India,

Snow Leopards and Tigers of India

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Tailor-Made Tour
17 Days
From £4447
GEOIP Not Available
Big Cat Safari
Off The Beaten Track

Tour Introduction

17 Days from £4447
GEOIP Not Available
per adult.

If you have a passion for big cats then this unique itinerary will give you a great chance to see two of the world’s most impressive felines; the snow leopard and the Bengal tiger in their very different natural habitats. Starting with the remote Himalayan valley of Ulley in Ladakh you can enjoy searching for the charismatic snow leopard to a backdrop of stunning mountain scenery whilst staying in a new heated local homestay. Both patience and some luck is required when it comes to spotting snow leopards, but throughout your stay experienced local guides and trackers will be on hand to maximise your chances and sightings. The little visited Ulley Valley is home to around 8 snow leopards as well as the magnificent thick haired Himalayan wolf, Asiatic ibex, Ladakh urial sheep, woolly hares, lammergiers, golden eagles and Himalayan snowcocks. Besides the wildlife your time here will also be enhanced by the interactions with your friendly Ladakhi hosts giving you an insight into their local Buddhist culture.

After your stay in the mountains comes the welcome warmth of central India and the beautiful dappled forests of wildlife rich Tadoba National Park. Staying at a comfortable jungle lodge on the edge of the park you will hopefully enjoy multiple and thrilling sightings of the majestic Bengal tiger alongside plenty of other special Indian wildlife. Tadoba is one of the most reliable places anywhere to see tigers and sightings of dhole (wild dog), sloth bear and leopard are also very possible too.

Full Itinerary

Price from £4447
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive Delhi

Met on arrival in Delhi and transfer to the hotel close to the airport.

Staying at Lemon Tree. Includes Breakfast.

Day 2
Leh

Private transfer to Delhi Airport. Take Jet Airways flight to Leh over stunning Himalayan scenery. Met on arrival in Leh and transfer to hotel.

At an altitude of 3,500m (11,500ft) Leh is the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh and the starting point for much of the trekking done in the Indian Himalayas. You will have the rest of the day free to relax and adjust to the altitude and climate. A visit to a local market will be offered in the evening.

Staying at Grand Dragon Hotel. Includes Breakfast.

Day 3
Leh

Another day for acclimatisation and sightseeing. Today visit the impressive Thiksey Monastery, the largest buddhist monastrey in Ladakh built on top of a hill with excellent views.

There will also be a visit to the Indus River Valley to look for ibisbill and white-winged redstarts. A short and gentle paced (60 minutes) walk with a local guide along the river may alsp produce sightings of other birdlife including the brown accentor, black-throated thrush and solitary snipe.

Staying at Grand Dragon . Includes Breakfast.

Day 4
Ulley Valley

Today, you will have your first attempt at looking for snow leopard as you drive to the small Himalayan area of Ulley. En route, you can stop at the frozen river of Chadar which is used by the locals to travel to the remote Zanskari villages. Depending on conditions there may be an opportunity to walk along the frozen river and look for the Ladakh urial sheep. In the afternoon, you can begin to search the Ulley Valley for snow leopards as well as urial, Asiatic ibex and Himalayan wolf.

Staying at Ulley Snow Leopard Trails Homestay . Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Ulley Valley

A full day spent looking for snow leopards and other wildlife in the Ulley Valley. Based on the current survey results there are thought to be between 8 and 10 different snow leopards in this area. Trackers will be out throughout the day searching the mountain ridges and following tracks in search of the cats and other wildlife such as Himalayan wolf and Asiatic ibex.

During the months of January, February and March the snow leopards found here tend to become more visible as they spend more time walking ridges calling and searching for mates. Also snowfall at this time can bring their prey lower into the valleys and also makes the tracking of their prints easier.

Staying at Ulley Snow Leopard tails Homestay. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Ulley Valley

Another full day to search the Ulley Valley for snow leopards, wolves, ibex and Ladakh urial. The birdlife in the valley is not particularly diverse in the winter, but some spectacular mountain species such as lammergier, golden eagle, Himalayan griffon vulture, Himalayan snowcock and robin accentor can all be seen.

Even with an expert team of local trackers finding snow leopards in this vast landscape is a challenge. This is why having as long a stay here as possible will maximise your chances. Please note that some short walks on uneven (sometimes snowy) terrain may be required to track the leopards. There will also by long periods of scanning from good viewpoints with binoculars and telescopes.

Staying at Ulley Snow Leopard Trails Homestay. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Ulley Valley

Another day searching for snow leopards and other wildlife. The snow leopards here also share their habitat with the magnificent Tibetan wolf and these fluffy canids can often be spotted in similar locations to the leopards.

Staying at Ulley Snow Leopard Trails Homestay. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Ulley Valley

Another day exploring the area for snow leopards and other wildlife. Please note that patience will be required while local trackers scan the mountain ridges for signs. When a snow leopard is located it may necessary to drive and then walk some distance to view the cat but all walks can be done at your own pace.

