This Voygr Snow Leopard trip is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see and photograph secretive Snow Leopards in the wild. We’ll follow in the footsteps of BBC’s Planet Earth II and NatGeo’s Hostile Planet in terms of guides and trackers. The majority of this journey takes place in India’s Hemis National Park, which has one of the largest densities of snow leopards in the world.
Harper’s Bazaar named this trip one of the 100 Ultimate Trips for 2020, while Condé Nast Traveller and the Financial Times’ How to Spend It also suggested it. Guests have spotted a snow leopard 100 percent of the time in the last five seasons, with an average of 6 sightings each trip.
The beautiful Snow Leopard thrives in the upper peaks of the Ladakh Range. As winter approaches and the snow line falls, these cautious and elusive creatures descend to lower altitudes in pursuit of their prey, the bhairal, urial, and arghali, the region’s mountain sheep and antelope. On this once-in-a-lifetime snow leopard tour, we’ll visit Hemis National Park everyday with our professional spotters Khenrab and Dorjey to locate and track snow leopards.
This 11-day adventure begins in Leh, a high-altitude town. We may gradually acclimate to Leh’s 10,000+ foot altitude by doing some touring for a few days. We next proceed to our remote private camp in the national park. Our camp is well-appointed and heated, and it will serve as our home base as we explore the surrounding region in quest of the mountain’s ghost.
With almost 1,700 square kilometres of land, Hemis National Park is India’s largest protected area. The park features pine woods, alpine shrublands and meadows, and alpine tundra and is located within the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe ecoregion. According to most accounts, the park has a significant breeding population of snow leopards, mostly in the Rumbak and Matho areas.
Day 1 of the Snow Leopard Tour
Arrive at Leh, a Trans-Himalayan city. Until the late 1950s, Leh straddled the historic silk route and served as a crossroads for key Central Asian trade routes. The busy town now acts as a jumping off point for a slew of mountain and high-altitude excursions. We’ll check into our Grand Dragon hotel in Leh and spend the day at a slower pace than usual in order to fully acclimate to the high altitude. We propose curling up with a good book and a cup of tea while taking in the scenery. The best approach to acclimate is to take your time. We’ll have a welcome meal and trip briefing with the entire crew in the evening. The Grand Dragon Hotel serves breakfast, lunch, and supper.
Day 2 of the Snow Leopard Tour
A walking tour of Leh is available.
On today’s guided tour of Leh’s ancient town, the Leh Palace, and Namgyal Tsemo, the magnificent 16th century triumph monument that summits Leh’s central peak, stretch your legs and begin to acclimate. The Grand Dragon Hotel serves breakfast, lunch, and supper.
Day 3 of the Snow Leopard Tour
Leh To Camp.
We’ll leave today for Hemis National Park, where we’ll spend the next hour driving to our camp. Spend the daylight hours assisting in the quest for the enigmatic mountain ghost. Spend your evenings by the campfire or snuggled up in your ultra-warm sleeping bags. Breakfast, lunch, and supper are all available at Camp, or you may bring your own.
Day 4–9 of the Snow Leopard Tour
Hemis National Park is a beautiful place to visit.
With our experienced spotters on the lookout for species like the Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal (Blue Sheep), Shapu (Ladakhi Urial), and the elusive Snow Leopard, we’ll explore Hemis National Park. Depending on our spotting success and intel reports of snow leopard sightings across the valley, our camps will be relocated. Every day will include a combination of driving and walking. Breakfast, lunch, and supper are all available at Camp, or you may bring your own.
Day 10 of the Snow Leopard Tour
Take the road to Leh.
Leh is only a short drive away. Rest, relax, and explore Leh on your free day. If you want to go shopping for souvenirs or antiques, one of our guides can accompany you.
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