Indian Himalayas

Epic mountain range - world renowned walks and treks talking you off the beaten track and into remote wilderness

Be awe-struck by the rugged peaks of the Indian Himalayas

A region unlike anywhere else on earth – a rich tapestry of dramatic scenery, with plenty of opportunity to experience complete wilderness.

Traditionally, the mountains were the preserve of explorers – and there’s still plenty of adventure if that’s what you’re seeking. These days, this region is ideal for anyone who simply enjoys the great outdoors. There are numerous gentle walks and spots for taking in the scenery.

The Western Himalaya is characterised by small villages, dense green deodar forests, orchards and cultivated terraces that give way to the jungles of Corbett National Park and the Hindu holy cities of Rishikesh and Haridwar on the Ganges.

As you head further northwest this area becomes increasingly Buddhist. Dharamasala is the capital in exile of the Dalai Lama while Ladakh in the far north is aptly known as ‘Little Tibet’. This is a region of ancient palaces and crumbling monasteries perched in improbable locations that seem frozen in time but come alive during festivals when villagers and nomads gather for religious celebrations.

India’s eastern Himalaya, sandwiched between Bhutan and Nepal, is home to world-famous tea plantations and valleys carpeted with rhododendron and azalea – all dwarfed by the mighty Kanchenjunga (8598m), the country’s greatest mountain and the world’s third highest. A fitting way to arrive is by old mountain railway. Savour the journey (and a fine cup of masala chai) before jumping off to explore the hills and mountains beyond.

With such a dizzying diversity of sights to discover, you may find one visit to the Indian Himalayas has you hooked. 

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Expeditions beyond Africa

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Tracking Snow Leopard in Ladakh

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Mountains, Deserts & Steppes

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Wildly beautiful Ladakh

Parched and stark but Ladakh remains one of the most remote and sparsely populated regions on earth.

The high altitude deserts surrounded by giant mountains of the Indian Himalaya are also the last refuge of pure Tibetan Buddhism.  

This ‘Land of the High Passes’ once extended its influence far across the Indus Valley, into Baltistan, across the Tibetan plateau, Himalaya and Karakorum mountain ranges, its importance coming from its strategic location at the crossroads of trade routes on a branch of the Silk Road. Until an enormous tunnel is completed (due 2017) Ladakh is cut off from the rest of India by road for much of the year and the little villages seem almost untouched by modern progress. Families work collectively and precious water is carefully diverted from mountain streams into ancient irrigation channels to persuade the high altitude deserts into green. The ruined palace in the capital of Leh (3525m), was the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

Ladakh is about the thrill of vast open spaces, rustic simplicity, and experiencing something almost - dare we say it - transcendental. Whether staying in simple hotels, or better still, gorgeoous converted village houses or a luxury mobile camp you’ll quickly discover  that these highlands are saturated in the spirit of Tibetan Buddhism; walk to crumbling monasteries perched on barren hillsides, cycle over army-issue metal bridges festooned in faded prayer flags blowing in the wind(you’re in High Asia’s frontier country here) and visit ancient temples where red robed monks chant mantras and lamas blow conch shell horns from the rooftops and you'll know what we mean.  

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Darjeeling and Sikkim - India's two most famous Himalayan hill stations offer unrivalled Mountain Views

Magnificent Himalayan views, clear mountain air and the ‘champagne of teas’ add up to make Darjeeling and its environs a restorative hill retreat.

Spread over a crescent shaped ridge in the foothills of the India Himalayas and surrounded by emerald green plantations Darjeeling is synonymous with tea. In the 1830’s the area was leased to the East India Company by the once independent kingdom of Sikkim for an incredibly modest fee. Cool hills and high summer rainfall in the ‘Land of the Celestial Thunder Dragon’ proved to be perfect growing conditions and there are now more than 70 different tea gardens beneath the gaze of jagged snow-capped peaks.

Nepalis moved here to work in the plantations and swelled the local population adding to the mix of Himalayan cultures - we love this area for its fabulous people watching opportunities and shopping for the unusual. In the markets and bazaars you’ll rub shoulders with Newaris, Bhutanese and Tibetans and find everything from tightly curled fern fronds (a local delicacy) and bamboo bags to silver prayer wheels and yak wool rugs for sale.

Between March to May you can find out how tea pickers deftly pluck two leaves and a bud, or the intricacies of pruning in winter, before heading to a factory. In buildings straight out of a Victorian novel the mysteries of withering, rolling, fermenting, drying and sorting are revealed before you finally get to sample the ‘Champagne of teas’.

If a cup of Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe hasn’t perked you up, a breath of crystal clear fresh mountain air should hit the spot. Trails meander through wooded hills of rhododendrons, magnolias and wild flowers beneath the magnificent backdrop of the Indian Himalaya including Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain.

