Justin Wateridge is Managing Director of specialist tour operator Steppes Travel. He has been with Steppes Travel since 2012 and for the five years preceding that was Managing Director of Abercrombie & Kent UK.
Brought up in Zambia, educated at Oxford and having survived London, Justin began exploring his passion for travel. His travels have taken him to over one hundred countries in the world, whether as a guide (Explore Worldwide), expedition leader (World Challenge Expeditions), pioneering expedition (Mekong River Expedition) or for personal pleasure.
His travel highlights have been many but from a wildlife perspective would include spotting a snow leopard in Ladakh, tracking gorillas with the Ba’aka pygmies in Central Africa and seeing a Sei whale in the Galapagos. In terms of landscape it would be the tepuis of Venezuela, the remote island of Socotra off Yemen and the pristine beauty of the North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan. In terms of cities, Cartagena, Kashgar and Beirut. In terms of experiences, spending time with the nomadic odaabe in the Sahara and cycling up the Mekong River.
Justin firmly believes that travel breaks down barriers and prejudice. “Travel gives us so much – experience, empathy, perspective, understanding and such vivid memories. Our world is wonderfully diverse and we should not shrink from it but experience it, relish it and use those experiences to redefine our own lives.”
He has spoken at a number of venues including the Royal Geographical Society and written numerous articles on travel. He lives in the Cotswolds in the UK with his wife, two daughters and son. He spends his time with his family, reading and planning mad-cap schemes to raise money for charity (such as kayaking from Devizes to London and running a marathon in a rhino suit).