India may be better known for its tigers, but the country also has a healthy population of 12 to 14,000 wild leopards (and approximately 500 wild Asiatic lion—but that’s a trip for next year!).
The Indian leopard has a tough life. Targeted by humans, and always finishing second to the more powerful tiger, the leopard must eke out a life away from both threats. These oft-secluded domains, well away from large population centres and tiger sanctuaries, are hard to find without expert guidance. And even if located, spying the cautious leopard can be challenging.
This short trip in southern Rajasthan offers a fantastic opportunity to spot the Indian leopard in the wild (no pun intended!)—visiting the area since 2004, Wildlife Trails has excellent success in finding where they hide! Led by an expert local naturalist, you venture to scrub forests, rocky outcrops, tribal villages and hidden caves, all in search of the big cat. Though there’s a good chance of seeing a leopard every day you’re there, most sightings will be from a distance, so binoculars or telephoto lens are recommended.
Accommodation is in a family-owned tented camp in the Bera region of Rajasthan, several hours from Udaipur or Jodhpur. Your guide will take you on private leopard safaris each morning and afternoon, using his knowledge of the area’s population to find more sightings…and less people!
On one day, a member of the local Rabari community joins your trek to treat you to a delicious picnic-style meal amid hills overlooking a lake. On your final day, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your onward flight to see more of India, if in the cards.
- Phone: 844.889.2193
- Length/Departs: 5 days/year-round
- Accommodation: Tented Camps
- Starting Price: £720
- Difficulty: Easy
- By Simon Vaughan, Senior Editor/Special Travel Advisor for Outpost Travel Media