Dedicated Snow Leopard Watching Holidays
The Snow Leopard is one of our planets most iconic cats. Secretive and stunningly beautiful, seeing one of them in their wild, mountainous home surely ranks among the world’s most unforgettable wildlife experiences. Naturetrek offers dedicated Snow Leopard holidays to Ladakh and Mongolia. Our groups have also seen these stunning wild cats in Bhutan (when, over 25 years ago, we became the first tour operator to show Snow Leopards to our clients) however, sightings since then in Bhutan have been much less frequent than in the two locations we visit on our dedicated Snow Leopard tours in India and Mongolia.
Our Specialist Recommends ...
There’s no greater thrill for the naturalist than watching a wild Snow Leopard amongst the dramatic scenery of Asia’s highest mountains. Our Ladakh – A Snow Leopard Quest holiday enjoys multiple sightings of this stunning cat in most years, and offers the unforgettable experience of camping at altitudes of more than 3,500 metres in winter, surrounded by Blue Sheep and Himalayan Snowcock. Our new Mongolia’s Snow Leopards tour departs in late summer and, in addition to Snow Leopards, goes in search of Saiga Antelope, Przewalski’s Horse, Wolf, Argali and many other fabled animals of the great steppes and uplands of Central Asia.
Nick Acheson, Tour Leader
In recent years it has become possible – though still far from certain – to see these remarkable animals, during the winter, in three valleys of Hemis National Park, Ladakh. The best time to visit is February, when the cats are not only driven to the lower valleys by the deep snow on the mountaintops and the concentration here of their Blue Sheep prey, but many of them are also engaged in courtship and are consequently less secretive. Hence Naturetrek heads to Ladakh each year in February.
Why choose Naturetrek?
We offer two dedicated tours to look for Snow Leopards: A 14-day Snow Leopard Quest in Ladakh, north-west India and an 11-day tour in the beautiful Altai Mountains and Hustai National Park of Mongolia. In the former we have had a remarkable success rate, sighting Snow Leopards on over 90% (100% since 2013) of tours, while the latter is a new tour for 2017. With our unrivalled wealth of experience in offering wildlife tours to Asia, Naturetrek has developed an extensive network of the very best naturalist guides throughout the Snow Leopard’s range. Our Snow Leopard holidays focus on the desolate and majestic mountain ranges of central Asia and offer you the best chance of seeing this almost mythical large cat.
Here are some of the reasons why Naturetreks Snow Leopard holidays are so successful:
- Sightings on over 90% of our Ladakh Snow Leopard holidays to date
- Led by expert locally based naturalist guides
- Extensive knowledge of Snow Leopard territories
- Up-to-date information from local contacts
- Outings at optimal times of the day for big cat scanning
- Superb local guides whose expertise & knowledge guarantee us the best chance of sightings
What can I expect on a Naturetrek Snow Leopard holiday?
- Spectacular Himalayan scenery in the ancient kingdom of Ladakh
- Magical land of Buddhist monasteries & ancient mud palaces
- Bharal, or Blue Sheep (a favourite prey of Snow Leopards) Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffon & Himalayan Snowcock
- Spectacular trans-Himalayan flights to & from Leh
- Enjoy traditional Ladakhi culture & hospitality Accompanied by top local Snow Leopard trackers & guides
- Expertly escorted by a Naturetrek naturalist
WHAT YOU'VE BEEN SAYING ABOUT OUR Snow Leopard HOLIDAYS
Nick Acheson is a fantastic leader. Not only is he amazingly knowledgeable, speaks several languages, but has great people skills. The group was really pleasant and we all got on well. Nick made sure that we were all up to date with what was going on and looked after me when I was affected by the altitude to start with. It was truly amazing to see Snow Leopards in the wild and all the other creatures, too. I was awed by the splendour of the mountains, and although it was tough going at times, I'm so glad I was able to do it.
A stunning experience, Ladakh in Winter is a remote, beautiful and emotive place. Camping wild in the mountains in sub zero temperatures is raw and exciting. We had views of four Snow Leopards, plus quite a few other mountain animals and birds. These are memories to treasure. Nick Acheson is a perfect tour guide, knowledgeable, passionate, socially adept. The local Ladakh guides are willing, dedicated and essential.
First and foremost, it was an absolutely brilliant trip and I loved everything about being in Ladakh, although it will take something special to top a snow leopard; seeing this will obviously live with me for ever. The team on the ground in Ladakh was fantastic - not just the main guides, Jigmet and Tashi, but every one of the team worked so hard to make our dream come true. I can’t thank them enough.