The chances are that wherever you go in Nepal you'll encounter wildlife. For tigers, rhino, crocodiles and more Bardia National Park and the jungles of Chitwan are the places to go. Koshi Tappu is a bird watchers delight and the forested hills of the Shivapuri National Park on the outskirts of Kathmandu are a surprising wildlife haven too. Searching for the snow leopard and the red panda in the Himalayas is a different ball game altogether - see our Nature Treks section further below.
Snow Leopard and Red Panda Treks - To see wildlife in the mountains is where a custom Himalayan nature trek comes into its own.
This stunning snow leopard was captured on camera by a Snow Cat Travel client in the Himalayas. Although there are perhaps 400-500 snow leopards in Nepal, on a "normal" Himalayan trek your chances of seeing one is about zero.
The Himalayas are renowned for red panda's. Just like the snow leopard, on a "normal" trek it's highly unlikely you'd see one as they are found in the dense forests on the slopes of the mountains, which makes them rather difficult to spot by chance.
For the avoidance of doubt, we don't do fixed "join a group treks", we are exclusively private and custom only.
Invariably to stand any chance of seeing anything you need to trek. On a hurried hiking itinerary and with a large group of people often making a total racket, the chances of seeing anything are remote.
With both the snow leopard and red panda we consider that the appeal of a snow leopard trek or a red panda trek will be the realm of the knowledgeable, experienced wildlife enthusiast only. It should go without saying that to stand any chance of seeing either a snow leopard in the wild, or a red panda will require a purposeful and dedicated approach i.e. the purpose of a snow leopard trek, or a red panda trek is precisely that. The trek is dedicated to spotting these most rare and elusive of species. It should go with out saying (snow leopard treks particularly) that there will be significant physical challenges and conditions to endure. We work closely with our friends and contacts at the official wildlife conservation bodies and species respective study groups within Nepal and whom will usually provide the most appropriate species specialist to act as the guide, as well as ensuring that a code of conduct is adhered to. For snow leopards we focus on the Annapurna Conservation Area and for red pandas the Langtang National Park. However, we will operate only two private treks (for private parties of six or less) per year for either species and then only if we are satisfied that a responsible, respectful approach will be adopted. Sadly we too have seen those videos on Facetube of people trying to make themselves look great and just for the sake of some "likes", when clearly the animal they are filming is displaying all the signs of fear and has been wantonly disturbed. And, no....we don't have set itineraries for snow leopard treks or red panda treks. It's all about having the flexibility to actively and reasonably seek the species.
An example, illustrative itinerary that encompasses Nepal's premier jungle wildlife reserves as well as the hill forests of Shivapuri.
For the more dedicated wildlife enthusiast. This example, illustrative itinerary is less touristy too.