“Enigmatic”, “magnificent” and “rare”! Many words have been used to describe the Snow Leopard - all of them ring true, but none are perhaps as appropriate as “elusive”. The spectacular and rugged terrain that the Snow Leopard calls home plays a large role in making this “Ghost of the Himalayas” so exceptionally hard to find. Fortunately, however, we now have a much greater understanding of their behaviour and ecology, and our chances for locating this magnificent feline have therefore much improved over the last few years.
Our search takes place in the unequalled scenery that forms the backdrop of Hemis National Park in northwest India. Situated in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, in the fabled kingdom of Ladakh, Hemis National Park is a high altitude reserve that holds claim to being the largest National Park in all of South Asia, and is home to many special Himalayan mammals, including the impressive Blue Sheep (or Bharal). Not only is this cliff dwelling sheep a common and wonderful sight in the park, but it is also the Snow Leopard’s principle prey species in the area.
From the first major snow falls in late Autumn, right through the bitterly cold winter months, Blue Sheep descend from the higher altitudes to the more sheltered valley slopes and floors, drawing with them the ever-watchful Snow Leopards. Our expedition is especially timed for this period and combines up-to-date information from locals and experienced local trackers to hunt down views of the “grey ghost”.
Whilst the main focus of our tour is to experience the utter thrill of seeing a Snow Leopard in its spectacular natural surroundings, we also stand a chance for encounters with a selection of highly sought-after inhabitants of the Himalayas such as Eurasian Lynx, Ibex, Argali and Ladakh Urial.
Day 1: Arrival in Leh.
Day 2: Leh - Excursion to Shey and Tikse.
Day 3: Leh to Hemis National Park, via Zingchen.
Days 4-10: Hemis National Park (Rumbak Valley).
Day 11: Hemis National Park to Leh, via Zingchen.
Day 12: Leh and depart.
- India - Snow Leopard Expedition: 20 - 31 Oct 2012 (12 days)
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Asia India Nature & Wildlife Wildlife Viewing National Parks