivindo National Park, spending time watching jungle wildlife emerge into the beautiful Langoue Bai. Continue to relaxed Lambarene, where you have the chance to sit at the heart of an electric all-night Bwiti ceremony, fuelled by psychedelic drugs. Finish, in Loango, where forest elephants roam the beach and habituated lowland gorillas hide in the forest.

44 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Madagascar

Endemic Wildlife and Limestone Landscapes with New Scientist Accompanied by Charles Randrianantenaina 8th – 20th September 2020 | 13 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £5,995pp Single supplement: £415pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS • Visit Durrel’s projects in Kirindy to see the conservation

work underway

• Spot tiny chameleons and endemic lemurs in Amber Mountain

National Park • Explore the lunar landscape of Ankarana, with its razor-sharp tsingy formations

Explore this richly diverse country – remarkable for its unique plants and animals. Gain behind-the-scenes access to Durrell’s projects, explore forests packed with lemurs and discover the Ankarana Reserve – a limestone landscape like nowhere else. Begin in one of Madagascar’s most accessible parks, Andasibe, where the rainforest is alive with lemurs, chameleons and birds. Continue to the dry forest of Kirindy, home to fossas and giant jumping rats. Then fly north to the lush montane forest of Amber Mountain, hiding sacred waterfalls and inch-long chameleons. Finish with the dramatic tsingy of Ankarana. Hike both sides of this dramatic landscape, crossing hanging bridges and exploring river caves.

Charles began his training as a local park guide in Isalo. After qualifying as an independent guide, he has focused on Englishspeaking clients and has explored almost every region of Madagascar, leading several specialist groups for Steppes. As charming as he is knowledgeable, he always maintains the best groups are the ones that ask the most questions.

Charles Randrianantenaina

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Togo & Benin

Voodoo Traditions and West African Culture Accompanied by local Togo and Benin guide and Steppes Travel expert 4th - 16th December 2020 | 11 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £3,495pp Single supplement: £485pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 7 HIGHLIGHTS • Watch a captivating fire dance, as Togolese villagers walk

on hot coals • Experience a Voodoo ceremony, where spirits possess the convulsing dancers • Visit impressive mud castles, hidden in the rugged mountains of Atakora Mountains

Our Togo and Benin group tour will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide throughout the duration of the trip. They will meet you on arrival and travel with you throughout your time; their in-depth knowledge and passion for their country will give you an intimate and personal perspective on Togo and Benin.

Explore these two neighbours, discovering ancient rites and Voodoo culture. Begin in Togo’s vibrant capital, Lome, before heading inland to explore tropical forests and experience a traditional fire dance – where villagers are seemingly unharmed by red-hot coals. Continue to the mud castles of the Atakora Mountains, before crossing into Benin and meeting the Betammaribe people, with their haunting scarification rituals. Then continue south into Voodoo heartland. Visit the fetish priests of the Taneka people, explore Abomey’s Royal Palace – built with blood in its walls - and finish by experiencing a captivating Voodoo ceremony. 46 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Uganda

Wildlife Photography with Harry Skeggs Accompanied by Harry Skeggs 30th November – 7th December 2020 | 8 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Harry Skeggs

Tour price: £5,895pp Single supplement: £485pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 6 HIGHLIGHTS

Harry Skeggs is an award-winning wildlife and travel photographer. His work has taken him to over 60 countries, from the high Arctic to the Papuan jungles. Harry is a particular expert in the compositional and artistic elements of photography, with an emphasis on helping each photographer identify their own unique style and taking their work to the next level.

• Photograph mountain gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest • Spot tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) • Trek in search of chimpanzees in the dramatic Kyambura Gorge

Explore two of Uganda’s most dramatic national parks, in the company of wildlife photographer Harry Skeggs. Spot primates and predators on this journey across western Uganda, staying at two beautifully positioned lodges. In QENP, cruise along the Kazinga Channel, where elephants and buffalos come to drink. Take game drives across the various ecosystems, spotting Ugandan kob and tree-climbing lions. Trek in the beautiful Kyambura Gorge, in search of chimpanzees. Afterwards, in Bwindi, encounter habituated mountain gorillas. Joined by Harry, get close to the gorillas and spend an hour in their presence. Photograph them as they play, eat and groom one another.

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THE

AMER ICAS Stretching right across the globe, this vast collection of experiences brings something for every kind of explorer. Chat to our team about any of the following group experiences – we are always here to help you discover extraordinary.

48 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


JONATHAN GREEN WAS EXCELLENT. VERY WELL INFORMED WITH REGARDS TO GEOLOGY AND WILDLIFE. ALSO AN EXCELLENT SNORKELLING GUIDE, POINTING OUT THE FISH AND DISCOVERING SHARKS UNDER ROCK LEDGES! GOOD COMPANY AT DINNER AND ALWAYS HAPPY TO INFORM AND EDUCATE.

Christopher, Galapagos Islands 2019

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Antarctica Julian Dowdeswell

Ross Sea with The Friends of The Scott Polar Research Institute Accompanied by Julian and Evelyn Dowdeswell 16th February – 18th March 2020 | 32 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £28,350pp Single supplement: £19,775pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 116 HIGHLIGHTS • Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers and flightseeing,

accompanied by polar experts

Accompanied by Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director of The Scott Polar Research Institute, and his wife Evelyn Dowdeswell, both of whom are glaciologists working on the form and flow of glaciers and ice caps and their response to climate change. Both have travelled extensively to the Polar regions.

• Sail in comfort for 32 days on board the ice-strengthened

expedition ship, Ortelius • Visit the Dry Valleys, Cape Adare and Inexpressible Island Follow in the wake of the early explorers, Scott, Shackleton, Mertz and Mawson, travelling to one of the remotest places on the planet. The Ross Sea is synonymous with the history of polar exploration and has epic landscapes to match the endeavours of men like Scott and Shackleton. Take helicopter safaris over the vast Ross Ice Shelf and visit the cabins of Scott and Shackleton that stand defiant in the shadows of Mount Erebus and Mount Terror. This epic 32-day day voyage travels from Bluff, New Zealand across to Ushuaia, Argentina and has been put together in conjunction with The Friends of The Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI).

50 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Brazil

Jaguars and Maned Wolf Conservation Accompanied by Valquiria Cabral 13th – 23rd August 2020 | 11 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £4,995pp Single supplement: £1,395pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 12 HIGHLIGHTS • Visit the Cerrado and the Pantanal - two distinct ecosystems

teeming with wildlife

• Take insightful safaris with researchers from the Oncafari Maned

Wolf Project • August in the Pantanal is the best time to see jaguars and other wildlife

Travel across two vastly different ecosystems to go in search of Brazil’s most iconic big cat, the jaguar and its most endangered canid, the maned wolf. In the vast tropical savannah of the Cerrado, stay at the exceptional Pousada Trijuncao, home to a research project committed to protecting the maned wolf. You will go out on safari – in a vehicle, by foot and by kayak, with researchers from the project to look for maned wolves and other Cerrado wildlife. Finish the tour with four days in the world’s largest tropical wetland, taking boat safaris to search for the Pantanal’s apex predator – the jaguar.

Meet with Valquiria Cabral, one of the lead researchers from The Oncafari Project in the Cerrado. She was a trainee at the wild animal rehabilitation centre in Campo Grande from 2013 before going onto work as a wildlife safari ranger at Caiman Ecological Refuge for two years. She is currently part of the Oncafari’s team at Pousada Trijuncao in the Brazilian Cerrado, monitoring and habituating of maned wolves.

