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Land of the Snow Leopard

Exploring the Indian Himalaya in Search of One of Earth's Rarest Cats
10 Days
9
$9595 (+internal air)
Learn more about the steps we are taking to enhance safety in response to COVID-19.
The Himalayas have long held strong allure for adventurers. And within Earth’s highest mountains, no creature is more alluring than the snow leopard. This elegant feline, with its rosette-spotted silver coat, dwells among ridges and rugged canyons in the planet’s most forbidding altitudes. Agile, solitary beasts built for hunting bharal and ibex, they use their long, thick tails for balance and warding off winter’s cold bite. The big cats traverse snowfields on broad paws that serve as snowshoes and as padding for rocky landings after a 50-foot pounce onto unwitting prey. We search for them in the remote heights of Ladakh, a former Silk Road kingdom in northern India with a vibrant Tibetan Buddhist culture. In this mystical realm, snowcapped peaks tower above whitewashed monasteries, and prayer flags in primary colors flutter atop mountain passes. For those entranced by majestic landscapes and mysterious species, our wilderness quest in search of the snow leopard awaits. 

Trip Highlights

  • Track Elusive Snow LeopardsOn a rare expedition with top trackers and naturalist guides, search for snow leopards and other Himalayan wildlife such as bharal, urial, ibex and wolves.
  • Explore Himalayan CultureTraverse Ladakh's austere mountain landscape steeped in Tibetan Buddhist culture on visits to villages, monasteries and passes adorned with prayer flags
  • Stay in the Snow Leopard's RealmOur private mountain lodge in the midst of snow leopard territory is an authentic and comfortable base—and it's ours alone, for just nine guests

The Ultimate Snow Leopard Quest

Northern India is one of the world’s most captivating travel destinations. But getting to far-flung places like Ladakh in winter can be daunting. And if you want the best odds of seeing elusive snow leopards and other Himalayan wildlife, you must have access to superlative guides. This is an expedition of a lifetime that you need our expertise for!

  1. An Intensive Focus on Snow Leopards
    Based at our private lodge in the midst of snow leopard territory, you'll spend five days with the finest trackers and naturalist guides. Spotters attempt to locate the cats each morning and stay in constant radio contact regarding their movement. Private vehicles allow maximum flexibility to seek out snow leopards and other wildlife such as Tibetan wolves, urial, blue sheep, ibex and lammergeiers.
  2. A Small Group is Essential for a Fruitful Search 
    With just nine travelers, our small group has a quiet presence, upping our chances of encountering snow leopards and other wildlife. And since we have the additional support of local guides from the lodge, there will be opportunities for longer hikes for those who prefer a more active adventure.
  3. A Private Expedition Lodge is an Optimal Base
    Proximity to snow leopards and other Himalayan wildlife is a definitive luxury. Our environmentally conscious ecolodge—ours alone for the trip—provides every comfort while supporting local conservation efforts. Attuned to our environs and the region's traditional architectural style, the lodge offers the optimum in ambience, food and warm hospitality.
  4. Our Presence Directly Helps to Protect Snow Leopards
    Snow leopards are a vulnerable species under threat from habitat loss, retaliatory killings, poaching and climate change. Their range continues to decline from human settlement, while a changing climate could diminish up to 30% of their terrain in the Himalayas alone. Responsible nature tourism is part of the solution. As conservation travelers, the investment we make to view Ladakh's snow leopards benefits local communities. Our being there creates an incentive to protect wild creatures they share the land with. In addition, we will make a donation to the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust for each traveler on this journey.
  5. India’s Finest Naturalist Guides
    Our India Expedition Leaders average more than 15 years' experience—with top-level training including resources from WWF scientists. You won’t find more knowledgeable, personable or enthusiastic guides than those who are proud to work for us. Our philosophy is simple: a nature adventure is only as good as the guide who leads it, so we provide the very best! See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  6. Local Guides & Expert Trackers Mean Better Chances of Sightings & More Flexibility
    We maximize your chances of seeing a snow leopard by relying upon the locals who know intimately this remote terrain and the cats' behavior. Our spotters scour the landscape for signs of snow leopards early each morning, and we plan our days with utmost flexibility so we can follow their paths accordingly. Sightings often happen on high ridges surrounding our lodge, or within a short walk from our vehicles.
  7. Soak Up Ladakh's Intriguing Tibetan Buddhist Culture
    While Ladakh is part of India, it truly stands apart. Ladakhis gained status as a separate union territory in 2019, and this Himalayan state is often referred to endearingly as "Little Tibet." As ethnic Tibetans whose cultural and spiritual traditions have been left alone to thrive in a remote mountain environment, their long, and vibrant Buddhist history continues to influence everything from roadside prayer flag installations to ancient, well-maintained monasteries with golden statues, bold cave paintings and practicing monks. Absorb Ladakh's cultural sites in a quiet, untouristed way, including our stay among yak-herding locals in the small Himalayan village of Mangyu.
  8. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Insures Your India Snow Leopard Expedition
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive quality value guarantee that promises we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
  9. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  10. Natural Habitat Adventures is World Wildlife Fund's Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world's leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat Adventures its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
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