A Quest for the Snow Leopard in the Indian Himalayas
Venture to the remotest reaches of India to experience one of the rarest and most precious gems in travel: sighting the Snow Leopard.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
Arrival in Delhi
You arrive in Delhi to a warm welcome. Our local connections are more than happy to show you around town, whether you are into Bollywood, history, monuments or all.
Visions of Ladakh
After breakfast, you transfer to the airport and fly to Leh, in the Himalayan Indian state of Ladakh. You spend the day at a slow pace. This is a crucial acclimatisation exercise. At this altitude, common activities can become quite the challenge. Read more
The Mountain Comes to You
Today is another day of acclimatisation. You will visit several Ladakhi highlights that are unique examples of Tibetan culture such as Sankar Gompa, a stunning cluster of buildings perched on a ridge above Leh. You can also visit Shanti Stupa, which treasures at its base relics of the Buddha. Finally, you enjoy Leh Palace, a 16th-century nine-storey colossus intentionally reminiscent of Potala Palace.
Snow Leopard Country
You drive along the Indus River, west, towards the remotest reaches of Ladakh. You go through some important villages but the signs of human activity become scarcer the further you go. As your surroundings grow wilder, you spot some of the other inhabitants of this magical region: ibex, urial, wolf, red fox and golden eagles that carve the skies. You suddenly realise that you have stepped into the Snow Leopard’s realm. It will not show itself yet, such is his custom. But you can feel its presence. It grows stronger as you reach the lodge.
Keep Your Eyes Wide Open
After a night of peaceful, comfortable sleep in the lodge, you are woken up for breakfast and then head out to track the protagonist of this tale. The Snow Leopard is devilishly difficult to spot. Your guides are expert trackers, they are locals that have been recruited to aid in conservation efforts. They are passionate about the Snow Leopard. The day is organised according to their morning spottings. You have at your disposal vehicles, porters and mules. You have stacked the odds in your favour, whether the Himalayan Ghosts shows up or not, that is up to fate. Seeing it is transformative… not seeing it changes you deeply too. That is the sign of a true quest. NOTE: This itinerary is illustrative. You can extend your stay at the lodge for up to six days.
Back to Leh
I will not assume that you saw the Snow Leopard; I will not assume that you didn’t. That is something that should remain with you at least for a while. You are back in Leh, where you can continue to explore Ladakhi culture and interact with its people.
You fly back to Delhi where you can keep exploring where you left off last time, or you can simply unwind and relax. After all, tracking the Snow Leopard is not easy, and reserved for a select, lucky few.
You transfer to the airport to catch your international flight. From the plane, you think you can glimpse the Himalayas. How they cast such a powerful spell!