Our People
  • Amy Waters 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.

  • William Dalrymple 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.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Clare Burkey

Clare Burkey

  • Europe, Middle East and Indian subcontinent

In 1995, I was one of the first to receive a degree in tourism. At the time, I remember considering how it would serve me commercially –  and what doors of opportunity would open. Now, 25 years on, I have lost count of how many doors have opened – more than I can ever have hoped for.  The gem laden doors of private Indian palaces, the mud and rattan doors of curious tribal families, the beautifully block printed canvas door of a Rajasthani tent,  and the heavy zip of the green canvas door- that when opened in early morning dew brings with it a buzz and the promise of a big cat sighting,  perhaps having been only metres away as I slept?

Travel is my oxygen. Travel is my other lover. Travel enlivens me and makes me buzz from my head to my toes. Heightens my senses and reconnects me. It helps me make more sense of my life. Travel brings people into my life that otherwise, my path would never have crossed.  Serendipitous moments are never easily forgotten. Memories are etched hard – like a tattoo that constantly reminds me of where I have been. My virtual tattoos are quite something.  Memories of being aloft on the majestic Annapurna, below the waterline with playful dolphins in the most southerly point of New Zealand,  sharing a meal and smiles between newfound friends with no shared language, travelling like a local on village trains in India, blessings from an ancient script from kind looking Tibetan monks, comedy moments reminiscent of Three Men in a Boat – out on the crystal azure seas of Ionian Greece,  struck by the unreal colours of changing light found in Australia’s Centre,  stepping foot on remote Indonesian Islands that aren’t yet mapped, and perhaps most memorable, due to a numb bottom, driving in a straight line for 3000 miles west to east across the Australian Bight.

But where am I most happy? With my tribe – kicking a ball in the back garden or exploring a wonder of the world. Rediscovering travel through the eyes of a child brings a whole new dimension to my travel experience– it only gets better as the years roll by – like a good vintage wine.

Children viewing Elephants, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Family Friendly Sri Lanka

If you are wondering where to go with your family to chase the tail end of the summer why not consider an escape to Sri Lanka, which is an ideal family destination during October half term and the festive period.

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Holi Celebration at Vrindavan
Vrindavan, India

Holi - A Festival of Colour

I am still washing away the striking colour of pink from my arms and hands, two days on from Holi. The celebrations that I took part in were set in the most stunning location of Maheswar, sat aside the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh. I was staying as a guest of HH Prince Richard Holkar, within his royal residence at Ahilya Fort. The fort dominates the town and is an integral part of the community still today.

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Dudhwa National Park, India
Dudhwa National Park, India

My Favourite Wildlife Park

Wildlife lovers trickled into Dudhwa National Park by the handful last season and they were greatly rewarded for their efforts of travelling through Uttar Pradesh towards the Nepalese border. I was fortunate to be one of them.

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Childen on a Boat, Ganges River, India
Patna, India

Essential Packing Tips

An essential for me is a good medical kit, with the addition of some travel size aromatherapy candles – ideal for covering up any mouldy aromas, (hopefully not required on a Steppes Travel holiday). Lavender oil is a great all-rounder for nearly everything from bruises and cuts to sanitising hands. I always remind myself to pack one of the lightest of items  – a big dollop of humour.

My Favourite Experiences

Sri Lankan Tea Estates

Wake early to see the tea pickers making their way to the colourful, sari dotted tea terraces.

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Iconic Indian Railway Journeys

Ride the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Experience the foothills by Indian rail.

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Swimming with turtles in the Maldives

One I have ticked off my bucket list, after conquering my fear of wearing a snorkel.

Croatian Cooking Class

Experience a private cooking class to explore the huge variety of flavours of Croatian gourmet cuisine.

Sri Lanka Village Experience

Take a guided village walk into a nearby village with a naturalist. A chance to interact with the locals and visit a school and learn more about traditional daily life.

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Egyptian Temples

Visit the treasures of ancient Nubia including the Temple of Ramses II and sites of Amada, Derr and Penout.

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Meet the rest of the team

The Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East and European specialists are considered the most experienced experts in the travel industry. With many years of hands-on experience than they care to remember they have between them run and managed safari lodges, qualified as guides and pioneered new journeys into the Indian Northern Provinces. We have active conservation projects we support throughout all continents.

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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