It is one of the most elusive and rarest high altitude big cats in the world. The snow leopard, also known as the Grey Ghost of the Himalayas is one of the most fascinating cat species of India and is found in the Himalayan belt of the country. For decades, the snow leopard was a virtually impossible cat to track because of the terrain and challenges involved in finding this charismatic animal in those altitudes. Over the years, tracking methodology has improved tremendously and sighting of a snow leopard is now a reality.
In the winter months of November to March every year, when the Himalayan mountains are experiencing severe cold and snow fall, these rare predators climb down to lower grounds in search of prey. This is the time period when the maximum snow leopard sightings happen during an expedition.
Ever since the snow leopard expeditions became popular in India, Hemis National Park in Ladakh has been in the forefront of snow leopard tourism as some of the first successful expeditions were conducted in that region. However Indian Himalayas have successfully been able to ease the pressure of snow leopard tourism and in today’s time there are multiple locations in these mountains which can make your dream of seeing a wild snow leopard turn into a reality.
Nature Wanderers organises professional photographic expeditions for snow leopards in Ladakh and Spiti Valley. Come and experience the magical wildlife and be humbled by the Himalayas!
The trans Himalayas of Ladakh is one of the last destinations teaming with some stunning wild wonders of India. A perfect blend of local Buddhist culture and the best of Himalayan wildlife, the region offers you some of the best photographic opportunities of a lifetime. Along with the grey ghost - Snow Leopard - these valleys are also home to the Ibex, Blue Sheep, Red Fox, Tibetan Wolf, Golden Eagles, Marmots and some stunning landscapes which can keep you busy throughout the day.
Day 1 (TRAVEL)
Arrival in Delhi and transfer to the domestic airport for a flight to Leh in the morning (1 hour journey)
This will be your acclimatisation period in Leh which is at 11400 feet altitude and these days will be crucial for you to prepare yourself for the expedition ahead. During the acclimatisation period you can visit some traditional Buddhist monasteries, take a walk in the local markets and enjoy traditional Ladakhi food and experience the culture of this unique city.
The 2 most popular destinations in Ladakh for snow leopards are Ulley which is a village and has developed recently as a popular snow leopard hotspot, and the Rumbak valley (Hemis National Park) which has been the traditional location for snow leopard expeditions. Nature Wanderers is equipped with tracking facilities and organising accommodations, porters and best-in-class services to ensure that you have a great experience photographing the snow leopards. Feel free to discuss your snow leopard requirements with us and we can recommend you the perfect plan.
Day 12 (TRAVEL)
Back to Leh and overnight stay in a luxury hotel in Leh where you can unwind post the tiring expedition and share your snow leopard memories with the world.
Nestled in the high-altitude belts of north east Himachal Pradesh (north India), the Spiti valley is a cold desert mountain valley and is home to some of the most exotic high-altitude wildlife of India. The presence of prey in the form of ibex and blue sheep, the snow capped mountains and rocky terrains makes Spiti home to one of India's most iconic cats - the snow leopard. In the cold winter months of November to March, these elusive cats descend to lower altitudes in search of prey and this makes Spiti a snow leopard hotspot for photographers and wildlife lovers.
In addition to the snow leopard, the area is teaming with other wildlife like the Red Fox, Tibetan wolves, Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Himalayan Snow Cocks, Chukars and some breathtaking landscapes which are ideal for photography in day and night.
EXPERIENCED TRACKING TEAM & COMFORTABLE STAY
The Nature Wanderers snow leopard expedition for 2019 aims to maximize your chances of snow leopard sightings as our team of 4 scanners would be working day in and day out to help you see and photograph the grey ghost of the Himalayas. Living comfort becomes imperative in such harsh environments and our home stays are fully furnished with all the amenities to ensure you have a comfortable stay.
The expedition would be led by India’s leading photography guide and wildlife photographer - Shivang Mehta.
SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION - KEY SNAPSHOTS
- 10 nights 11 days all inclusive Chandigarh to Chandigarh
- Multiple scanners and trackers on the field for maximising sighting probabilities
- Comfortable home stays with heating facilities, electric blankets and double sharing accommodation
- 24x7 vehicle support so that you can reach sighting locations on time
- Unable to walk? Yak support for getting you closer to sighting locations
- Personal porters and all trekking gears would be provided
DAY 1 (TRAVEL)
Chandigarh. Drive to Rampur (250 Kms - 7 Hrs). Overnight in a luxury hotel in Rampur.
Early morning drive from Rampur to Tabo (12 Hrs). Stay in a luxury home stay in Tabo. This will be your acclimatisation phase of the expedition.
Post breakfast, visit to the Tabo monastery which was established in 996AD and is studded with some extraordinary paintings and art work from that era. Drive to the Kibber village in the Spiti valley (optional visit to the Key monastery Enroute Kibber). The homestay in Kibber will be the base camp for the next 7 nights at an altitude of 14,500 feet.
Our trained team of scanners and trackers armed with their wireless sets would be scanning various areas on a daily basis of snow leopards. While the team is at work you will be working with the Nature Wanderers team photographing at various locations and scouting for species like the Ibex, Red Fox, Blue Sheeps and landscapes. As and when we receive any news of the snow leopard sightings we would be making use of our 4x4 vehicle along with yaks to ensure that you reach the designated sighting locations well on time. The treks have been made extremely comfortable for you as you would be provided with all camping gears like walking poles, camping chairs and tents in case you wish to rest.
DAY 10 (TRAVEL)
Early morning departure from Kibber to Rampur. Arrival at Rampur by evening 9:00 PM and stay in a luxury hotel in Rampur.
DAY 11 (TRAVEL)
Early morning departure from Rampur post breakfast to Chandigarh. Arrival at Chandigarh by evening. Drop to Chandigarh airport, station or hotel as requested