Staying at Ulley Snow Leopard Trails Homestay . Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Ulley Valley

Another day exploring the area for snow leopards and other wildlife.

Staying at Ulley Snow Leopard Trails Homestay . Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Ulley Valley

Another day exploring the area for snow leopards and other wildlife.

Staying at Ulley Snow Leopard Trails Homestay. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Ulley Valley

Another day exploring the area for snow leopards and other wildlife.

Staying at Ulley Snow Leopard Trails Homestay. Includes Breakfast.

Day 12
Ulley Valley

A final morning to search for snow leopards and other wildlife found in the Ulley Valley. In the afternoon transfer back to Leh to enjoy a hot shower back in the hotel.

Staying at Grand Dragon Hotel. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 13
Delhi

Transfer to the airport. Take flight back to Delhi. Met on arrival back in Delhi and transfer to hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or take OPTIONAL excursions in Delhi.

Staying at Lemon Tree Hotel. Includes Breakfast.

Day 14
Tadoba National Park

Today transfer to the airport by private vehicle. Take an early morning Jet Airways flight from Delhi to Nagpur. Met on arrival in Nagpur by private vehicle and local guide and transfer 3 hours to your lodge on the edge of Tadoba National Park. After lunch and some time to settle in, take your first game drive in the National Park.

Staying at Svasara Jungle Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 15
Tadoba National Park

A full day of shared morning and afternoon game drives (private drives are also available). The reserve comprises a beautiful mix of meadows, lakes and dense mixed forests of bamboo and teak that support a wide diversity of wildlife. Tadoba is home to large populations of spotted and sambar deer, wild boar, gaur and antelopes such as nilgai and the elusive four-horned antelope (chousinga). Carnivores are well represented with leopard, sloth bear, dhole (wild dog) and jungle cat all being seen here from time to time; however, the top predator is the Bengal tiger. The tiger population in Tadoba has surged in recent years from a population of around 40 in the 1990s to a present day adult population of almost 70, and sightings are now very reliable.

Staying at Svasara Jungle Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 16
Tadoba National Park

Enjoy another full day of shared morning and afternoon game drives in the National Park in search of tigers and other wildlife. With luck a pack of wild dogs or a leopard might also be encountered, these species are usually found away from the main tiger territories and sloth bears are occasionally spotted early in the mornings.

Besides its larger mammals the park is home to many reptiles, insects and a good birdlife including Indian roller, orange-headed thrush, Asian paradise flycatcher, rufous treepie, spotted owlet, changeable hawk eagle and oriental honey buzzard.

Staying at Svasara Jungle Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 17
Depart India

Enjoy a final morning game drive inside Tadoba National Park with a packed breakfast. Later transfer 3 hours back to Nagpur airport and take flight to Mumbai and connect with your onward international flight home.

Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

The Grand Dragon Hotel

Overview

The Grand Dragon Hotel is a stunning accommodation offering the comforts of luxury at 3,500m above sea level in the remote Himalayan town of Leh. Located just a 10 minute walk from the centre of Leh and main market square, this is one the most comfortable and modern hotels in the town.

The hotel has an incredible view towards the impressive Stok mountain range from most floors including the smart and friendly restaurant, which offers a range of local Ladakhi and Tibetan cuisine as well as Chinese and Western dishes. There is also a specialty coffee shop and bakery for light snacks and room service is available 24 hours a day. With magnificent views, the hotel offers 82 rooms including 3 beautiful suites, each of which comes with all modern amenities like an LED TV with entertainment channels, telephone, and Wi-Fi Internet access. Rooms have different views either overlooking the Stok Mountains, Khardung La Pass, Leh Palace or Shanti Stupa.

Other facilities include central heating, Wi-Fi access (although rarely works during the winter), 24-hour heated water supply, generator backup and laundry service. Make the most of the well-appointed travel desk, garden, jogging track, wellness center and enjoy indoor games, cultural shows and a bonfire on demand.

They are now practicing a more sustainable philosophy too, using 95 solar panels for their hot water supply and heating system. The incredible views blended with the traditional interior architecture and smart accommodation creates a unique experience in such a remote location.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
82
Facilities

Modern private bathrooms, air-conditioning in the rooms, international restaurant, coffee shop, free Wi-Fi, 24 hour room service, laundry service, wellness centre and jogging track.

Local Wildlife

The Grand Dragon Hotel offers a perfect starting point for trips to Ulley and Hemis National Park to search for snow leopards, Tibetan wolves, blue sheep, Ladakh urial, Asiatic ibex and birdlife including lammergiers, golden eagles, robin and brown accentors, Himalayan snowcocks and more. Nearer to the hotel is the Indus River Valley home to the peculiar ibisbill, elusive solitary snipe, flocks of Tibetan snowfinches and colourful white-winged redstarts.

