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India – Snow Leopard Photo Expedition 2023

US$5,980 person sharing

3 Spaces Available

14 Feb 2023 – 22 Feb 2023

This Snow Leopard Photo Tour is a rare opportunity to spot elusive Snow Leopards in the wild. As the winter sets in and the snow line descends, these shy and elusive creatures move down to lower altitudes in search of their prey; the Bhairal, Urial, and the Arghali – the mountain sheep of this region. During this photo expedition, a veteran team of highly-awarded conservationists, trackers, and guides with over two decades of field time and international experience across Snow Leopard habitats, will assist in our photographic venture. Our one of a kind camp strikes the perfect balance between remote luxury and rugged adventure, with central heating, hot running water and cuisine meals, while surrounded by one of the greatest mountain ranges on our planet.  Join us on this once in a lifetime 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 high concentrations of Snow Leopard!

Month of Travel

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

Wildlife & Landscapes

The combination of the elusive and majestic Snow Leopard and local wildlife such as the Bhairal, Urial and the Arghali, and Ladakh’s unspoiled and exotic landscape will make you feel like you are on top of the world, literally!

Camp

Experience a newly upgraded camp like no other in the Himalayan mountains, complete with central heating, hot running water and cuisine meals. The location of camp not only offers a great access to wildlife and landscapes, but also Ladakhi culture, with three major Tibetan Buddhist monasteries within a 40-minute drive, as well as a number of friendly homesteads.

Guided Experience

Join the expedition crew that comprises of the world’s best Snow Leopard tracking team and expedition leaders.

ORYX LEADER
Behzad Larry

9 Days
10 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Experiential
Landscape
Wildlife
  • Destination
  • Departure
    Leh
  • person sharing
    $5980
  • Single Supplement
    $1910
  • Photographic Highlights
    Snow Leopard, Great Tibetan Sheep, Blue Sheep, Ladakhi Urial, Asiatic Ibex, incredible scenery
  • Guide
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Day 1: Arrival in Leh

ORYX’s Snow Leopard photo tour commences today as you arrive in the old silk route town of Leh, nestled in the mighty Trans-Himalaya. Today we will need to rest in order to acclimatise to the high altitude of 3,400 meters and must limit our physical activities to properly adjust to the area.
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Day 2: Explore Leh

After breakfast, we will embark on some sightseeing to explore the rich history of the region, with visits to the 15th century monastery of Thiksey, a trip to Leh’s main market located in the shadow of the impressive 16th century Leh Palace, and to the Central Asian museum. Sightseeing will be split between the morning and evening, with a rest period in and around lunch. This evening we will have dinner together.
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Day 3: Transfer to Snow Leopard Camp

After an early breakfast, we will depart Leh via a road transfer to camp, which will be approximately 1 hour’s drive. Nestled deep in the Ladakh Range of India, beyond medieval Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and past ancient shepherding hamlets, the spectacular location and timeless Silk Road feel strikes the perfect balance between remote luxury and rugged adventure. After a tour of our accommodations and a briefing, we will set out in search of wildlife with the tracking team and hope to catch our first glimpse of the “ghosts of the mountains.”
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Days 4 to 8: Tracking for Snow Leopards

Our camp’s location is the ideal spot for our photography expedition 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. February and March are normally months when Snow Leopards mate, which maximizes our chances of spotting interactions between these solitary big cats. We will explore our tracking area on daily treks with our expert spotters to locate and track Snow Leopards on this once-in-a-lifetime photo tour.
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Day 9: Return to Leh and depart

Today marks our 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 where this incredible, once in a lifetime Snow Leopard photo tour sadly comes to an end.
India – Snow LeopardsShravan Rao, Canada

The recent first ORYX photo tour 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 photo tour 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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