Our People
  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Kate Hitchen

Kate Hitchen

  • Europe, Middle East and Indian subcontinent

My Favourite Countries

  • India
  • Bhutan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Maldives
  • Russia
  • Italy
  • Turkey

My travels were first inspired by my love of the UK, which I take as much pleasure in exploring as countries far and wide. For me, travel is all about the adventure, the people I meet and the food I sample along the way.

In fact, I am never happier than when I’m cycling, trekking or simply eating my way through a country! My heart and head regularly pull me east, notably to India but I may also be found wandering through the galleries and piazzas of Italy or daydreaming about fresh ceviche in the far west.

I have a string of loyal clients who return to me for my creativity and extraordinary journeys, that I ensure are so original and bespoke they are impossible to recreate. After 10 years in the travel business, what excites me is working closely with my partners in-country, combined with my first-hand knowledge of a place,  to bring those journeys and dreams to reality. I understand that each holiday is special to each of my clients and I always feel privileged to be able to help create something that will stay in their memories forever.

Diety, Kovil, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Dambakola Patuna Sri Sangamitta Viharaya Temple, Jafffna, Sri Lanka
Dambakola Patuna Sri Sangamitta Viharaya Temple, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Kantharoda Ancient Vihara, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Jaffna - The Forgotten North of Sri Lanka

During my visit to the north I also visited Delft, a strange and intriguing little island where the pace of life is slow, the landscape reminded me of the isle of Gigha on the west coast of Scotland apart from the dry stone (or coral!) walls made from dead brain and fan coral that neatly divide the land.

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Sunrise, Kanha National Park, India
Kanha National Park, India
Spotted Owls, Kanha National Park, India
Kanha National Park, India
Swimming Pool, View from Hotel Room, Banjaar Tola, Kanha National Park, Mukki, India
Taj Banjaar Tola, Kanha National Park, India
Kanha track, Kanha National Park, India
India

An Indian Safari

There was a knock at the door and my favourite honey, lemon and ginger tea was delivered to my hut on a silver tray. As I drank it down, I began to think that the concoction could be used as an analogy for India. Honey for the people – sweet, grounded and comforting, lemon for the contrast, the life and the edge and finally ginger for the spice, the food and the history.

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Beach, D Hotel Maris, Datca Peninsula, Turkey
D'Hotel Maris, Datca Peninsula, Turkey

My Favourite Hotel

If you hadn’t just arrived after a civilised four-hour flight you could be mistaken for thinking you were in the Caribbean. The Hotel D- Maris is a large resort on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey makes no apologies for its brutal architecture which sits aloft a cliff and looms over the clear turquoise water. The sea is calm and the beach so white it looks like snow.

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Get to Know Me

Why do I travel?

One word. Food

What inspires me to travel?

When I travel and meet so many different people I realise that anything is possible, no matter how fortunate some can be.

What does luxury mean to me?

Something, someone, somewhere that makes me or the place I feel special

My favourite book or documentary?

The first documentary that inspired me to travel was Michael Palin’s Himalaya. Images of him at Wagah border in Amritsar still make me giggle.

Most memorable travel experience and why?

This has to be my recent trip to the Maldives. The feeling of adventure when flying in a little twin-engine seaplane, to drop down to a tiny island in the middle of nowhere with my best travelling pal hubby was something I will never forget.

Most memorable wildlife experience?

Watching as leopard walked closer and closer to me for 10 minutes in the middle of Kanha national park, India

The trip I am still talking about?

I am lucky enough to be able to talk about all of them on a daily basis. We have the best job.

The most remote place I have been?

Papua New Guinea

The coldest, driest, windiest, highest?

Tadoba national park has to be the hottest place I have ever visited. It was in early April, the best time to see tigers but the hottest time for us humans. It reached over 45c.

The driest has to be the Empty Quarter desert in Oman, we drove for hours seeing only dunes and bright blue skies.

Anything achieved on a trip?

I am so proud to say that I have my PADI. A tricky thing for a person who can’t equalise.

Favourite hotel?

Taj Mumbai Palace Mumbai. For everything, its staff have gone through and for everything it has stood for over the years. People from all walks of life aspire to go inside and it is wonderful to hear how proud Mumbaikars are of the hotel.

My favourite city?

St Petersburg for my love art. Everything from the drainpipes to the palaces has been designed with exquisite detail.

Worst travel experience?

Getting stuck in an overturned jeep during a thunderstorm in Yala national park whilst a leopard watched on from the shelter of bush close by.

Most embarrassing?

I can’t say. It is too embarrassing.

The best piece of travel advice?

Don’t take too much advice. Pick someone you trust otherwise it can get too confusing.

One essential not to leave home without?

A sense of humour.

In what place am I happiest?

Anywhere that I can eat fresh local food with either local people or friends and family.

Where next?

Bhutan.

Explore Kerala

Walk the lush green paddy fields of the plains, through spindly rubber plantations and blooming coffee plantations.

Sundowners on a rock in the cleanest river in India

Sitting on a rock, watching the sun go down in the middle of the Ken river, in Panna National park whilst crocodiles and eagle owls went about their business.

White nights of St Petersburg

Exploring the streets of the city at 1am, listening to buskers and watching artists create was a strange and surreal experience in the daylight.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes