The Himalayas have long held allure for adventurers. And in the world's highest mountains, no creature is more alluring than the snow leopard. This elegant feline, with its rosette-spotted silver coat, patrols lofty ridges in Earth’s most forbidding altitudes. Agile and solitary, built for hunting bharal and ibex, it uses its long, thick tail for balance and warding off winter's cold bite, traversing snowfields on broad paws that serve as snowshoes and pad rocky landings after a 50-foot pounce onto unwitting prey. Search for these mysterious cats in the heights of Ladakh, a former Silk Road kingdom in northern India with a vibrant Tibetan Buddhist culture. In this austere realm, icy peaks tower above whitewashed monasteries, prayer flags in primary colors flutter atop mountain passes—and our wilderness quest in search of the snow leopard awaits.
Track Elusive Snow LeopardsOn a rare expedition with top trackers and naturalist guides, search for snow leopards and other Himalayan wildlife including bharal, urial, ibex and wolves
Discover Himalayan CultureExplore 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 a maximum of ten guests
The Ultimate Quest to See Snow Leopards in the Wild
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!
An Intensive Focus on Snow Leopards
Based at our private lodge in snow leopard territory, we spend five days with the finest trackers and naturalist guides. Spotters attempt to locate the snow leopards 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.
A Small Group is Essential for a Fruitful Search
With no more than 10 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.
Our Private Expedition Lodge is an Optimal Base
Proximity to snow leopards and other Himalayan wildlife is the definitive luxury of this adventure. Our environmentally conscious ecolodge—for our exclusive use—provides every comfort while supporting local conservation efforts. Built in the region's traditional architectural style, the lodge offers local ambience, savory food and warm hospitality.
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.
Local Guides & Expert Trackers Improve Odds for Sightings
We maximize chances of seeing snow leopards by relying upon local guides who are deeply familiar with this terrain and the cats' behavior. Our spotters search the landscape for signs of snow leopards early each morning, and we plan our days with the 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.
Encounter Ladakh's 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 as "Little Tibet." Ethnic Tibetans have been largely left alone in this remote mountain environment, where their cultural and spiritual traditions thrive. Their long and vibrant Buddhist history is on display in roadside prayer flags and ancient monasteries where monks reside and practice. Absorb Ladakh's cultural sites in a quiet, non-touristy way, including our stay among yak-herding locals in the small Himalayan village of Mangyu.
Our Presence Directly Helps 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 warming climate is on target to diminish up to 30% of their traditional terrain. 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.
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.
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.
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!