Steppe Facts



  • The steppes are a vast expanse of temperate grassland, stretching right across Asia.
  • ‘Steppes’ is a word for lowland.
  • The Western Steppe extends 4000 km from the grassy plains of the Ukraine through Russia and Kazakhstan to the Altai Mountains on the Mongolian border.
  • The steppes extend 300-800 km from north to south.
  • The Eastern Steppe extends 2500 km from the Altai across Mongoliato Manchuria in north China.
  • The Eastern Steppe is higher and colder than the Western Steppe and the difference between winter and summer is as extreme as anywhere on Earth.
  • Nomadic herders have lived on the steppes for over 6000 years.
  • It was on the steppes near the Black and Caspian Seas that people probably first rode horses 5000 years ago.
  • The openness of the steppes meant that travel by horse was easy long before roads were built.
  • The steppes extend 8000 km across Eurasia, a fifth of the way round the world.