Snow Leopard Tours India – Spiti Valley

Trip Type: Snow Leopard Sighting
Region: Himachal Pradesh - Spiti Valley
Grade: Challenging
Duration: 8+ Days
Max Altitude: 4270
Best Season: Jan - Mar
Trip Begins: Chandigarh / Ends: Chandigarh
Trip Cost

This is a custom departure tour and so please write to us for prices and more info on this trek.

Join us on one of the best Snow Leopard tours in India’s Spiti Valley as we look for the elusive Snow Leopard in the crags of Spiti, Lahaul, Ladakh and Zanskar. In these mountains the Grey Ghosts of the Himalayas are both revered and feared, always spoken of in hushed tones. There is something ethereal and mystical about the Snow Leopards of whom mankind knows so little. And to watch them in their natural habitat is indeed such a unique experience. Coming face to face with one is something you will never forget in a lifetime.

At Above14000ft we have the best guides to go with you on your expedition looking for the elusive snow leopard. Of course finding one in the first place is always a challenge but thats why we have such amazing guides with whom your chances will surely increase for finding Snow Leopards in the wild.

Our Style

All our snow leopard tours are run on an expedition format. This also comes with its share of hardships and challenges to deal with. None of our Snow leopard tours are an Africa style safari tour. We will walk everyday into remote crags and endure sub zero temperatures and high altitude all for a chance to come face to face with the grey ghost of the Himalaya. At the end of each day we will come back to our expedition base camp to recharge ourselves and our gear. Usually these base camps will be a combination of comfortable home stays where ever available or even tents and camps if we are in remote areas. This will also give you a first hand taste of Himalayan winters and how the locals live here.

In Ladakh places like Hemis National Park and Ulley have become famous hotspots over the last few years for sightings Snow Leopards in winters. There seems to be a growing choice of getting luxury accommodations in camps or boutique lodgers that cater to creature comforts and also offer you good chances to see a snow leopard in its natural habitat.

Our Grassroots Approach

On most of our Snow leopards tours weather in Spiti or Ladakh we try to keep our experience very real, rustic and authentic. We will use local homes for stay. You will end up interacting with the local host family and learn a lot about their lives first hand by seeing them go about their everyday business.

Our Spiti Snow Leopard tours have always had some amazing sightings of snow leopards. We have had sighting as close as 20 feet on some of our Spiti Snow Leopard Tours. However getting into Spiti in winters is an adventure all on its own. We always encourage guests to try our Spiti experiences. Spiti still retains its old world charm and local culture combined with 1000 year old monasteries. In many ways Spiti still feels like a place lost in time from another era.

New Areas Opening up

Lahual and Zanskar are only now opening up in terms of accessibility thanks to an improving road and tunnel network. Not much research and work seems to have happened in these two areas with respect to Snow Leopards. However various experts working with Snow Leopards predict a fairly healthy population both in Zanskar an Lahaul valleys.

Currently we offer bespoke tours into these valleys so feel free to get in touch with us if you wish to do some exploration of your own into either of these areas and need any help running a tour.

The Spiti Program

We offer the best Snow Leopard Tours in India’s Spiti Valley.

Snow Leopards are one of the hardest animals to spot on our planet. The extremely shy animals are only found in the mountains of Central and South Asia. As such very few people have been lucky to see this spotted cat in the wild. They rule the cliffs of Trans-Himalayan landscape in Spiti and Ladakh, in India and are revered by the locals. Due to this, snow leopards in these mountains are highly protected from poachers. With a stable population of Snow Leopards, Spiti Valley is one of the best places to see this rare cat.

Winters in Spiti are also a great time to spot a variety of other rare Himalayan wildlife like the Siberian Ibex, Blue Sheep, Tibetan Wolf, Red fox, Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Tibetan Snowcock, etc.

Using local home stays, wildlife spotters and guides, the tour gives you a unique opportunity to view rare wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and an unparalleled insight into the communities that choose to live in these harsh mountains.

Itinerary
DAY 01
Chandigarh - Rampur Duration: Drive 6-7 hours

We start early and drive 6-7 hours to reach Rampur, a small town on the banks of the Sutlej river. Overnight at a guesthouse.

DAY 02
Rampur - Tabo (3280m). Duration: Drive 8 hours

We continue our drive deeper in the mountains through Kinnaur and onward to Spiti. Enroute we have to make a stop over at Rekong Peo inorder to collect our permits at the local DC office. Today is a long driving day, we reach Tabo by the evening. Tabo is noted for being the oldest continuously operating Buddhist enclave in both India and the Himalayas. Overnight at a guesthouse/ homestay.

DAY 03
Tabo - Kibber (4270m) Duration: Drive 3 hours

In the morning, visit Tabo monastery, built in 996 AD and home to many priceless artefacts and spectacular murals. Another short drive gets us to Kibber village, our base for the next few days and a hotspot for spotting Snow leopards. Full day of acclimatisationOvernight at homestay.

