In celebration of International Women’s Day, we at Steppes Travel would like to pay tribute to the heroines of past and present. From polar extremes to the depths of the oceans, women explorers have been charting new territory all around the world. Their determination has paved the way for thousands to follow in their footsteps. Now it’s less unusual for women to single-handedly row oceans or join an expedition – but none the less brave and extraordinary. Each month we intend to highlight women who have changed the world and shattered glass ceilings for explorers and continue to be an inspiration to us all. Our first issue features three such women who have ventured to the South Pole. Prepare to be inspired.
Ahead of her time
Edith (Jackie) Ronne was the first woman to explore Antarctica. At the age of 28, Ronne followed her explorer husband, Finn Ronne on an expedition to Antarctica in 1947. She was the first woman ever to brave the winter season of Antarctica, along with Canadian Jennie Darlington. Ronne’s goal was to write her adventures for the New York Times and she shared her experiences and chronicled their first winter becoming known as Antarctica’s First Lady.
Currently making waves
Sara Wheeler spent seven months in Antarctica in 1995 as writer in residence with the US Polar Program. Following her experience she wrote the international bestseller Terra Incognita:Travels in Antarctica. The book is a fine read and a must for anyone looking to travel to Antarctica. True to the spirit of the continent, her honesty, humour, characterisation and clarity shine through on every page. She is able to convey a sense of the extreme landscape without over romanticism. “In Antarctica, I experienced a certainty amid the morass of thoughts and emotions and intellectual preoccupations seething inside my balaclava’d head. It wasn’t an answer…it was something that put everything else in true perspective…The landscape was intact, complete and larger than my imagination could grasp…it was scale, the unownedness and the overpowering beauty that made Antarctica different.” Sara Wheeler.
One of our own
Sue was an Associate Producer on the award winning BBC series ‘The Blue Planet’ and is a photographer, author, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Her travel and photography highlights include diving with humpback whales in the South Pacific, face to face encounters with leopard seals in the Antarctic, filming of polar bears in the Arctic and on safari in Zambia. Sue has led many of our photographic wildlife group tours and will be joining our cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands with Monty Halls and Telegraph Tours departing next January. We asked Sue to share her thoughts on who inspired her to become a photographer, which place she is happiest, her best travel advice and more…
For anybody with a love of wildlife and wild places, a voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands is the ultimate experience. Expert-led throughout with marine biologist Monty Halls and wildlife photographer Sue Flood and a special audience with Ranulph Fiennes.