For glorious short walks and inspiring day hikes you can’t do better than basing yourself near Darjeeling at Glenburn Tea Estate. Step out on foot without another soul in sight, save tea pickers in their villages or tending the neat plantations and explore verdant forests, rolling hills and river valleys either on your own or with a house guide. Discover flowers and medicinal plants or take a pair of binoculars to spot birds and butterflies, via the orange orchard, and stop to visit the convent and the Cluny Sister’s Church and School.  In the late afternoon return to Glenburn to sit by the river, watch fireflies on the veranda in the evenings, a roaring fire and lamp-lit dinners. Mountain views are best during November and December and house-party atmosphere means this is a fabulous place to come to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

For longer, more challenging hikes in Sikkim and the chance to discover life in rural India, there’s little to beat staying in a village. Shakti Village Houses are beautifully converted for guests to take in their entirety with simple comfort and authentic style intact. With a local private guide you can join ceremonies in village temples and step into traditional Sikkimese lifestyle and hospitality that others rarely get to see.

If a cup of Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe hasn’t perked you up, a breath of crystal clear fresh mountain air should hit the spot.”

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Don't miss the train

Wherever you stay, don’t miss jumping aboard the ‘toy train’ on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Travelling at the break neck speed of 12kmph, and seemingly spending as much time going backwards or round in a circle as going forward, you can soak up the views along the way to Ghoom. Just 5km out of Darjeeling the train climbs almost 1000 feet in a matter of minutes. The Batasia Loop, where the track spirals around over itself through a tunnel and over a hilltop, is unforgettable.

Kumaon Himalayas

The remote hills of Kumaon in northwest India are not the easiest to get to, but herein lies their attraction.

Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, the clear air, wide open spaces and absolute peace will put a spring in your step and an eagerness to explore. Gentle hikes in Kumaon afford outstanding views of magnificent snow-capped peaks and staying in local houses you get to experience village life in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas.

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Top camps in India's Himalayas

Chamba Camp

Nomadic luxury and a variety adventures in exceptional locations in India's mountains

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Top camps in India's Himalayas

Shakti Ladakh Village Houses

A whole new level of simple sophistication to this remote region

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Top camps in India's Himalayas

360 Leti

Mountain lodge perched high on a ridge and surrounded by stunning scenery of the Kumaon Himalaya

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Top camps in India's Himalayas

Shakti Kumaon Village Houses

Combine the best of a rural homestay with excellent service and simple comforts

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Top camps in India's Himalayas

Shakti Sikkim Village Houses

An authentic way to experience the wonderful countryside and hospitality of hill people in rural Sikkim

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Top camps in India's Himalayas

Glenburn Tea Estate

A gorgeous plantation retreat in the heart of a 1600 acre working tea estate

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Our experienced travellers include:

Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

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Perfect holiday from start to finish.

"Absolutely excellent service. The itinerary was spot on and the whole holiday worked like clockwork. The pre holiday notes and briefing were most useful too. I would have no hesitation in recommending Natural High Safaris to others."

Angela R CR

Fabulous trip to Tanzania

"This is the second time we have used Natural High Safaris, and again they organised an outstanding holiday for us, this time in Tanzania, combining a safari and beach holiday that was top-notch. Highly recommend them, with huge range of experience and desire to really understand what it is their clients want - and then delivering! Thanks to Catherine Ronan."


An outstanding trip to the Himalayas superbly designed by Natural High.

"Natural High organised a 2 week family trip to Ladakh in August 2018. Andrea Hulme used her local knowledge to design an exciting trip that included a 5 day trek, white water rafting and numerous cultural visits and experiences. Their local partners Shakti were absolutely outstanding and we loved staying in the village houses as opposed to hotels. Their female Ladakhi guide Sonam was really one of the best we have every had on our travels."


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"Yet again another great holiday arranged by Natural High - Air France tried to ruin it but Natural High and their local agent were very helpful in resolving the problems caused. ."

James and Laura AH

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"as always prompt and comprehensive service"

Stefan and Eva

rock star experience!

"Had an amazing experience. Very attentive to detail and our needs."

Andrew and Sherry

Botswana and Victoria Fall

"All aspects of the itinerary went smoothly and according to schedule. The recommended camps offered different activities (including game drives, mokolo, sundowner) and wildlife based on their locations, terrains and environments. Unique at each camp was the viewing of the big five (except rhino), mammals, birds and diversities that we saw. Number of days recommended were ideal for each locations. All the staff and services at these lodges were efficient and provided great services including the varieties of meals.

The hotel at Victoria Fall was comfortable and service excellent. For this part, we arranged the activities on our own and that worked out well."


super helpful!! we had the trip of a lifetime!!

"thanks for everything!!"

Joanna and Harold

Natural High

"Excellent guide / organiser for hike in the Atlas mountains, who was both highly efficient and well informed. Lunches and campsites were well chosen and food delicious. When not under canvas the Riads/hotels were comfortable and interesting and transport worked a treat."

