Snow leopard tracking tour in Ladakh, India

“Search for the rare snow leopard – the 'silver ghost' of big cats – amid the snowy peaks, lush valleys and dramatic gorges of one of India's wildest natural parks.”


Mountain, valleys and gorges in the Hemis National Park | Tracking snow leopards on a maze of natural trails | Monastery visits at Shey, Thiksey and Hemis | Half-day trek Rumbak to Zingchan | Local interactions in Zingchan | Tented camping in beautiful landscape

Description of Snow leopard tracking tour in Ladakh, India

Hemis National Park in India is a wild Eden – a dramatic backdrop of magnificent mountain ranges charismatic glens and amazing gorges to come in search of one of the world's rarest and most beautiful predators, the snow leopard.

Flying from Delhi to the mountain town of Ley, ease into your trip with an evening visit to the sacred Shanti Stupa, followed the next day by monasteries at Shey, Thiksey and Hemis. Driving to Zingchan, you enter the Rumbak Valley - home to around 200 snow leopards. You'll have a chance to talk to locals about the landscape, their culture and the majestic predators who stalk it.

There follows a week of exploration in the Rumbak Valley in search of the sometimes elusive 'silver ghosts'. Winter sees snow leopards descend from the steep snow-clad mountains to the lower valleys and gorges in search of prey – primarily, the area's Bharal or Blue sheep. Wandering the natural pathways of the National Park, you'll also see plenty of other wildlife as well as discovering more about local traditions amid unforgettable landscape.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year and can be adapted to suit your requirements as necessary

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

The snow leopard adventure tour is an excursion in the remote Ladakh region of North India in trans Himalayas. The trip encompasses more than a snow leopard safari. In keeping with the guidelines of responsible tourism the ground support and trekking is organised by locals and a snow leopard conservation organisation. Benefit arises from their expertise and knowledge of the area.

The tour will be lead by the resident naturalists of the Leopard Conservancy India trust with an extensive experience and knowledge of this region they have led many Snow leopard treks and worked with International organisations like the BBC. All of our Snow leopard safaris are done in association with this trust. A part of our income goes to this organisation.

We operate this trip with ground support from the local conservation organisations and the endemic people who inhabit this part of the world. The expedition in Ladakh and the trip is organised by endemic communities fully. This gives job opportunities and accords benefit sharing. The endemic communities enhance experience greatly thanks to their knowledge of the region and trekking skills. Tourism provides an important source of income to supplement Ladakh’s mainly pastoral livelihoods.

In collaboration with local and international partners, we have built upon the existing opportunities, working with villagers to empower them to be the best guardians of the snow leopard. Our award-winning Himalayan Homestays program preserves the traditional culture and improves the local economy. Corral predator-proofing helps protect the fragile, high-altitude ecosystem and the snow leopards who make it their home.

Apart from wildlife, the tour would give a glimpse of the cultural & monastic experience, an opportunity to stay in local homes and be part of two community-driven conservation programs - Snow Leopard Conservancy & Himalayan Homestays, Ladakh. The serene and tranquil scapes of Ladakh are breathtaking. The monastic experience leaves a life long impact. The trip includes visit to Buddhist monasteries. The accommodation in homestays delivers close cultural interaction with local communities.

The Snow Leopard Conservancy Trust India, based in the Ladakh has projects both inside and outside Hemis National Park. Established in 1981, the 3,350 square-kilometre park offers excellent habitat for snow leopards and harbors four species of wild sheep and goats, giving it international biodiversity importance. About 1,600 people live in the park in more than a dozen settlements.

It might not be the best idea to follow a fixed itinerary for this trip, though the best suited locales in India to look for the Snow leopard would be Hemis High Altitude National Park, particularly around the Rumbak valley which is often referred to as the Snow leopard capital of the world. The trip is an experience of a life time for those who dare although trekking the Snow leopard is a matter of hard work and luck. You have half a chance of encountering this magnificent animal but the whole trip is rewarding a unique experience reserved only for those who come forward.

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