Valquíria Cabral

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Canada

Great Bear Rainforest Photography Cruise Accompanied by Sue Flood 3rd – 12th September 2020 | 10 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £7,495pp Single supplement: £2,750pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS • Photograph black bears, spirit bears and grizzlies • Expert tuition from award-winning photographer Sue Flood • Sail aboard the Island Roamer along the spectacular

British Columbia coastline

Sail aboard an exclusive Steppes Travel-chartered expeditionary yacht to explore the inside passage of British Columbia and the wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest. The nature here is outstanding. Grizzly bears rule the roost, with towering mountains, cascading waterfalls and lush forests providing a dramatic backdrop. On previous trips, our clients have been lucky enough to see the Kermode spirit bear, which can only be spotted in British Columbia and is always a rare find. Sue Flood, your expert guide, knows these waters intimately and will be on hand to lend her vast expertise as you capture memorable photographs of the scenery and wildlife. 52 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813

Sue Flood is a photographer, author, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Sue was an Associate Producer on the BBC Blue Planet series, and also worked on Planet Earth. Steppes Travel has been travelling with Sue for over eight years – she is always great fun to be with and you will undoubtedly hone your photographic skills under her engaging and considerate tuition.

Sue Flood


Canada

Grizzly Bear Wildlife Photography Accompanied by Sue Flood 14th – 21st September 2020 | 8 days Sue Flood

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £9,595pp Single supplement: £3,500pp Sue Flood is a photographer, author, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Sue was an Associate Producer on the BBC Blue Planet series, and also worked on Planet Earth. Steppes Travel has been travelling with Sue for over eight years – she is always great fun to be with and you will undoubtedly hone your photographic skills under her engaging and considerate tuition.

GROUP SIZE Maximum 8 HIGHLIGHTS • Photograph grizzly bears in peak salmon run season • Stay at one of the top lodges in Canada, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge • Enjoy private use of bear-viewing platforms for photography

During the salmon run in British Columbia, grizzly bears are drawn to the rivers to feast on the spawning fish. Travel to Bella Coola in British Colombia and stay at Tweedsmuir Park Lodge – arguably Canada’s premier bear-viewing lodge – for an opportunity to photograph one of the world’s most exceptional wildlife spectacles. Float peacefully along the river in a boat with Sue Flood on hand to aid your photographic efforts. Naturalists from the lodge will also join the group to provide insight into bears’ behaviours and to lead guided walks in search of wolves, cougars and an array of birdlife.

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Canada

West Coast Wildlife Cruise Accompanied by Colin Griffinson 31st August - 6th September | 7 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Colin Griffinson

Tour price: £8,995pp Single supplement: £1,995pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 HIGHLIGHTS

Colin Griffinson has cruised the coast of British Columbia for over 20 years. His love and knowledge of this region allows him access to places no others can go. Working closely with the First Nations to nurture and protect this special environment, he is rightfully known as one of the top guides in North America.

• Cruise through glacial-carved inlets aboard a luxury yacht • Photograph wildlife in peak season, including bears and whales • Explore ancient cedar forests with trees towering 90-metres tall

Explore the magnificent 8.5-million-hectare wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest aboard an exclusive yacht. The area teems with wildlife – with bears, wolves, whales and eagles drawn to the oceans and rivers to feast on the September salmon run. Delve into the wilderness, either by small boat or on foot. Hike ancient moss-covered trails and make new footprints in untouched forests. Kayak through silent inlets framed by towering cliffs or cruise the water’s edge in search of wildlife. After an unforgettable day of exploring, feast on the finest sustainably-sourced food and enjoy the views from the yacht’s exquisite decks.

