Snow Leopard Safari

The extraordinary 13 days spent on this safari take you to remote areas in the Himalayas where you will have the best possible opportunities to photograph the most shy and elusive of the Big Cats - the magnificent Snow Leopard.

Summary

NB: THIS IS A DEMANDING SAFARI THAT REQUIRES AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF FITNESS AND STAMINA

 

ODP Safaris is proud to offer this very unique and special safari to photograph one of the most elusive and rarest animals on our planet.

 

The magnificent Snow Leopard is arguably one of the most sought after wildlife subjects to photograph. It is estimated that fewer than a thousand non-native people have seen a wild Snow Leopard and it is for this reason that they are known to the locals in the Himalayan mountain area as the mystical ‘Grey Ghosts’.

 

This safari and adventure takes you along an extraordinary route, high in the Himalayas, a trek that is full of lore and splendor. You visit Hemis National Park situated in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir, famous for elusive Snow Leopards.

 

 

ODP Safaris has teamed up with the local guides and Sherpas that did all the work on the National Geographic and the BBC productions of the Snow Leopards. These local individuals worked with the Snow Leopards for a number of seasons, accumulating a deep knowledge of their habits and movements. Without this local knowledge, finding these shy cats would be a daunting task to say the least.

 

 

For this extreme photographic safari, we have a small window in the year that these cats are accessible. They usually remain very high up in the Himalayan mountain range in areas that are just too difficult for humans to reach. However, during the colder winter months they move to lower altitudes to follow their prey, such as Blue Sheep and Mountain Goat. Winter months are generally very harsh with severe frontal systems moving through the region. The good news is that for a short period in February the climatic conditions are less extreme. During this period, the Blue Sheep and Mountain Goats linger in the lower altitude ranges before the moving higher up into the mountains for the spring and summer months. It is at this point that the Snow Leopards become within reach of photographers!

 

Join ODP Safaris as we take advantage of this very special opportunity to photograph what very few have ever seen.

Tour Itenary

  • Arrive Delhi - overnight at Hotel

  • Transfer to airport for flight to Leh

  • Sightseeing around Leh while acclimatising to the 3524 meter altitude

  • Drive from Leh to Zingchen, then trek to Base Camp in Hemis National Park.

  • Explore the various valleys and mountains in search of Snow Leopard and other wildlife.

  • Trek to Zingchen for your drive back to Leh

  • Flight to Delhi to explore the city before your Farewell Dinner

  • After breakfast your incredible adventure ends as you travel to the airport for your flight home.

Detailed Info

The magnificent Himalayan range offers challenges to many intrepid adventurers. For the wildlife photographer the upper reaches of the mountain range offer a home to the Snow Leopard – rarely seen and infrequently photographed.

During the winter months the Snow Leopards follow the Blue Sheep away from the highest peaks to areas which are relatively warmer and where food sources are not covered by thick snow. As they descend to these areas accessibility for the intrepid photographer is made possible.

DAY 1: Arrive Delhi     (Meals Aloft)

Your journey starts when you gather with your fellow explorers in Delhi, India, where you will be met at the airport by our tour representative.

DAYS 2 – 3: Delhi to Leh     (B,L,D)

After breakfast in the hotel where you have enjoyed the night in this vibrant, noisy city, you will be transferred to the airport for a truly exhilarating flight to Leh, nestled in a valley overlooked by mountains all around.

A sojourn of two days and two nights in Leh at 3524 meters is essential to allow you to acclimatise to the altitude. The magnificent topography will keep your cameras busy as will our visits to some of the monasteries in the area.

This stop in Leh is essential to allow your body to acclimatise – our ‘Snow Leopard Safari’ involves strenuous trekking and climbing as you traverse the areas in search of the ‘Grey Host’. (Sshhhh….It is customary not to say the name until you have seen one)

DAY 4: Leh to Hemis National Park      (B,L,D)

On the fourth day of our safari we journey to Zingchen, from where we travel on foot for 2 to 3 hours along a meandering pathway that follows a frozen river to Husing in the Hemis National Park. ODP will provide pack donkeys to transport your luggage, but you are responsible for your camera bag. You will need this on route to photograph the amazing scenery.

At Base Camp our accommodation is in small two-man tents, while our meals are served in the large Mess Tent.

DAYS 5 to 10: Husing or Rumbak       (B,L,D)

The following six days are spent exploring further and further, higher into the mountains, where we have the flexibility to choose either the Husing Valley or Rumbak, depending on sightings and where we have the greater chance of encountering a Snow Leopard.

DAY 11: Hemis National Park to Leh     (B,L,D)

On the 11th day of our safari we hike to Zingchen from where we drive to Leh where we spend our final night in this breathtaking scenery.

DAY 12: Leh to Delhi     (B,L,D)

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our picturesque flight back to Delhi. After a day exploring the sights of this vibrant city we gather for a farewell dinner, giving us an opportunity to reminisce, gather our thoughts and share a images with each other.

DAY 13: Delhi to Airport for Departure

We board our flight for home after an early transfer to the airport, memory cards and our own memories filled to capacity …

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