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snow leopard photo tour

India – Signature Snow Leopard Photo Expedition 2020

India – Signature Snow Leopard Photo Expedition 2020

US$33,325 per person sharing

Spaces Available

01 March 2020 – 14 March 2020

We are proud to present an ORYX Photo Tour to track and film the elusive Snow Leopard with part of the BBC’s Planet Earth II crew. Join explorers and Snow Leopard experts Duncan Parker and Behzad Larry in the Trans-Himalayas of Ladakh, India to track the ghost of the mountains on a two- week photo expedition. As an expedition member, you will track and film one of the rarest big cats in the world alongside snow leopard experts and the same tracking crew as the BBC’s Planet Earth II and National Geographic’s Hostile Planet, while camping and trekking in the high altitude Hemis National Park. This itinerary book-ends the ultimate expedition grade adventure with luxurious stays. Join us on what promises to be an unforgettable Snow Leopard photo tour!

Why this Photo Expedition is for You

Destination Allure

Our Snow Leopard Photo Tour takes place in Hemis National Park in Ladakh which is home to the highest concentrations of Snow Leopard!

Month of Travel

The photo tour takes place the mid-winter months when Snow Leopards are known to move down from the high reaches of the Ladkah mountains to lower altitudes in search of prey.

Exclusive Opportunity

Get closer to these big cats as filming permits allow closer access and a unique chance to track Snow Leopards with Duncan Parker’s guidance.


The elusive and majestic Snow Leopard and local wildlife such as the Bhairal, Urial, and the Arghali

Small Group Departures

Travel to this exotic location with like-minded individuals and share your photographic bucket list together.

Guided Experience

We will use the same guides and trackers from the BBC’s Planet Earth II film crew by utilising their expert local knowledge and extensive experience to track these big cats.

Behzad Larry

14 Days
4 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
  • Destination
  • Departure
    New Delhi
  • per person sharing
  • Photographic Highlights
    Snow Leopard, Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal (Blue Sheep), Shapu (Ladakhi Urial), Asiatic Ibex, incredible scenery
  • Guide

Day 1: Arrival in New Delhi

Our Snow Leopard photo tour commences today as you arrive in New Delhi.

Day 2: New Delhi to Leh

This morning you will fly business class to the old silk route town of Leh, nestled in the mighty Trans-Himalaya. Due to its location between the Mountain ranges of the Himalayas, the approach to Leh Airport has been named and nominated as one of the world's most scenic approaches which makes this airport a scenic airport to land into and take off from. Upon arrival you will be met by your photo tour leader and you will be transferred to your suite at the Grand Dragon Hotel. Today you will need to rest in order to acclimatise to the high altitude of 3,400 meters and must limit your physical activities to properly adjust to the area.

Day 3: Explore Leh

After an early breakfast, we will drive down to the monastery of Thiksey to attend morning prayers. After the morning prayers have concluded, we will drive around the beautiful Indus valley and view the monastery of Stakna towering above the meandering Indus, followed by visiting the monastery of Matho to view a different order of Buddhism and take in the sights of the Indus valley from a higher vantage point. For lunch we have arranged for a private meal with a family in a traditional home in the village of Stok.

Days 4 to 11: Looking for Snow Leopards

Today we will depart Leh and drive approximately 1 hour to Hemis National Park. This is the prime spot for our Snow Leopard photo tour as the high reaches of the Ladakh Range are prime territory for these magnificent spotted beauties. Snow Leopards are some of the most elusive animals on earth. As the winter sets in and the snow line descends, these shy and fleeting big cats move down to lower altitudes in search of their prey, the bhairal, urial, and the arghali, the mountain sheep and antelope of this region. We will explore Hemis National Park or the ridges around Ulley on daily treks with our expert spotters to spot and track Snow Leopards on this once-in-a-lifetime photo tour. Once you’ve gotten a feel for the basics of tracking and spotting the Snow Leopard, we’ll embark on setting up camera traps to film and photograph these ghosts of the mountain. Camera traps are an essential tool when tracking, filming, and capturing footage of Snow Leopards from a close distance. Enclosed in weather sealed bodies and triggered by infrared beams, they allow researchers and film crews a deeper insight into what a Snow Leopard does on its own. We will place several camera traps on ridges and near marking rocks which the Snow Leopards frequently visit to leave their scent and to mark their territory.

Day 12: Leh

Today we will return to Leh, enjoy a hot shower and the comfort of civilisation and celebrate your epic journey with the group.

Day 13: Depart eh for New Delhi

Today marks your final morning in Ladakh as we bid farewell to this beautiful part of the world. After breakfast and at a time to be advised, you will be transferred back to Leh Airport and fly back to New Delhi. ***It is highly recommended to fly out on Day 14 instead of Day 13 as flights out of Leh can be cancelled due to mountain weather during the winter months***

Day 14: Depart New Delhi

Our once in a lifetime Snow Leopard photo tour sadly comes to an end as you make your way to the airport for your international departure home.
India – Snow LeopardShravan Rao, Canada

The recent first ORYX expedition for Snow Leopards was outstanding. The communication from the first e-mail enquiring about the trip to the time we got back, was very good. Trouble broke out between India and Pakistan in another part of India during our expedition; you ensured our family were informed immediately of our well-being. Thank you!

The expedition was very well organized. Behzad ensured each of us acclimatized to the high altitude in the first two days. None of us felt altitude sickness. Behzad and the team also kept a close watch on our physical ability and mental awareness throughout the trip. Their attention was key in a very enjoyable experience.

The camp site was perfect. Behzad had pitched the tents well in advance of our arrival, to take the best position. The tents themselves were luxurious, with a bed ensuring we were not sore or cold by sleeping on the ground. The food was delicious, with pizzas, pastas, noodles, dumplings and Indian food for lunch and dinner. Breakfast was elaborate, with porridge, eggs, bread and cereal. Many varieties of tea and coffee were always available through the day.

The sightings were exceptional. Khenrab Phuntsog, the renowned tracker from BBC Planet Earth 2, is not only a great tracker, but also one of the lead conservationists in Hemis National Park. He gave many, many insights into the ecology, animal behaviour, culture and conservation aspects of what we experienced. He delivered in spades each day: we had 7 snow leopard sightings including one from a few hundred feet and two from the camp (a first, I am told), 5 tibetan wolf sightings, including one from the camp (a first again). We also saw a red fox, many blue sheep and birds. The calls on four different mornings of 'snow leopard' even before the first cup of tea, and the first time I saw a snow leopard, will always remain with me.

Behzad went over and beyond in helping us with our photography, setup portrait sessions, cultural experiences and helped with astro photography. He is an exceptional photo mentor, tour leader, cultural and snow leopard expert, and above all a very warm, funny and extremely friendly person.

This trip was supposed to see the snow leopard, to take it off my bucket list. Instead, it has turned into the first of hopefully many more trips to see the snow leopards again.

Thank you for such a wonderful experience!

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