54 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Galapagos Islands

Cruise with Jonathan Green Accompanied by Jonathan Green 12th – 22rd April 2020 | 11 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £6,995pp Single supplement: £4,500pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Explore the biodiverse western islands of the Galapagos with

naturalist, Jonathan Green • Swim with sea lions and Galapagos penguins at the island’s premier snorkelling sites • Spend eight days on the motor yacht, Natural Paradise, with a guide to passenger ratio of 1:8 Explore the western and southern islands of the Galapagos archipelago in the company of seasoned naturalist, Jonathan Green plus an on-board national park guide. You’ll explore eight distinct islands from the comfortable platform of the motor yacht, Natural Paradise. Isabela Island is home to blue footed boobies, marine iguanas and the largest concentration of flamingos in the Galapagos while also boasting some of the island’s most spectacular snorkelling sites. Fernandina is the youngest island and gives snorkellers the unique opportunity to swim with penguins while Espanola Island is home to the critically endangered waved albatross.

Jonathan Green is a keen wildlife photographer, qualified naturalist guide and dive master, who has been working in the Galapagos for over 25 years. In 2011 he set up the Galapagos Whale Shark Research Project to monitor and study whale sharks in the Galapagos, featured on BBC Blue Planet II. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London.

Jonathan Green

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Galapagos Islands

Cruise with Jo Ruxton and New Scientist Accompanied by Jo Ruxton 7th – 17th June 2020 | 11 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £6,995pp Single supplement: £4,500pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 15 HIGHLIGHTS • Explore eight varied islands, including Isabela, Espanola

and Fernandina • Accompanied by marine conservationist Jo Ruxton • Travel aboard the exclusively-chartered, high-end motor yacht Natural Paradise There are few places on earth that can rival the wildlife of the Galapagos and its abundance of colourful creatures, which are seemingly unafraid of humans. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore the Galapagos Islands with Jo Ruxton, marine conservationist and producer of the documentary A Plastic Ocean. Spend eight days travelling through the archipelago, with opportunities to discover a selection of the islands on foot, by panga (dinghy) and with a snorkel. This cruise is in partnership with New Scientist and will bring to life all of the positive conservation efforts and on-going scientific research happening in the Galapagos. 56 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813

Jo Ruxton has worked with the BBC Natural History unit, and was part of the celebrated Blue Planet team. Over the past 18 years, Jo has been involved in numerous underwater filming projects around the world. More recently, Jo co-founded the Plastic Oceans Foundation – and her documentary, A Plastic Ocean, is widely acknowledged for bringing the critical issue of plastic pollution to a worldwide audience.

Jo Ruxton


USA Richard Dawkins

Hawaii Cruise with Richard Dawkins Accompanied by Richard Dawkins 22nd - 31st October 2020 | 10 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £8,495pp Single supplement: £3,950pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 32 HIGHLIGHTS • Visit local Hawaiian communities and snorkel waters rich with

marine life

Richard Dawkins is probably the best-known evolutionary biologist in the world today. He has been described as ‘the most influential science writer in the world’ and has the unusual distinction of being a Fellow both of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature.

• In conjunction with New Scientist and in the company of

evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins • Travel aboard the exclusively chartered high-end yacht, Safari Explorer

Hawaii is one of the earth’s youngest island chains with a geological makeup including white, black, even green and red sand beaches. Learn about the geology of the islands that are born of fire and made up of the world’s most active volcanoes. Accompanied by British evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, cruise Molokai, Lana‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i, the Big Island. Richard will give lectures on the evolutionary history of the Hawaiian Islands, highlighting the evolutionary principles that volcanic island chains illustrate.

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USA

Yellowstone Wildlife Safari Accompanied by Kevin Taylor 11th – 18th September 2020 | 8 days

PRICE (excl. flights) Tour price: £8,495pp Single supplement: £2,250pp GROUP SIZE Maximum 10 Kevin Taylor

HIGHLIGHTS • Journey from plains to peaks in Yellowstone, the USA’s first

Kevin Taylor has a real passion for the area and will impart a wealth of information about the ecosystem and its inhabitants, including animal behaviour, animal adaptations, geology, local botany and the cultural history of Jackson Hole and Grand Teton.

national park • Float down Snake River and under the dramatic spires of the Grand Tetons • Accompanied by Kevin Taylor, a leading expert on the area Traverse by road and river through the northwest corner of Wyoming to discover two of America’s most treasured national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. A range of small hotels and exclusive private tented camps will be your base as you get off the beaten track and enjoy backdrops of mountain ranges and sprawling forests. There is also plenty of wildlife to capture your imagination and to focus your camera lens on – with wolves, moose, American bison, pronghorn antelopes, black bears, grizzly bears, and a plethora of bird species all waiting for you on this small-group tour for just 10 people.

