5 speakers 15 minutes each

Justin Wateridge

Creating a wave of change in travel

Justin has been in travel for over 25 years. Brought up in Zambia, educated at Oxford and having survived London, his travels have taken him to over ninety countries in the world. From a guide to pioneering expedition leader, and now in his current role as MD for Steppes as well as just 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 Wodaabe in the Sahara and cycling up the Mekong River. He has recently led recce trips to Saudi Arabia, highlighted the safari potential of Chad, and been an advocate for the travel potential of Papua New Guinea. 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 been spearheading the Steppes Travel – Beyond Festival in London for two years, bringing together a roster of some of the most intrepid, adventurous and inspiring personalities of our time. They have been amongst the best-attended events to ever take place at the Royal Geographical Society. The last festival was specifically to fight back against plastic pollution working with the likes of charities like Plastic Ocean and speakers such as Steve Backshall, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Simon Reeve.