Snow leopard treks in Ladakh

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To go looking for the Snow Leopard would appear to be the most forlorn of forlorn quests and yet, it is in the nature of such quests that the rewards lie as much in the journeying and the search as in the stated objective.

On the borders of Tibet is the Indian district of Ladakh – probably THE best place to see Snow Leopards in the world. Here in the high, desolate grandeur of arid mountains, tourism is being leveraged to protect Snow Leopards. The Explorations Company were amongst the very first to design and operate Snow Leopards treks in collaboration with the Snow Leopard Conservancy.

Our original light footprint, low impact model is rapidly being crowded out by cheap group tours that are now threatening the fragile high-altitude eco-system. As a result we have explored a completely new and remote location, working with local trackers and home stay owners trained by the Snow Leopard Conservancy.

Our groups are very small, accompanied by an expert guide and flexible using several trackers across many valleys. We stay in a local village home stay putting money directly into the economy but can switch to a field camp at short notice if required. And we are able to stay on site longer than the package tours.

Ladakh - Snow Leopard Treks

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The Explorations Company, where no two journeys have ever been the same

And it isn’t just Snow Leopards that you may see here. This is also the home of wolves, Ladakhi Urial – a giant sheep, Himalayan Fox, Blue Sheep, Ibex, Marmots and much else. It is also the home of a warm and hospitable but hardy mountain people whose tough life style contrasts vividly with the gentle Buddhism they practise. You will have time to visit some of their great monasteries as also their picturesque villages.

The reclusive nature of the animal, the inhuman scale and vertical topography of the habitat, the relative sparseness of Snow Leopards on the ground all combines to frustrate the seeker. But the Snow Leopard does not occupy this environment alone, it sits at the apex of a rich and diverse pyramid and in searching for this master predator we will be exploring its environment and all that live in it in some detail.

Our search will not be a random one. However inaccessible the Snow Leopard’s habitat may appear at first glance, the predator is tied to its prey and in vast and inhospitable country, the prey is concentrated in the relatively few hospitable areas. This narrows and focuses the search.

Our expedition’s concentrate on one such area in the Hemis National Park in Ladakh, south of the River Indus. This is an area that has been the location for Snow Leopard research and filming in the past.

The bonus and for many the real reward, is the exploration of the natural and human landscape of Snow Leopard country. The mountains are rugged but indescribably beautiful, as streams and rivers that bring the area to vivid life, water the valleys that seam this barren but colorful vastness.

A number of factors have shaped our programme but the most important remains the Snow Leopard. While we have detailed a daily itinerary, this could change at the discretion of your leader who will base his decisions on maximising your opportunities to see wildlife. That, and not covering ground as in a conventional trek, remains the focus of the tour.

The search for the Snow Leopard in the high Himalayas is an adventure of a lifetime that one never forgets.

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.


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‘Greetings. this has turned out to be a paradise in so many ways....so a big thank you from us.

Wonderful support from your company over here....we were met at the airport (with flowers!!!!!) and introduced to our personal guide who is fabulous. Can't get over the attention to detail ....cool flannels, chilled water, fresh juice on arrival, bag full of thoughtful goodies for our trip, wonderful rooms with bathrooms bigger than our bedroom at home(!) and we were upgraded to a suite and as I write we are listening to tropical birdsong as we look out over the lagoon from our balcony. Wow!!!!!

I could go on but I'll spare you.

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