Michael Rae CR

Natural High

"Vanessa helped us select a safari lodge and arranged private transfers to and from the airport for our recent visit to South Africa. Everything went perfectly smoothly, and everyone we met along the way took care of us. We were surprised by pre- and post-trip goodies from Natural High as well! Natural High was a recommendation from a colleague that I’m grateful to have received, and I would definitely use them again for my next safari experience."

Michelle Yu VJ

Thank you Natural High for your very friendly service. Highly recommended

"Very well organised holiday in Morocco with excellent local guides and agents. From the hustle and bustle of ancient Marrakesh to an exciting trek in the magnificent scenery of the High Atlas Mountains to the charming peaceful old trading port of Essaouira. A real flavour of a very diverse country and its peoples.
Natural High provided a terrific and seamless service throughout."


the trekiing in the high atlas with a fabulous gide Oulaid wad exceptional.

"Pretty good. Prompt email response and helpful. Slight blemish was the trekking itinerary being for a different trek."

David Webster VJ

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"Great trip. Very well planned."

Karin Tetlow CR

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"Itinerary and recommendations were excellent. The holiday was such a success."

Anthony, Susie, Victoria & Alexandra Wyld CR

Natural High Safaris knows Africa and its people and places

"Natural High Safaris led us to magical places. The accomnodations were stunning, the guides knowledgeable and sensitive, the staff skilled."

Ann Crittenden CR

fantastic Sahara

"our third holiday orgnised by the team at Natural High - the bar was already high but they had no trouble beating it. fantastic experience in the Sahara with our guides, crew, camels, comfortable tents and superb food, plus 2 very good hotels to 'top and tail' the trip. highly recommended."

Ian and Jo Ashby VJ

Rave Review for Natural High Sachs Safaris

"We have traveled with Natural High Safaris twice and were thrilled both times. They do an excellent job planning, are very detail-oriented, and use top notch guides and drivers. Their tailor-made trips are fantastic, interesting, and seamless."

Alli Allen VJ

Another great holiday arranged by Natural High.

"Holiday was very well planned to suit out interests. Choice of locations/camps excellent and Rod sorted out a lot of pre-travel queries very promptly. Rod was excellent company on the trip and made sure that the camps delivered what they had promised!"

Charles & Jo Mercey RT

Highly recommended for Unique Travel Experiences

"Excellent Service.
Very Responsive and Proactive Customer Care.
Bespoke Holiday very efficiently organised.
Excellent and Informative Feedback To help customise Itinerary.
Whilst not cheap, the company facilitated access to a variety of extra-ordinary travel experiences, which would not be available with many other companies.
A hugely rewarding holiday."

Neal and Kate Vaughan Jones AH

Exemplary service and attention to detail!

"We have used Natural High for many years now and their service and attention to detail is excellent. From trekking in Nepal and climbing Kilimanjaro to safaris in Tanzania and Zambia, we have always had a fantastic experience. They really tailor-make the trip to suit the individual and by now they know what kind of experiences we like and ensure that it meets our needs perfectly. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Natural High."


Very helpful & get holiday

"We wanted a very last minute holiday to a challenging part of Africa and Alex & Rod totally delivered that, and with no stress to us. When there we also had to call for a bit of help to rearrange plans after getting ill whilst away and Rod was on it and very helpful and accommodating."

Alice Favre RT

Vanessa and team were excellent . Have and will recommend.

"Holiday was seamless. Venues excellent. Flights excellent. Guide Leonard really amazing so knowledgable really made trip. We had a wide age range from 82 years to 12 years and there was always something for everyone. Staff at lodge really interesting and such good ambassadors for Tanzania and the wider region.
Only issue was hotel in Zanzibar was mediocre!"

Christine Litton VJ

A fantastic trip......exactly as described

"Produced a fully detailed and personalised itinerary."

Patrick Smith CR

Natural High

"Great advice and information plus everything they booked for us was first class."

Malcolm Lloyd CR


"Standaard, niets bijzonders tov andere aanbieders"


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"Alles bestens organisiert"


Thorough & Superb Attention to Every Detail

"Vanessa Janion was superb in her advice and her follow through. She made arrangements for us to ride horses in Arusha, which was not a normal part of the experiences they offer, and we really appreciated her going out of her way to do so. Our experience with Nomad was superior in every way, we feel very fortunate to have been referred to Vanessa and we heartily recommend Natural High Safaris to all who wish to visit Africa."


Perfectly organised by Natural High

"super organisation, brilliant guide. Zambia a fascinating and safe country to visit, its not all idyllic, its interesting."

Peter and Brigitta

Natural High

"We were interested in a Botswana safari in which wildlife viewing took precedence over luxury, but did wish to be reasonably comfortable. Rod Tether made excellent suggestions re timing of safari, and lodges in Livingstone and the Okavango Delta. He organized the trip in all its’ details; it went flawlessly- truly a trip of a lifetime. Superb organization."

Frank & Ann