NWS RAW - Tailor-made

Bears, Wolves & Snow Leopards of the Himalayas

This intrepid itinerary takes you off the beaten track within the Indian Himalayas, where you'll go in search of wolves, brown bears and the grey ghost of the mountains, the ever-elusive snow leopard.

Duration 11 days
Price From $7,153
When May - Aug
Destination India

Safari Overview

As one of our flagship NWS RAW safaris, this expedition will take you far off the beaten track on a journey through the mystical region of Ladakh, a land of spiritual cultures, elusive wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery. The high-altitude locations visited on this itinerary are cold, harsh, mountainous, and often inaccessible to all but the most determined traveller. Those ready for adventure will be able to explore a landscape populated by the hardy wildlife of the Himalayas, including wolves and brown bears. On the course of your travels you will hopefully become one of the few people on earth to have seen snow leopards in the wild with your own eyes. Along the way you’ll get to experience seldom-visited Ladakh, a place where tradition runs deep. Regardless of what wildlife you may encounter here, your time spent venturing through Ladakh’s austere landscape and discovering its ancient Buddhist monasteries will leave you with an unforgettable experience.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Hike through the awe-inspiring Himalayas while tracking the wildlife that calls this region home.
  • Spend eight nights exploring the springtime hills of Ladakh in search of Himalayan wolves and Himalayan brown bears as they emerge from their winter dens.
  • Search for the most elusive and mysterious of all the big cats – the snow leopard - in the company of an expert local guide.
  • Catch sight of the other animals that live here, including the ibex, bharal, urial, Tibetan sand fox and golden eagle.
  • Stay at the remote Himalayn Brown Bear Camp in the Ulley Valley, seeking out India's largest predator as they feed, mate and raise their cubs.
  • Learn about a forgotten way of life in the remote villages and monasteries of Ladakh.
  • Leave the usual safari destinations behind and strike out towards a destination that still holds secrets waiting to be discovered.
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What is NWS RAW?

Remote. Authentic. Wild.

The latest addition to our NWS Select service, NWS RAW safaris take you outside of the norm, revealing a different side to oft-visited countries. These pioneering expeditions are designed for the seasoned traveller who yearns for new experiences, who favours discovery over tourist traps, and who is willing to go the extra mile in order to truly explore and understand their next destination. NWS RAW is for the intrepid, the boundary-pushers, and those for whom travel is more than just a holiday.

Discover our NWS RAW safaris

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Delhi

Arrive into Delhi where you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight: Oberoi New Delhi

Day 2

Delhi – Leh

Early this morning you will be transferred back to Delhi Airport to board your flight to Leh, a town high in the Himalayas that will be your home for the next three nights. At 11,500 ft above sea level, it is important to acclimatise to the altitude here before your safari begins in earnest. Spend the rest of your day at leisure here in the mountains.

Overnight: The Grand Dragon Ladakh B, L, D

Day 3

Leh

Today you’ll visit the traditional markets of Leh, staffed by Tibetan refugees who first fled to the region of Ladakh some 50 years ago. You’ll also be able to meet members of Snow Leopard Conservancy, a foundation supported by Natural World Safaris who work tirelessly to protect the most elusive big cat in the world. Thikse Monastery is also on the agenda today, an impressive building perched atop a hill overlooking the Indus Valley whose architecture evokes that of the Potala Palace, the Dalai Lama’s former residence in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. A 49 ft-high statue of the Buddha occupies Thikse’s Maitreya Temple here, the largest such statue in all of Ladakh and also one of the region’s most exquisite examples of religious art.

Overnight: The Grand Dragon Ladakh B, L, D

Day 4

Leh – Drass

Check out of your hotel this morning and head west on the road to Kargil and Srinagar, following the route of the Indus River to Brown Bear Camp near Drass. On arrival in Drass you’ll be met by your guide and have your briefing, where you’ll learn what lies in store for you on the next two days of your safari. The rest of the day is yours to do with as you choose as you get ready for your first wildlife-tracking adventure.

Days 5-6

Drass

Spend these two days exploring the hills around the camp with our expert trackers and naturalists, in search of India’s largest land carnivore, the Himalayan brown bear. This area is also home to the long-tailed marmot, a rodent found throughout Central Asia. Wolves and foxes may also be seen, and snow leopards can occasionally be glimpsed on the hunt. These treks will involve climbing short hills or driving along backroads which the bears frequent. Learn about the behaviours of the bears from your expert guides and trackers. You can also choose to visit some of the border villages here, where you’ll be able to gain a new perspective on how recent conflicts have affected the human and animal populations of the region.

Day 7

Drass - Nimmu

After your last breakfast in Drass, pack up and await your transfer to the small, quaint village of Nimmu. You’ll travel over two high mountain passes and past the magnificent monastery at Lamayuru, set amongst eye-catching, lunar-like alluvial formations. Your journey will then take you on to Nimmu at the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar Rivers. Nimmu House is one of the last surviving examples of traditional architecture in Ladakh. Your boutique hotel acts as a wonderful base for trekking in the region and trips to nearby monasteries. After lunch you’ll have a tour of your accommodation before venturing into the village with an expert guide to explore.

Day 8

Nimmu

Today you’ll leave for a full-day outing around Sham, an area of Ladakh that is a stronghold territory for ibex, urial and Himalayan wolves. This excursion will include drives and hikes, accompanied throughout by a team of expert wildlife spotters and trackers.

Day 9

Nimmu - Leh

Make the most of your last full day exploring the majestic Ladakhi landscape in search of mountain-dwelling wildlife. Keep your eyes trained on the sky for sightings of black-necked cranes and golden eagles, and the mountain precipices where foxes, wolves, ibex and bharal tread carefully. As night begins to fall, transfer to the Grand Dragon Hotel in Leh.

Overnight: The Grand Dragon Ladakh B, L, D

Day 10

Leh - Delhi

After checking out of your hotel, you’ll depart from Ladakh and catch a flight to Delhi, ready for your onward flight home tomorrow. You can choose to explore this cultural metropolis or simply sit back and take stock of your experiences up in the Himalayas.

Day 11

Depart Delhi

You must now bid farewell to India, laden hopefully with trinkets, photographs and memories from your time in this magical corner of Asia.

Trip Details

About Tailor-made Safaris

A tailor-made safari is one designed according to your specific requirements, including budget, dates, personal interests, the number of people travelling, and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and altered to make it perfect for you.

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