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snow leopard photo tour

India – Snow Leopard Photo Expedition II 2021

India – Snow Leopard Photo Expedition II 2021

US$4,986 per person sharing

SPACES AVAILABLE

19 Mar 2021 – 29 Mar 2021

This Snow Leopard Photo Tour is a rare opportunity to spot elusive Snow Leopards in the wild. During this expedition, we will use the same guides and trackers as BBC’s Planet Earth II and the majority of this trip is based deep in Hemis National Park in Ladakh, where one of the world’s highest concentration of Snow Leopards is found. The high reaches of the Ladakh Range are prime territory for the magnificent Snow Leopard. 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 and antelope of this region. We’ll explore Hemis National Park on daily treks with our expert spotters to spot and track snow leopards on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

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 at the 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

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

Exquisite Landscapes

The combination of Hemis National Park’s unspoilt and exotic landscape with the natural drama of Ladakh’s Ulley Valley will make you feel like you are on top of the world, literally!

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.

ORYX LEADER
Behzad Larry

11 Days
7 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
  • Destination
  • Departure
    Leh
  • per person sharing
    US$4,986
  • Single Supplement
    US$846
  • Photographic Highlights
    Snow Leopard, Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal (Blue Sheep), Shapu (Ladakhi Urial), Asiatic Ibex, incredible scenery
  • Guide
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Day 1: Arrival in Leh

Our Snow Leopard photo tour commences today as you arrive in the old silk route town of Leh, nestled in the mighty Trans-Himalaya. 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.
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Day 2: 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.
3

Day 3 to 9: 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.
4

Day 10: Leh

Today we will return to Leh, enjoy a hot shower and the comfort of civilisation and celebrate your epic journey with the group.
5

Day 11: Leh and depart

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 where this incredible, once in a lifetime Snow Leopard photo tour sadly comes to an end.
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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