58 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


CATCH YOUR IDEAL GROUP TOUR. Hooked on the idea of joining one of our expert-led group tours? Speak to our team at groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813 to get on board.

Discover extraordinary with our experts | 59


60 | Ask our experts for more details: groups@steppestravel.com or call 03300 372 813


Always a step ahead. We stay on the front foot when it comes to cultural and wildlife group tours. Not only are we considered specialists at creating cultural, archaeological and historical experiences, we also have strong bonds with conservation projects and world-renowned animal researchers across the world.

What’s different about Steppes Travel? • • • •

We only set small, intimate groups sizes so you can get to know and learn from your tour guide We make sure you can always discover the extraordinary with pioneering, little-known locations Enjoy zero single supplement charges on a number of tours Gratuities for the local guides, drivers and hotel porters are almost always included

You Can Trust Our Service Want to immerse yourself in our world of group tours? Travel on over to our website for further tour information, day-by-day breakdowns and more on our experts. Be sure to keep an eye out for the helpful activity key – detailing the necessary fitness level needed and how busy the tour is.

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23, 28, 30

TOUR CALENDAR

Canada

31, 33 USA

9, 19

Galapagos Islands

3

22

Antarctica

JANUARY 1 | Gabon Wildlife and Culture of Africa’s Eden Accompanied by Guillermo Casasnovas Departing on 11th January 2020

FEBRUARY 2 | India On the Trail of Snow Leopards Accompanied by Jennifer Nandi Departing on 14th February 2020 3 | Antarctica Ross Sea with The Friends of The Scott Polar Research Institute

Brazil

APRIL 9 | Galapagos Islands Cruise with Jonathan Green Accompanied by Jonathan Green Departing on 12th April 2020

MAY 11 | Crimea Historical Journey to Yalta

13 | Georgia Highlights of Transcaucasia

Accompanied by Katya Galitzine Departing on 9th May 2020

Accompanied by Ian Colvin Departing on 10th May 2020

12 | Albania Origins of Illyria

Accompanied by Julian and Evelyn Dowdeswell Departing on 16th February 2020

Accompanied by Carolyn Perry Departing on 15th May 2020

4 | Japan Winter Wildlife Photography with Sue Flood

JUNE

Accompanied by Sue Flood Departing on 24th February 2020

14 | Kyrgyzstan & China Journey Along the Silk Road

17 | Indonesian Borneo Orangutan Conservation

5 | Russia Jewels of St Petersburg Accompanied by Katya Galitzine Departing on 26th February 2020

Accompanied by Diana Driscoll Departing on 2nd June 2020

Accompanied by Ashley Leiman Departing on 7th June 2020

15 | Angola Desert Tribes and Hidden Landscapes

18 | Mongolia Western Altai Adventure

MARCH

Accompanied by Joan Riera Departing on 22nd June 2020

6 | Eritrea Inside Africa’s Forgotten Kingdom

16 | Turkey Ancient Civilisations of Eastern Turkey

Accompanied by local expert Departing on 4th March 2020 7 | India Tiger Conservation with New Scientist

Accompanied by Ian Colvin Departing on 27th June 2020

Accompanied by Julian Matthews Departing on 26th March 2020

JULY

8 | India On the Trail of Snow Leopards Accompanied by Jennifer Nandi Departing on 14th March 2020

20 | China & Tibet Tibetan Horse Festival Accompanied by Gina Corrigan Departing on 23rd July 2020