DAY 04 - 08
Kibber Duration: Multiple hours

We spend the next 5 days in the search of the Snow Leopards and other wildlife. We head out every day after breakfast to an area scouted by our spotters to increase the chances of viewing the elusive cat. Spend the evenings warm in a homestay in Kibber.

DAY 09
Kibber - Rampur Duration: Drive 10 hours

We leave Kibber for the long drive back to Rampur.

DAY 10
Rampur - Chandigarh Duration: Drive 6-7 hours

Drive Rampur to Chandigarh. Trip Ends!

Inclusions
  • All transport Chandigarh and back.
  • All accommodation during the trip on twin occupancy as detailed in the itinerary.
  • All meals.The food served every day will be a mixed cuisine and will be both Veg and Non-veg. (Indian, Italian, Chinese, Tibetan and Continental food).
  • High-grade English speaking wildlife team.
  • All Staff Insurance.
Exclusions
  • Hotels In Chandigarh.
  • Any flights.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.
  • Any guest Insurance.
  • Personal clothing and equipment
    Any other expenses not mentioned above.
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
  • Tips and Gratuities.
Things You Need To Get

Clothing:

– Good quality waterproof and windproof jacket.
– Trousers.
– Heavy duty down winter Jacket for -35 to -40 Deg C
– Fleece jacket.
– Beanie – warm
– Sun hat
– Warm gloves – (waterproof outer, fleece inner) are good.
– Mid-weight fleece top.
– Long sleeved shirt.
– Travel and camp trousers.
– 2 wicking t-shirts (synthetic or merino wool)
– Normal clothing for around town.
– Long sleeved thermal top.
– Thermal long johns.
– 2-3 pairs underwear
– 2-3 pairs of standard socks
– 1 -2 pairs warm sock

Footwear:

Warm Trekking shoes.
You will also need shoes for around camp and the same you could use when in town.

Pack:

– Main bag – soft shell duffle bag for all your gear.
– Small Pack (whatever you are normally used to) – You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.

Accessories:

– Binoculars
– Spotting scopes if you want
– Dark glasses (the sun is quite strong),
– Camera
– Toiletries – Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper
– Repair Kit (needle and thread).
– Headlamp/ Torch.
– Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottles 1 litre each.
– Plastic Packing covers.

Documents:

– A couple of spare passport photos photocopies of key documents. e.g., passport (data and visa pages),
– Travel insurance policy

Overview
+-

Join us on one of the best Snow Leopard tours in India’s Spiti Valley as we look for the elusive Snow Leopard in the crags of Spiti, Lahaul, Ladakh and Zanskar. In these mountains the Grey Ghosts of the Himalayas are both revered and feared, always spoken of in hushed tones. There is something ethereal and mystical about the Snow Leopards of whom mankind knows so little. And to watch them in their natural habitat is indeed such a unique experience. Coming face to face with one is something you will never forget in a lifetime.

At Above14000ft we have the best guides to go with you on your expedition looking for the elusive snow leopard. Of course finding one in the first place is always a challenge but thats why we have such amazing guides with whom your chances will surely increase for finding Snow Leopards in the wild.

Our Style

All our snow leopard tours are run on an expedition format. This also comes with its share of hardships and challenges to deal with. None of our Snow leopard tours are an Africa style safari tour. We will walk everyday into remote crags and endure sub zero temperatures and high altitude all for a chance to come face to face with the grey ghost of the Himalaya. At the end of each day we will come back to our expedition base camp to recharge ourselves and our gear. Usually these base camps will be a combination of comfortable home stays where ever available or even tents and camps if we are in remote areas. This will also give you a first hand taste of Himalayan winters and how the locals live here.

In Ladakh places like Hemis National Park and Ulley have become famous hotspots over the last few years for sightings Snow Leopards in winters. There seems to be a growing choice of getting luxury accommodations in camps or boutique lodgers that cater to creature comforts and also offer you good chances to see a snow leopard in its natural habitat.

Our Grassroots Approach

On most of our Snow leopards tours weather in Spiti or Ladakh we try to keep our experience very real, rustic and authentic. We will use local homes for stay. You will end up interacting with the local host family and learn a lot about their lives first hand by seeing them go about their everyday business.

Our Spiti Snow Leopard tours have always had some amazing sightings of snow leopards. We have had sighting as close as 20 feet on some of our Spiti Snow Leopard Tours. However getting into Spiti in winters is an adventure all on its own. We always encourage guests to try our Spiti experiences. Spiti still retains its old world charm and local culture combined with 1000 year old monasteries. In many ways Spiti still feels like a place lost in time from another era.

