Tour Spotlight: Snow Leopard Tracking 2019
The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as 'vulnerable' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because the global population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals and decline about 10% in the next 23 years. As of 2016, the global population was estimated at 4,678 to 8,745 mature individuals.
This epic photography adventure takes you to Hemis National Park, Ladakh - India's most protected Snow Leopard area - with adventure travel photographer and expedition doctor, Andrew Peacock. With Andrew sharing his expert knowledge on wildlife and travel photography in conjunction with expert trackers on hand to trace the cats’ scents, trails, and markings, this journey will keep the pulse racing as you follow every sign of their movements whilst exploring some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.
This snow leopard tracking expedition offers you the chance to see these ‘ghosts of the mountains’ as they track their prey through the spectacular high altitude terrain of the National Park. It is a special opportunity to witness these stunning cats in their natural environment - and to capture all this through your camera lens. Since Snow Leopards are generally found at elevations between 3000-4500m, your daily treks from our comfortable base camp will take you through stunning Himalayan alpine and sub-alpine zones where vegetation is sparse and temperatures are extreme. Snow Leopards are opportunistic predators and are most active at dawn and dusk and show a strong preference for cliffy habitat with moderately to very broken terrain, rocky outcrops and ravines.
Andrew will be on hand throughout the itinerary and to help you learn how to best take advantage of the fantastic photographic opportunities that this trip offers. While professional level camera equipment will help you get the best images in what is a challenging environment, all skill and equipment levels are catered for. As an adventure travel photographer, his intent is to create images that tell stories of human exploration and adventure in areas of natural beauty and wonder. Andrew's inspiration comes from the activities, landscapes, wildlife, and people of the outdoor world.
You will have five full days to trek and explore the National Park. Distances covered and the level of activity will depend on wildlife sightings and how strenuous you wish to make the trek. You are likely to see signs of the snow leopard, as winter is the time that they descend to lower elevations. If you are lucky, you may see one perched high on the rocks or balanced effortlessly on a sheer vertical ridge. Whilst in the National Park, Andrew will again be your guide on the trails and offer his expertise to help you get the best photographic results from your Himalayan wildlife experiences.
Snow leopard sightings are a game of patience. Your schedule on these days is subject to previous sightings of the snow leopards, and your guide will collect information from locals and other guides on a daily basis to determine the movement of your day. You will either follow on from the previous day’s route, or trek and explore nearby areas, waiting and watching for the gracious Snow Leopards using a scope.
The moment you witness these beautiful and elegant cats, your breath will be taken away. Everything will seem silent as you watch, captivated by their beauty. Soft padding paws, brush like powerful tails. Every move planned and executed with precision. This will truly be one of the most awe inspiring moments of your journey. Watch as they scavenge and search for prey. Camouflaged so perfectly into the snow covered rocky terrain. The only sounds to be heard are your gasps of amazement and the click of camera shutters. You will never forget this moment.
Although Snow Leopards are the main attraction, Hemis National Park is also home to blue sheep, argali (a large horned sheep), numerous mountain and migratory birds, as well as an occasional Tibetan wolf. At the end of each day, you will return to camp for some warm food and hot tea and exchange tales of your sightings.
More information about this experience can be found on our website. If you would like to make this experience yours then contact us so we can help you secure your spot on this amazing adventure of a lifetime - places are limited. We look forward to welcoming you on our Snow Leopard Tracking Photography Tour 2019.
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