Search for Snow Leopards with Valerie Parkinson

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  • No booking fees
4.5 Based on 4 Reviews
  • COVID-19protected
  • Trekking
  • Safari
  • Adventure
  • Wildlife
See Itinerary
  • duration 14 days
  • tour type Group
  • age requirement 16+ yrs
  • max group size 16
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts New Delhi, India
  • Ends New Delhi, India
  • +3
Tour with Flexible Booking Policy
  • Change dates It is free to change your tour start date within 30 days of departure.
  • Choose a different tour Select a new tour run by the same tour operator within 30 days of departure.
HIGHLIGHTS Download trip notes
  • Chance to see the rare and elusive Snow leopard
  • Wonderful winter walking in mountainous Ladakh when it is cut off from the rest of the world
  • Visit ancient monasteries and attend a colourful monastic festival with masked dancers
  • Enjoy a homestay night and traditional meal with a friendly Ladakhi family
Start and end in New Delhi, the trip "Search For Snow Leopards With Valerie Parkinson " is a guided wildlife trip that takes 14 days. You will travel through Zingchen, Rumbak and New Delhi in India. "Search For Snow Leopards With Valerie Parkinson " is a small group trip which includes accommodation, transport, meals and others.

Snow leopards are one of the world's most elusive mammals but in winter they descend from the high Himalaya in search of food. Inhabiting some of the most remote and mountainous regions of Central Asia, the mission to see this enigmatic cat is really more of a pilgrimage. Other rare high altitude wildlife and isolated Himalayan Buddhist communities only add to this quest's allure. The itinerary varies slightly by departure date to fit in the different festivals. All departures led by specialist Himalayan trekking guide Valerie Parkinson. [[{"fid":"266076","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"3":{"format":"default"}},"attributes":{"height":"391","width":"345","class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"3"}}]]Valerie was born by the seaside in Blackpool and spent much of her younger days walking with her parents in the Lake District. After finishing her studies, Valerie worked in Germany and Switzerland, until 1984 when she took a break that would change her life forever. She travelled to India for a three-week trek through Kashmir and Ladakh and found her spiritual home in the high Himalaya and developed her passion for this part of the world. Valerie has spent the rest of her life leading treks (and bike trips) in the Himalayan Region and her knowledge of the culture, religion, art and wildlife of the area is second to none. Her enthusiasm for trekking developed into climbing and in 2008 Valerie became the first British woman to summit Mount Manaslu at 8,163m, without the use of supplementary oxygen, and in 2009 she attempted Everest. Over the years Valerie has been instrumental in setting up and running Himalayan Community Projects which now operate through the Exodus Travels Foundation. 
4.5 - Excellent
Based on 4 reviews
  • Anonymous
  • On Jun 15 2020
5 - Excellent
Wildlife Documentary in Real Time
“Watching snow leopards on a TV in the comfort of your living room may get you close but you cannot feel the environment. By simply being there you can start to feel, appreciate and understand the very essence of the environment they live in and the remarkable way the local population and wildlife interact. 'in Search of the Snow Leopards' is the title of the trip but it is also a trip in search of many things. If ever there was one journey where the multifaceted aspects of geography came together - this is it. The sightings of the snow leopards being the pinnacle.”
  • Anonymous
  • On Apr 22 2020
5 - Excellent
6 Snow Leopards, two Oracles and a Woolly Rabbit!
“Ladakh is a beautiful region of Northern India. Add to that the friendly welcome and the variety of wildlife and culture and you have a destination that it would be hard to find fault with. This was my second visit and this time I was there to see Snow Leopards. Except, of course, they're so rare that the chances of spotting just one would be very low. And indeed spotting just one was impossible - I saw a total of 6 during the 10 days I was there, including relatively close sighting of a mating pair on our first day in the mountains, a mother and her two cubs and a solitary Snow Leopard rolling in the dust to hide its scent before hunting. Our group as a whole saw 12. This amazing tally was due largely to the experience, skill and dedication of the spotting team and our leader, Valerie, who between them took us to the right places at the right time and found the well camouflaged big cats where we may have only seen a buff coloured rock. And let's not forget the Blue Sheep, Lammageier Vultures, Bearded Griffon, Golden Eagles, Woolly Rabbits, Uriel Goats and Alpine Chough.This is a challenging trip - cold, altitude and remoteness all add to the adventure although its well within the abilities of anyone with the right kits and who has trudged the hills in the UK. But it's worth it for the experience of the incredible Himalayan landscapes, the unique culture and the amazing flora and fauna. If you have the chance, book the trip that coincides with the Stok Festival, a colourful and spectacular celebration of Tibetan Buddhism in the form of music and dance culminating in the appearance of the village oracles.”
Cold Ladakh
4 - Very Good
  • On Apr 16 2017
“In spite of the temperature of Ladakh (very cold) we were well looked after by our leader Valerie and the trekking team.”
4 - Very Good
  • On Apr 16 2017
“My overall rating would have been a 5 'starrer', if we had seen a snow leopard. However, despite recent signs (pug marks, scrape areas and scats) all round our camp, we did not see one of these secretive cats. Anyway I had a great time.”
  • Day 1: Start Delhi.
  • Day 2: Fly across the Himalaya to Leh (3500m).
  • Day 3: Full day at a monastic festival.
  • Day 4: Visit Shey, Thikse and Stakna Monasteries.
  • Day 5:  Drive to Jinchen;  trek to Rumbak Sumdo (3800m)
  • Day 6-10: Five days wildlife spotting  in and around the Rumbak, Yurutse, Husing and Tarbuns Valleys in the Hemis National Park searching for Snow leopards and other mammals and birds.
  • Day 11: Return to Leh.
  • Day 12: Fly to Delhi.
  • Day 13: Free day in Delhi for individual sightseeing.
  • Day 14: End Delhi.
  • All accommodation All transport and listed activities
  • All breakfasts, 10 lunches and 10 dinners
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Tour leader throughout,Specialist wildlife guide
  • Any international flights to/from New Delhi are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Search for Snow Leopards with Valerie Parkinson tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes

No additional cancellation fees apply for this Search for Snow Leopards with Valerie Parkinson tour. You can cancel the tour up to 62 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 61 days of departure.


For any tour departures within 27 November 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 27 November 2021, a deposit of 10% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 61 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Search for Snow Leopards with Valerie Parkinson tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Search for Snow Leopards with Valerie Parkinson tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, which provides travellers with assurance that COVID-19 health and hygiene protocols have been adhered to.
  • An average group size of maximum 10 people have been implemented on this tour to protect against COVID-19. Local authority requirements will furthermore be followed.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing has been implemented on this package tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected. Hygiene safety measures and distancing will furthermore be followed in transportation, accommodation and meal venues.
  • Several COVID-19 distancing measures have been adopted on this package tour to keep travellers safe.
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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