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    Tigress with young cubs @ Nanak Dhingra
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    Snow Leopard exhibit perfect camouflage in their habitat @ Aditya Singh
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    Winter light is ideal for photography @ Aditya Singh
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    Asiatic Lion at dawn in Gir @ Aditya Singh
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    Jungle cat at Ranthambhore @ Aditya Singh
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    Leopards are the second largest predators at Gir @ Aditya Singh
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    Hemis in undoubtedly the best place to see Snow Leopards @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
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Big Cats of India

Highlights: The best big cat tour showcasing Snow Leopard in the Himalayan tracts of Ladakh, tigers and leopards in Rajasthan, Asiatic Lion in Gir besides lesser cats like Rusty Spotted Cat, Jungle Cat, Caracal, Pallas’s Cat and Eurasian Lynx.

This epic Big Cat Safari takes you from the icy domain of the Snow Leopard in the trans Himalayas to the largest tract of dry deciduous forest in Rajasthan home to the Bengal Tiger and finally to the forests of Gir, the last bastion of the Asiatic Lion and one of the finest reserves in India to see the Leopard. For all big cat aficionados, this is undoubtedly the best possible adventure since it offers such a diverse spectrum of wild cats with very realistic chances of sighting each one of these magnificent felines. With some luck we may have a chance to see some lesser cats as well such as the Rusty Spotted and Jungle Cat, Caracal, Pallas’s Cat as well as the Eurasian Lynx!

We meet in Delhi and fly to Leh, the capital of Ladakh, situated at a height of 3500m with the stunning 16th century palace as its backdrop. This sudden altitudinal gain requires mandatory acclimatization for two nights to allow us to adapt to the new height. We will however make the best use of this time before heading out to Hemis National Park in search of the Snow Leopard. Given the recent spate of sightings in the past few years, the area around the Rumbak catchment has proved to be the best place in the world to sight these ‘near mythical’ cats, which very few people have set their eyes upon.

Returning to Delhi for a night’s rest in the comfort of our hotel, we take a short train journey to Ranthambhore the following morning. The sparse landscape of the reserve with well laid out tracks and the uninhibited nature of its Tigers make Ranthambhore one of the finest places to observe Tigers, often seen hunting their prey in broad daylight. Leopards are present here in good numbers too and we have fairly good chances of sighting them along with the Jungle Cat and the very elusive Caracal.

Tracing our way back to Delhi once again we fly the next morning to Ahemdabad, in the ‘dry state’ of Gujarat (besides being an arid country, alcohol is prohibited here) and drive onwards to Gir, the last bastion of the Asiatic Lion. From 20 lions at the turn of the century there are now over 300 lions that co-exist here. Though our main target here is the Astaic Lion, we hope to see other mammals as well, including Leopard, Jungle Cat and perhaps the rare Rusty Spotted Cat.

Write in to us for a detailed itinerary and quote @ wwi@wildworldindia.com

Fact Sheet
  • Region: Ladakh, Rajasthan & Gujarat
  • Duration: 21 Days/20 Nights by road & air
  • Parks Covered: Hemis, Ranthambhore & Sasan Gir
  • Departures: Nov to mid March

Travel Itinerary

Day 1 – Fly Delhi to Leh Early morning transferred to Delhi airport to board the flight to Leh, keeping our cameras handy for some stunning views of the Himalayas. Arrive at Leh Airport and drive to the hotel, which offers panoramic views of the Zanskar range of mountains. Afternoon we have the option to walk down to Leh bazaar. Though many of the shops are closed during winters, the streets are busy with local women selling vegetables, a scarce commodity during winters and dried apricots amongst other fruits. If our visit coincides with one of the many Ladakhi colourful festivals, we are in for of some excellent photo opportunities. Overnight at Mahey Retreat
Day 2 – Leh After breakfast at the hotel grounds overlooking the Zanskar range of mountains, we will drive out to explore Leh and surrounding areas, visiting Thiksey monastery & Leh Palace. Later we bird around the Indus River and surrounding marshes looking for the Ibisbill which breed here and the Eastern Solitary Snipe amongst more common species. Overnight at Mahey Retreat

Day 3 – Leh to Zinchen and Hemis National Park The real action starts today! We drive this morning to Zingchen – the gateway to Hemis Park, crossing the Indus River over a bridge covered with Buddhist prayer flags. Arriving at the last motorable point Zinchen, we start our hike through Husing Nallah towards our campsite with mules carrying the luggage. After settling in our camp and a hot lunch we move to one of the ridges to scan the surrounding areas for any signs of wildlife. Overnight in our tented camp
Day 4 – 10 – Hemis National Park The next eight days would be spent scanning the valleys of Husing, Tarbung and Rumbak from dawn to dusk with the primary objective of sighting Snow Leopards. Each morning our local trackers head out in the surrounding valleys and any signs of the cat movement are reported back to camp. Based on these inputs we plan the day’s schedule. Like the weather in these parts, plans too can change rather fast depending on wildlife activity. During these days we will not follow a fixed plan but keep it as flexible with the sole aim of maximizing our chances of seeing Snow Leopards. Overnight in our tented camp

Day 11 – Hemis to Leh Late morning we trek back to Zingchen where our vehicles will be waiting for us to drive back to Leh. Arrive at Leh and check in to the hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax or explore on your own. Overnight at Mahey Retreat

Day 12 –Fly Leh to Delhi We fly Leh to Delhi and transfer to the hotel. We have the option to explore New & Old Delhi, visiting prominent monuments and local restaurants. Overnight at the Clarion Collection

Day 13 – Delhi to Ranthambhore Early morning transfer to the railway station to board the train for Sawai Madhopur. Arrive Sawai Madhopur and transfer to the lodge. After game drive to Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in open 4WD accompanied by our local guide. Overnight at Dev Vilas

Day 14 & 15 – Ranthambhore National Park

The next two days we will explore Ranthambhore’s diverse habitat availing morning and afternoon game drives in open 4 WD accompanied by our local guide to track Tigers and other wildlife.

Overnight at Dev Vilas

Day 16 – Ranthambhore to Delhi

Morning game drive at Ranthambhore accompanied by our local guide. Later, transfer to the railway station to board the train for Delhi. Arrive Delhi and check in at the hotel

Overnight at Clarion Collection

Day 14 & 15 – Ranthambhore National Park The next two days we will explore Ranthambhore’s diverse habitat availing morning and afternoon game drives in open 4 WD accompanied by our local guide to track Tigers and other wildlife. Overnight at Dev Vilas
Day 16 – Ranthambhore to Delhi Morning game drive at Ranthambhore accompanied by our local guide. Later, transfer to the railway station to board the train for Delhi. Arrive Delhi and check in at the hotel Overnight at Clarion Collection

Day 17 – Fly Delhi to Ahmedabad, drive to Gir National Park In time transfer to the airport to board the morning flight for Ahmedabad. Arrive at Ahmedabad airport and drive to Gir National Park (380 kms/7 hrs drive). Arrive Gir and check in to the lodge Overnight at Lion Safari Camp
Day 18 & 19 – Gir National Park Two full days to explore Gir, where we avail a total of 3 park drives each day in open 4WD to maximize our chances of wildlife viewing. Overnight at Lion Safari Camp

Day 20 – Gir to Ahmedabad, Fly Delhi & Depart for onward destination Early morning depart by surface for Ahmedabad airport to board the late afternoon flight for Delhi. Arrive Delhi and transfer to the hotel near the airport for day use. Later depart for the international airport to board the flight for onward destination