Asia’s Big Cats

From stunning tigers to enigmatic snow leopards, Asia is home to some of the world’s most spectacular big cats.

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Encounter Asia’s Big Cats on Safari

While the tiger may steal the limelight and be at the top of many a wildlife bucket list there are plenty of other rare and threatened species to discover in Asia. The world’s largest continent, Asia is home to a rich diversity of wildlife as varied and fascinating as its many cultures and landscapes.

Compared to African safaris, wildlife viewing in Asia presents more of a challenge in terms of patience and tracking skills. However, the extra effort is absolutely worth it when you consider the rewards. And with an experienced guide, meaningful big cat encounters are likely to come your way.

Tigers, leopards and snow leopards live in a diverse range of Asian habitats, stretching from ancient granite rocks to awesome mountain ranges perennially covered in snow. Our skill and local knowledge means you’ll leave Asia with plenty of unforgettable memories.

 

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Highlights of Big Cat Safaris

Often the best safaris involve looking beyond the obvious highlights. It’s about the exhilarating encounters that will make your heart sing. These are encounters that nobody could ever predict, but that make your safari genuinely unique.

BEST TIME TO SEE BIG CATS IN ASIA

Avoid the monsoon season in big cat countries like India, Sri Lanka and Nepal by planning your safari between October and April.

As well as more pleasant weather conditions for exploring in, sticking to the dry season means prey is forced to congregate around the limited water sources in the parks. And when there’s prey, tigers and leopards won’t be far either.

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.

This is because prey such as bharal (blue sheep) descend from the highest peaks to warmer valleys when the snow starts to melt, followed by hungry snow leopards. The big cat’s concentration in smaller, almost snow-free elevations gives guides and trackers much better access to search for the elusive cat.

Days are extremely cold while nighttime temperatures can drop below -25°C. You’ll usually stay in a small lodge or village house to keep warm at night, and we will give you a suggested list of items to take and wear on your trip.

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BEST TIME TO SEE BIG CATS IN ASIA

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“And then there was the small matter of the snow leopard, whose terrible beauty is the very stuff of human longing. Its uncompromising yellow eyes, wired into the depths of its unfathomable spirit, gaze out from the cover of innumerable editions. It is, i think, the animal i would most like to be eaten by.
– PETER MATTHIESSEN

Our Favourite Camps & Lodges

Camps and lodges run by avid conservationists designed with creativity and a real effort to complement, rather than dominate, their environments.
Shergarh

Shergarh is small tented camp not far from Kanha’s Mukki Gate owned and run by experienced naturalist Jehan and his English wife, Katie.

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Jamtara Wilderness Camp

This small luxury tented camp at Pench National Park opened in 2014 and went straight on to Conde Nast’s Hot List.

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Reni Pani Jungle Lodge

Reni Pani is a small lodge is superb for wildlife enthusiasts and avid conservationists. Located in the buffer zone of Satpura Tiger Reserve.

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The Serai

Surrounded by miles of desert scrub this glorious tented camp is a marvellous place to experience desert life in absolute comfort.

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Sher Bagh

A 1920’s style safari camp dedicated to conservation. A stay at Sher Bagh will always be one of comfort; it’s a great place to simply relax and enjoy the countryside.

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Tharu Lodge

Situated in Chitwan’s buffer zone near the Rapti river, Tharu Lodge is owned and managed by the famous Tiger Tops group who set up the first camp in the jungle.

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Karnali Lodge

The accommodation at Karnali Lodge is fairly simple but what you will find here is some great staff who will arrange a personalised wildlife programme.

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Flame of the Forest

The wildlife experiences will be tailored to suit you but, if at any time you want to dip out of safaris, this is the perfect place to simply relax.

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Tree House Hideaway

If you like your accommodation secluded, natural, rustic and quirky you will love Tree House Hideaway. All the tree houses have been made by local staff.

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The more elusive, the bigger the reward

The big cat species in Asia are rare, threatened, and can be incredibly hard to spot without the right guidance.

Catching a glimpse of a tiger, leopard or snow leopard is all the more exciting considering that these creatures are champions of camouflage and painfully shy. Have patience, and the safari rewards will be better than you ever dreamed.

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Track majestic tigers

Few experiences are as exhilarating as tracking tigers in their natural habitat. A sighting of this powerful beast is sure to be something that will stay with you forever.

Tigers have been through incredibly hard times, with numbers dropping by more that 95% since the beginning of the 20th century. But for the first time in conservation history, the numbers are slowly starting to go in the right direction. Choosing intelligently guided safaris and small camps run by passionate conservationists gets you away from the crowds and gives you the best possible tiger safari.

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Encounter Indian leopards

Stealthy and agile, the Indian leopard often shares its territory with tigers but is more widely spread, perhaps due to its ability to adapt to a variety of habitats.

In Satpura and Rajasthan, leopards make their home among giant rocky outcrops. While they can run at over 50km per hour and jump up to 3m feet high, you’re most likely to see one stretched out on sun-warmed rocks, or perhaps even a mother playing with her cubs in the golden light of late afternoon.

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Spot Himalayan snow leopards

Of all the world’s wild cats, the snow leopard must be the most enigmatic. It’s known as the Ghost of the Himalaya as a result of its solitary nature, and also renowned for its stunning beauty.

Found only in the remote mountainous areas of Central Asia, the snow leopard is one of the most endangered species on earth. Tracking them can be tricky, but with the help of our expert guides, the mountains in the former Buddhist kingdom of Ladakh are one of the best places in the world to see them.

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Inspiring itineraries
  • authentic
  • India
  • 11 Nights
  • October – March

Track tiger & leopard in India’s Rajasthan

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It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary. The Natural High team have unrivalled experience and will take your ideas and turn them into your trip of a lifetime.

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