Accompanied by Jonathan Stacey Departing on 13th June 2020 19 | Galapagos Islands Cruise with Jo Ruxton and New Scientist Accompanied by Jo Ruxton Departing on 7th June 2020


29

Albania

26

Greece

21

Russia

Crimea

Romania

12

5

11

Central Asia

13

Georgia

16

10, 24

14

14, 20

4, 32

China

Japan

20

40

Tibet

Togo & Benin

6

38, 39 1

Mongolia

Kyrgyzstan

Uzbekistan

Turkey

18

Cameroon & CAR

Gabon

Eritrea

37

Uganda

15

Angola

2, 7, 8, 34, 36

27

Malaysia

India

17

Indonesian Borneo

25

35

Madagascar

Australia

AUGUST 21 | Central Asia | Five Stans Accompanied by Mehreen Chida-Razvi Departing on 26th August 2020

22 | Brazil | Jaguar and Maned Wolf Conservation

23 | Canada | West Coast Wildlife Cruise

Accompanied by Valquiria Cabral Departing on 13th August 2020

Accompanied by Colin Griffinson Departing on 31st August 2020

SEPTEMBER 30 | Canada Grizzly Bear Wildlife Photography with Sue Flood

24 | Uzbekistan Carpet Ride to Khiva Accompanied by Chris Aslan Alexander Departing on 5th September 2020

27 | Malaysia Borneo Wildlife Photography Accompanied by George Chan Departing on 28th September 2020

25 | Madagascar Endemic Wildlife and Limestone Landscapes with New Scientist

28 | Canada Great Bear Rainforest Cruise with Sue Flood

31 | USA Yellowstone Wildlife safari

Accompanied by Charles Randrianantenaina Departing on 8th September 2020

Accompanied by Sue Flood Departing on 3rd September 2020

Accompanied by Kevin Taylor Departing on 11th September 2020

26 | Greece Ancient Epirus and Beyond

29 | Romania Beyond the Carpathian Mountains

Accompanied by Garolyn Perry Departing on 3rd September 2020

Accompanied by local guide Departing on 19th September 2020

Accompanied by Sue Flood Departing on 14th September 2020

OCTOBER 32 | Japan Nature, Culture and Science with New Scientist

33 | USA Hawaii Cruise with Richard Dawkins

Accompanied by Rowan Hooper Departing on 18th October 2020

Accompanied by Richard Dawkins Departing on 22nd October 2020

DECEMBER 38 | Cameroon & CAR Forest Bais of Central Africa Accompanied by Guillermo Casasnovas Departing in December 2020

NOVEMBER 34 | India Exploring Gujarat’s Culture, Art and Wildlife

36 | India Tribes of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh

39 | Cameroon Nguon Festival and Baka Communities

Accompanied by Amelia Dalton Departing on 1st November 2020

Accompanied by Joe Parkes Departing on 16th November 2020

Accompanied by Joan Riera Departing on 2nd December 2020

35 | Australia Tasmanian Wildlife Photography with Sue Flood

37 | Uganda Wildlife Photography with Harry Skeggs

40 | Togo & Benin Voodoo Traditions and West African Culture

Accompanied by Sue Flood Departing on 17th November 2020

Accompanied by Harry Skeggs Departing on 30th November 2020

Accompanied by local expert Departing on 4th December 2020


DISCOVER EXTRAORDINARY WITH OUR EXPERTS 03300 372 813 groups@steppestravel.com www.steppestravel.com

Profile for Steppes Travel

Steppes Travel - Expert-Led Group Tours Brochure 2020  

Welcome to our 2020 Expert-led Group Tours brochure. This year is a milestone for Steppes Travel – it marks our 30th anniversary. Over the y...

Steppes Travel - Expert-Led Group Tours Brochure 2020  

Welcome to our 2020 Expert-led Group Tours brochure. This year is a milestone for Steppes Travel – it marks our 30th anniversary. Over the y...