Incredible Wildlife Encounters: Snow Leopard

Ladakh, India

Snow leopard

Snow leopard     Photo: Rinchen Wangchuk

We’re not going to guarantee a snow leopard sighting on this 15-day trek into Hemis High Altitude National Park north of the Himalayas, but it may be the last best opportunity you’ve got to see one of the estimated 6,000 to 7,000 cats left on the planet. Whether or not a snow leopard is spotted, the trip is still worth it: The price tag partially goes toward the animals’ conservation. Plus, you’ll be trekking alongside Jigmet Dadul, one of the best snow leopard trackers in the world, camping in view of spectacular snow-capped peaks, staying in villagers’ homes along the way, watching golden eagles soar, and there’s still time to visit 400-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Don’t expect luxury—this is remote India. And don’t wait to sign up. The trip is offered only in February 2013; $3,539.

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