Tracking Snow Leopard
in the Indian Himalayas

Found only in remote mountainous areas of Asia, tracking the enigmatic snow leopard in the depths of winter is a genuine wildlife adventure


Tracking Snow Leopards

Found only in remote mountainous areas of Asia, tracking the enigmatic snow leopard in the depths of winter is a genuine wildlife adventure.

Arriving in Leh (3,500m), the capital of the former Buddhist kingdom of Ladakh, the rarefied high altitude air hits you as you step off the plane. After spending some time gently exploring ancient monasteries and temples to acclimatise to the high altitude, you’ll leave civilization behind and head high into the vast mountainscape, passing the confluence of the glacial Zanskar and Indus Rivers and isolated temples.

As smaller valleys intersect guides begin scanning the hillsides and the skyline for any silhouette; this is excellent ibex country.

Sharing this harsh environment, argali, ibex, woolly hare and Himalayan Vulture may soon reveal themselves, but the snow leopard is known as the Ghost of the Himalaya for good reason. The enigmatic cat is solitary by nature, as shy as it is rare and impeccably camouflaged.

With thanks to Angus Fraser for many images used on this webpage.

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This adventure is one that is truly all about the journey.

The snow leopard’s elusiveness in this vast wilderness can vex their seekers and sightings are not guaranteed, or may be through a spotting scope, but there is much to enjoy each day.

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The mid-winter months from January to March are the best time to see snow leopards.

High in the mountains of Ladakh in the Indian Himalayas, the cat’s movements are linked to their prey. As bharal (blue sheep) descend from the highest peaks to warmer valleys when the snow starts to melt, they are soon followed by hungry snow leopards. 

Days are extremely cold and at night temperatures can drop below -25C. Where possible we use a small lodge or village houses so you stay warm at night and give you a suggested packing list of things to take and wear on your trip.


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Where To See Snow Leopards

Ladakh Discover More
  • Rustic, simple and vast open spaces
  • Head to the mountains in search of the snow leopard
  • Stay in gorgeous villages houses
  • Strike out with a luxury mobile camp
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WHERE TO STAY Camps & Lodges

With a backdrop of Himalayan peaks, renovated village houses offer simple sophistication and an authentic insight into Ladakhi rural life.
Shakti Ladakh Village Houses

Shakti’s village houses are like no other home in Ladakh, bringing a whole new level of simple sophistication to this remote region while offering an authentic experience.

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The trackers and spotters are exceptional, interacting closely with the local people and using their network of local intelligence to narrow down the likely sites for snow leopard movement.

While there is a realistic chance of spotting one, it must be regarded as a great privilege to even catch a glimpse of a snow leopard. They are wild and elusive creatures, and finding them requires not only the skill and patience of trackers and guides but also considerable luck.

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Driving west, following the Indus River you will reach wilder, remote valleys and snow leopard country. Your guide will already be on the lookout, scanning the hill sides and skyline for any silhouette.

Staying in relative comfort, without having to deal with the exhausting issues of camping in the intense cold aggravated by high altitude, you will venture out from your simple lodge or homestay into the snow each day. Starting out by vehicle you will continue on foot to vantage points and possible sighting areas – the amount of walking you do can be adjusted to suit your capabilities.

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