New Areas Opening up

Lahual and Zanskar are only now opening up in terms of accessibility thanks to an improving road and tunnel network. Not much research and work seems to have happened in these two areas with respect to Snow Leopards. However various experts working with Snow Leopards predict a fairly healthy population both in Zanskar an Lahaul valleys.

Currently we offer bespoke tours into these valleys so feel free to get in touch with us if you wish to do some exploration of your own into either of these areas and need any help running a tour.

The Spiti Program

We offer the best Snow Leopard Tours in India’s Spiti Valley.

Snow Leopards are one of the hardest animals to spot on our planet. The extremely shy animals are only found in the mountains of Central and South Asia. As such very few people have been lucky to see this spotted cat in the wild. They rule the cliffs of Trans-Himalayan landscape in Spiti and Ladakh, in India and are revered by the locals. Due to this, snow leopards in these mountains are highly protected from poachers. With a stable population of Snow Leopards, Spiti Valley is one of the best places to see this rare cat.

Winters in Spiti are also a great time to spot a variety of other rare Himalayan wildlife like the Siberian Ibex, Blue Sheep, Tibetan Wolf, Red fox, Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Tibetan Snowcock, etc.

Using local home stays, wildlife spotters and guides, the tour gives you a unique opportunity to view rare wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and an unparalleled insight into the communities that choose to live in these harsh mountains.

Itinerary
+-
DAY 01
Chandigarh - Rampur Duration: Drive 6-7 hours

We start early and drive 6-7 hours to reach Rampur, a small town on the banks of the Sutlej river. Overnight at a guesthouse.

DAY 02
Rampur - Tabo (3280m). Duration: Drive 8 hours

We continue our drive deeper in the mountains through Kinnaur and onward to Spiti. Enroute we have to make a stop over at Rekong Peo inorder to collect our permits at the local DC office. Today is a long driving day, we reach Tabo by the evening. Tabo is noted for being the oldest continuously operating Buddhist enclave in both India and the Himalayas. Overnight at a guesthouse/ homestay.

DAY 03
Tabo - Kibber (4270m) Duration: Drive 3 hours

In the morning, visit Tabo monastery, built in 996 AD and home to many priceless artefacts and spectacular murals. Another short drive gets us to Kibber village, our base for the next few days and a hotspot for spotting Snow leopards. Full day of acclimatisationOvernight at homestay.

DAY 04 - 08
Kibber Duration: Multiple hours

We spend the next 5 days in the search of the Snow Leopards and other wildlife. We head out every day after breakfast to an area scouted by our spotters to increase the chances of viewing the elusive cat. Spend the evenings warm in a homestay in Kibber.

DAY 09
Kibber - Rampur Duration: Drive 10 hours

We leave Kibber for the long drive back to Rampur.

DAY 10
Rampur - Chandigarh Duration: Drive 6-7 hours

Drive Rampur to Chandigarh. Trip Ends!

Inclusions/ Exclusions
+-
Inclusions
  • All transport Chandigarh and back.
  • All accommodation during the trip on twin occupancy as detailed in the itinerary.
  • All meals.The food served every day will be a mixed cuisine and will be both Veg and Non-veg. (Indian, Italian, Chinese, Tibetan and Continental food).
  • High-grade English speaking wildlife team.
  • All Staff Insurance.
Exclusions
  • Hotels In Chandigarh.
  • Any flights.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.
  • Any guest Insurance.
  • Personal clothing and equipment
    Any other expenses not mentioned above.
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
  • Tips and Gratuities.
Things You Need To Get
+-

Clothing:

– Good quality waterproof and windproof jacket.
– Trousers.
– Heavy duty down winter Jacket for -35 to -40 Deg C
– Fleece jacket.
– Beanie – warm
– Sun hat
– Warm gloves – (waterproof outer, fleece inner) are good.
– Mid-weight fleece top.
– Long sleeved shirt.
– Travel and camp trousers.
– 2 wicking t-shirts (synthetic or merino wool)
– Normal clothing for around town.
– Long sleeved thermal top.
– Thermal long johns.
– 2-3 pairs underwear
– 2-3 pairs of standard socks
– 1 -2 pairs warm sock

Footwear:

Warm Trekking shoes.
You will also need shoes for around camp and the same you could use when in town.

Pack:

– Main bag – soft shell duffle bag for all your gear.
– Small Pack (whatever you are normally used to) – You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.

Accessories:

– Binoculars
– Spotting scopes if you want
– Dark glasses (the sun is quite strong),
– Camera
– Toiletries – Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper
– Repair Kit (needle and thread).
– Headlamp/ Torch.
– Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottles 1 litre each.
– Plastic Packing covers.

Documents:

– A couple of spare passport photos photocopies of key documents. e.g., passport (data and visa pages),
– Travel insurance policy