Optional Activities

Wildlife watching excursions in Ulley and Rumback Valleys, birdwatching in the Indus Valley, trekking, visits to local Buddhist Monasteries and Festivals, white water rafting, cycling and exploring the bazaars of Leh.

Northern India

Svasara Jungle Lodge

Overview

The Svasara Jungle Lodge is the premier luxury lodge in the area and is located barely three hundred yards from Tadoba National Park’s Kolara gate. Svasara is a conservation focused wilderness lodge offering a luxurious and immersive jungle safari experience. The upscale Svasara Lodge is set over a sprawling 10 acre campus next to Tadoba jungle.

The Tadoba national park (also called Tadoba Andhari Tiger Project), a 623 sq km reserve, is the oldest national park in the state of Maharashtra. There are a number of waterholes situated around the park which attract tigers and other wildlife during the dry months of October to June, with particularly good chances of sightings when bamboo and other vegetation shed their leaves from January onwards. May and June are particularly hot months (40 degrees Celsius and above) when tigers spend most of the daylight hours wallowing.

The reserve is very much off the mainstream tourist radar and is served by only a couple of quality lodges, meaning very few foreign tourists venture here. It can get busy with local day-trippers, particularly at weekends and holidays.

The lodge itself features 12 spacious suites with all the modern amenities and luxuries, multi-cuisine dining including delectable Indian, Continental, and local Varadi cuisine, and its own custom-fitted comfortable jeeps accompanied by expert naturalists for thrilling jungle safaris at Tadoba.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
12
Facilities

Pool, spa, outdoor and indoor dining facilities, exclusive safari jeeps, open air ‘jungle cinema’, modern amenities in the rooms and en-suite bathrooms.

Local Wildlife

Tadoba national park comprises assorted meadows, lakes and dense mixed forests of bamboo and teak, home to large populations of spotted deer, sambar deer, wild boar and antelopes. Carnivores such as leopard, sloth bear, wild dog and jungle cat can be glimpsed here from time to time: however, the reserve is primarily the domain of the Bengal tiger. The tiger population has surged in recent years from a population of around 40 in the 1990s to a present day adult population of almost 70. The birth of around 30 new cubs over the last year is testament to the health of the reserve and bodes well for the future tiger population here and throughout the whole of India.

Optional Activities

Guests usually partake in morning and afternoon game drives to the national park. Walking trails are available within the lodge’s ten-acre reserve, and there are also bicycles for use by guests. The open-air cinema often plays documentaries about the wildlife and the area, and there is also a library.

India

Ulley Snow Leopard Trails Homestay

Overview

Accommodation is in a traditional mud and stone building with flat roof and communal living quarters. Each guest will be allocated one of the 5 simple private rooms within. The rooms are carpeted and feature mattresses with thick Ladakhi blankets, pillows and the building has both Kerosene heaters and limited central heating. Please note that the central heating is only on for an hour or so in the evening after which hot water bottles and gas heaters are provided.

There are two simple shared western style toilets. Please note that a sleeping bag is also still recommended to provide extra comfort. Meals will be taken in the communal dining and living room of the house and will feature local home cooked food such as rice and lentils, vegetables, chicken, eggs, dumplings, and soup. Hot tea, coffee and water is always available and hot water bowls for washing or brushing teeth can be provided on request.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
5
Facilities

Communal living/dining room in which all guests join for dinner. There are two shared toilets with simple flush systems and a western toilet seat provided. Guests are allocated one of the five private bedrooms each with a raised bed and lighting, a space for luggage and a gas heater and limited central heating. There are no showers but bowls of hot water are provided for washing.

Local Wildlife

Several snow leopard territories in the area, plus packs of Tibetan wolf, Ladakh urial, Asiastic ibex and red fox. The birdlife includes lammergier, golden eagle, robin accentor, chukar partridge, Tibetan partridge and Himayalan snowcock.

India Northern India

Lemon Tree

Overview

Conveniently located close to Delhi airport, this modern hotel features a pleasant swimming pool, restaurant and gym.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
280
Facilities

280 stylish rooms and suites, a business center, a conference room, a 24x7 multi-cuisine coffee shop – Citrus Café, a hip recreation bar – Slounge, an eclectic pan-Asian restaurant – Republic of Noodles, the rejuvenating spa – Fresco, a Life Fitness equipped gym and an outdoor swimming pool.

Route Map

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Lemon Tree: 28.552131, 77.120763
Ulley Snow Leopard Trails Homestay: 34.321466, 77.075476
Svasara Jungle Lodge: 20.396729, 79.362241
The Grand Dragon Hotel: 34.156572, 77.580512

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Domestic flights within India are included.

Best Visited:

February to April

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Jonathan Morris

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

We were very pleased with the way you handled our tour planning and the information you provided. A very enjoyable trip, all arrangements went very well and the tigers [10 adults and 14 cubs] were better than we had hoped for.

Mr R E - Banbury