Tailor-Made

Big Cats of Asia Safari

A unique, pioneering safari through the big cat highlights of Asia. Search for three of the most iconic big cat species; snow leopards in Ladakh, Bengal tigers in Kanha National Park, and Asiatic leopards in Sri Lanka.

Duration 22 days
Price From $11,115
When Nov - Apr
Destination India & Sri Lanka

Safari Overview

Starting in Ladakh, you will be able to explore the Thikse and Hemis monasteries before heading to the Ulley Valley to start your wildlife adventure. Staying in a comfortable and traditional Ladakhi lodge, you will spend your days tracking the movements of the regions elusive snow leopards. From Ladakh you fly to Delhi and onwards to Kanha National Park, to search for the biggest of the big cats, the Bengal tiger. Finishing in Sri Lanka, you head to Yala National Park, home to the highest known concentration of leopards in the world, before enjoying some beach relaxation on Sri Lanka’s stunning southern coast.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Search for three of the world’s most iconic big cat species: snow leopards, Bengal tigers and Asiatic leopards.
  • Explore three unique terrains and different safari styles.
  • Opportunity to stay with and share the culture of the Ladakhi people.
  • Relax on the beaches of Tangalle in southern Sri Lanka.

Combine these two incredible countries, known for their fantastic big cat sightings.

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Day by day

Day 1

Delhi

On arrival into Delhi International Airport you will be met by our local representatives and transferred to your hotel. After checking into your hotel, you will head out on a short sightseeing tour of New Delhi, taking in the Qutub Minar, a 72.5m high tower dating back to the 13th Century. You will also visit Humanyun’s Tomb which was built in the 16th century and is considered the architectural forerunner of the Taj Mahal. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight: Leela Palace New Delhi

Day 2

Delhi - Ladakh

This morning you will be escorted to the airport to board your flight to Leh. On arrival into this high-altitude city, you will be transdferred to your hotel where the remainder of the day is left for acclimatisation, an essential time for resting to avoid the negative impacts of the high altitude.

Days 3-4

Leh

Spend the next two days getting used to the high altitude in Leh. Whilst you are welcome to simply relax at your hotel, there are some light activities that can be enjoyed during this time. Explore the Indus Valley with a guide, visiting its important monasteries of Hemis Gompa, Thiksey and Shey. Other sites to explore include the Shanti Stupa and the bustling bazaars of Leh.

Day 5

Leh - Ulley

After breakfast, you will be driven along the route of the Indus river towards Kargil and Srinagar. Pass through the town of Nimmu where the Zanskar River meets the Indus along the way. After just over an hour of travel you will enter snow leopard country, a big landscape with wide expansive vistas combined with narrow valleys. This area is also excellent ibex country, and there are few sights more evocative than a magnificently horned male ibex standing vigil on an impossibly narrow outcropping, a few feet over a plunging cliff. On arrival at Ulley village, check in to your simple but comfortable mountain lodge, your base for the next few days.

Overnight: Snow Leopard Lodge B, L, D

Days 6-8

Ulley Valley

Spend the next three days exploring the Ulley Valley and nearby area in search of snow leopards with your trackers and guides. You will head out twice a day, once in the early morning and again in the afternoon (after a refreshing hot lunch!). Your evenings will be spent interacting with your wildlife guides and enjoying documentary presentations.

Overnight: Snow Leopard Lodge B, L, D

Day 9

Ulley Valley - Leh

This morning after breakfast and your final safari walk in the valley, you will be driven back to Leh (approximately two hours driving). The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 10

Ladakh - Delhi

This morning you will be transferred to Leh airport to catch your flight back south to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Day 11

Delhi - Jabalpur - Kanha National Park

This morning you will be escorted to the airport to board the flight to Jabalpur. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred by car to Kanha National Park, where you can check in to your tented camp. Kanha is one of India’s largest national parks, extending over 1,945km² of undulating countryside. The park is home to 22 species of mammal, including wild pig, jackal and tiger, as well as sloth bear and wolf. The park is also a stunning option for birders, with black ibis, common peafowl, crested serpent eagle and Indian rollers found here among countless others. Most of today will be taken up by travelling.

