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

REQUEST A DETAILED ITINERARY
Where
INDIA
When
DECEMBER TO MARCH
How long
10 NIGHTS
How much
From £4,895 PP
why
EPIC WILDLIFE ADVENTURE; MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS; OFF THE BEATEN TRACK; WALKING
staying in
HOMESTAYS & AUTHENTIC LODGES

Arriving in Leh (3500m), the capital of the former Buddhist kingdom of Ladakh, on the hour long flight from Delhi, the rarefied high altitude air hits you as you stop off the plane.

The sky is cobalt blue, the surrounding mountains blanketed with snow and the mercury hovers around freezing. Most visitors come to Ladakh in its short summer months when nature bursts into life, but the winter is the best time to try and spot snow leopard.

Based at a homestay or simple lodge daily exploration of the area by vehicle and on foot with your guide, and interacting closely with local people for the latest intelligence, the search for snow leopard begins. Although not covering ground as in a conventional trek, hiking on rough terrain, often in snow, at high altitude is physically demanding, but you choose how much to do.

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. Its elusiveness in this vast wilderness can vex their seekers and sightings are not guaranteed, or may be through a spotting scope, but this adventure is one that it truly all about the journey.

SEND ME A DETAILED ITINERARY

DAYS 1 - 3

ARRIVE IN LEH, LADAKH

After a night in Delhi, a short early morning flight brings you to Leh in the heart of Ladakh. At 3500m above sea level a couple of days here, surrounded by high mountain ranges, gives you the necessary time to acclimatise to the high altitude while making gentle exploration of ancient Buddhist monasteries.  

Photo credit: Angus Fraser 

DAYS 4 - 9

IN SEARCH OF SNOW LEOPARD

Driving west, following the Indus River you will reach wilder, remote valleys and snow leopard country. Your guide will already be on the look out, scanning the hill sides and skyline for any silhouette. It's one of the best areas to see ibex, as well as red fox and wolf, as well as bearded Himlayan griffon and bearded vulture soaring above the plunging cliffs. 


Photo credit: Angus Fraser 

DAYS 4 - 9

ON TOP OF THE WORLD

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 siting areas - the amount of walking you do can be adjusted to suit your capabilities. 

DAYS 4 - 9

A WILDLIFE ADVENTURE

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 by necessity elusive creatures with no fixed routine and finding them requires not only the skill and patience of trackers and guides but also considerable luck!

DAY 10

DEPARTURE FROM LEH

We work closely with the Snow Leopard Conservancy which engages with  local communities in the Himalayas to secure Snow Leopard habitat; you will have the opportunity to witness their work first hand in Ladakh. Before flying back to Delhi and returning home, we encourage everyone to make a contribution of USD 200 per person.

Take the first step

Tell us where you'd like to go...

Please sign me up for your newsletter
Please post me your brochure
 

Talk to us

+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards

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.

Reviews

First class. Experts in the holiday adventure field. Great to deal with

"First class! Natural High are experts in their field. All the boxes are ticked which leaves you to travel without any worries. Excellent destinations, superb accommodation and all the logistics are taken care of. Natural High tailor holidays exactly to your needs. Would highly recommend and we will be using Natural High again."

Anonymous

Perfect family Safari!!

"Our family Kenyan safari trip to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary was perfectly planned by Catherine from the moment we landed in Nairobi, to our last day. We traveled to Ol Malo in Laikipia, Lewa House in Lewa Downs, and Tangulia Mara in the Maasai Mara. Each place offered incredibly talented and informative guides, and gracious, loving staff. The variety of animals we saw was breathtaking. Our grand daughter celebrated her 14th birthday with special pancakes and singing in Ol Malo, and then a beautiful candlelit dinner under the starry night in Lewa. Our 50th wedding anniversary was celebrated at Tangulia Mara with an amazing day watching the migration of the wildebeest in the Maasai Mara, and beautiful intimate dinner party and dancing with the entire staff during the evening.
Thank you, Natural High, for the best trip of our lifetime!"

Anonymous

Fantastic Zambia holiday - South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi

"We cannot thank Natural High and Catherine enough for such a fantastic holiday. During the planning, Catherine answered endless questions from our family and supported us every step of the way in coordinating our separate itineraries (which can't have been easy when we were a party of 11 and all travelling from different locations!). The South Luangwa has become our favourite Africa destination - and Flatdogs our favourite camp! Catherine was very thoughtful in arranging extra surprises for our group as we were celebrating a special birthday. The staff at Flatdogs treated us so well, and they were very open to letting us have large family dinners at various locations around camp. The guides were so enthusiastic the entire week!
We had our own separate holiday afterwards for just the two of us at Chongwe River Camp in the Lower Zambezi. Catherine was so supportive and flexible in helping us identify a suitable camp within an easy distance of Flatdogs, which also provided a different range of activities (boat safaris, tiger fishing and canoeing in addition to game drives!).
All in all a brilliant holiday (Flatdogs and Chongwe were the perfect combination), and everything went so smoothly. We are very much missing enjoying our G&Ts whilst watching elephants in the sunset...!"

Edgar & Alexandra Bailey CR

Absolutely amazing Family Celebration at Flatdogs!

"Outstanding service from Catherine who really understands what we want from our holiday. Catherine always goes the extra mile to choose the very best camps for us; to make sure all arrangements are in place; and to make sure we are treated as special guests when we arrive. This trip was an extra challenge given the size of our group - 11 with age range from 4 to 64 and wide range of "Africa experience" and in choosing Flatdogs, she made the best call possible - it was an amazing trip and could not have been better! Jess, Adrian and all the staff made sure our stay was fabulous; the guides were superb; the accommodation wonderful; and the "treats" -sundowners; brai; pimms; picnic; evening meals together (with hippos, bushbabies and elephants in attendance) and drinks at the fire were all that we could have hoped for - all in all, a really special family holiday."

Anonymous

outstanding organisation and service

"really know the regions they deal with well, excellent organisation of our trip, great understanding of our needs, flexibility and quick follow up, outstanding local representatives, very good pricing. we used them before and will for sure do again."

VCA

RECENT UPDATES