Overnight: Shergah Tented Camp B, L, D

Days 12-13

Kanha National Park

Wake each morning with a call and a cup of steaming hot tea, more than welcome on those cold mornings in Kanha. The tigers here are doing exceptionally well, so you have a great chance of seeing them on your excursions in the park. Head out each morning on game drives, returning to camp for a delicious lunch and some time to rest. Then back out you go. You’ll spend as much time in the park as possible, resulting in a vast array of wildlife opportunities. You can also go on nature walks, cycle through the forest or try bird watching. Then spend you evenings around the campfire telling stories and sharing photos under the stars.

Overnight: Shergah Tented Camp B, L, D

Day 14

Kanha National Park - Raipur - Delhi

Following your final morning safari and breakfast, you will head back to camp for lunch. Later you will be met and driven to Raipur for your flight to Delhi where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 15

Delhi - Colombo

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Colombo in Sri Lanka, where you will be met by our local representative who will hand over your onward travel documents and introduce you to your driver. You will then transfer the short distance to your overnight hotel, The Wallawwa, set within a verdant garden of tropical trees. Take some time to settle in and rest , and prepare for the final chapter of your big cat safari: Asian leopards.

Overnight: The Wallawwa B

Day 16

Colombo - Yala National Park

This morning you will be collected early from the Wallawwa and transferred to Yala National Park, a seven hour drive away. Upon arrival in Yala, you will be shown to your tented camp and introduced to the staff and guiding team before enjoying a relaxing and filling lunch set in the bush. If you have the energy, join an afternoon game drive in the park or simply relax at the camp.

Overnight: Leopard Trails B, L, D

Days 17-18

Yala National Park

Unlike in Africa, leopards in Yala are not primarily nocturnal hunters. Since they have no predators to fear, they are often to be seen during the day. Yala has the highest concentration of leopards anywhere in the world, so you'd be unlucky not to spot these elegant, beautiful cats during your stay in Yala. The male leopards in Yala are very confident animals and they are often seen walking the jeep tracks during the day, seemingly quite unaffected by the jeeps too which makes it a photographer's paradise. As well as leopards, the large number of elephants can sometimes be seen wandering on the deserted beaches or bathing in the numerous watering holes in the park. The best time for seeing leopards in Yala is first thing in the morning as the sun is rising and last thing during the day when they generally get up and start thinking of hunting. Each of these days you will head out at dawn and again in the afternoon to take advantage of these peak times.

Overnight: Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris B, L, D

Day 19

Yala National Park - Tangalle

After an early morning safari in Yala, you will be transferred by road along the coast to Tangalle. The drive should take around two hours. On arrival, check in to your stunning boutique hotel and relax for the remainder of the day at your leisure in this stunning beachfront setting.

Overnight: The Last House B

Day 20

Tangalle

Spend the next few days relaxing on the beaches of Sri Lanka's beautiful south coast. If you are travelling between January and April, you may wish to add in a whale watching trip off the south coast to get the opportunity to observe blue whales and sperm whales as well as hundreds of dolphins!

Overnight: The Last House B

Day 21

Tangalle - Kothugoda

Today you will transfer back toward the international airport, spending your final night in Sri Lanka in a beautiful boutique hotel set within tranquil gardens just 40 minutes from the airport. You may wish to stop along the journey in the historic fort town of Galle for lunch.

Overnight: The Wallawwa B

Day 22

Colombo

You will be met and transferred to the international airport for your flight back home. Our representative will be on hand to assist you through the security checks and the check in desks.

Trip Details

Trip Information

This is a tailor-made wildlife safari and can be edited to suit your needs, wants and budget. We have chosen the accommodation to be as close as possible to the wildlife-rich areas of interest. 

About Tailor-made Safaris

A tailor-made safaris is one designed specifically for you, around your taste, budget, people travelling, interests and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and changed to make it perfect for you

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