Amur Leopard Expedition
The Amur leopard expedition takes you on a quest to the Russian Taiga in search of the world’s rarest big cat.
The Amur Leopard Expedition
The Amur leopard is the rarest of the big cats. It inhabits a narrow strip of land hemmed in by Russia, North Korea, and China. Primarily found in the Russian Far-East, the Amur leopard is critically endangered. Just around 90 individuals remain.
Conserving the Amur Leopard
We’ve spend three years researching partnerships, finding locals who put conservation before commerce, and investing in technology to bring comfort to an otherwise brutal quest in Russian mid-winter. Because the Amur leopard is critically endangered, 100% of the profit from our Amur leopard expeditions goes into conservation. Our goal here is to restrict commercial operations to a very limited number of trips to Amur leopard habitat annually. We work with trackers and rangers that are the very best, with decades of experience conserving the Amur leopard and expanding its habitat.
Photographing the Amur Leopard
Photography can be a key component of an Amur leopard expedition, but currently, the only sure way to get an Amur leopard in front of a camera is to bait it. Farmed roe deer are purchased, slaughtered, and the carcass is chained outside a hide. Photographers stay in the hide for a 3 or 4 days. When done in peak winter, this has a very high chance of attracting predators – both the Amur leopard and the Siberian tiger, whose territory overlap by the Chinese/North Korean/ Russian border. This is because prey is less abundant and the snow makes it hunting harder. A free meal is hard to pass up on. Voygr is firmly against the practice of baiting. Baiting is also frowned upon for most notable wildlife photography competitions.
However, the best possible images can be made by camera trapping. Our Amur leopard expeditions can get you some incredible images with a very high rate of success. We work with the same rangers that have helped the BBC, NatGeo, and Netflix film the Amur leopard and Siberian tigers via camera traps.
An Amur leopard expedition will take you to prime Amur leopard habitat, where we will attempt our luck at spotting and tracking leopards. Additionally, we will set several camera traps along known trails and territory markers where both Amur leopards and Siberian tigers urine-mark their boundaries. Serious photographers will have the option of installing and leaving behind DSLR camera traps that our team can maintain for several months. We will swap out the memory cards, make sure the gear remains working, and change batteries when necessary. Gear can be shipped back to guests after.
Bespoke Departures for the Amur Leopard Expedition
We don’t list the itinerary publicly because we have assessed that the habitat is not ready for mass-market tourism. If you’re interested in contributing to protect the Amur Leopard and embarking on a quest to see it, even if via game cameras, we’d love to build an expedition for you. Unlike our snow leopard expeditions (100% success rate, the Amur leopard expeditions has a low chance of success to actually see the leopard. However, the experience itself, is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
You’ll get to hang out with tough Russian rangers and anti-poaching teams that have basically saved the Amur leopard and Siberian tiger from the brink of extinction, and experience the immense beauty of the Russian taiga in the winter. You will have one of the world’s top expedition teams supporting you. Remote regions, winter expeditions, and difficult terrain are what Voygr specializes in. We keep our guests comfortable: no-matter the conditions. Since this expedition takes place in habitat that overlaps with the Siberian tiger, both animals will be sought for.
Just like all of our other expeditions, this tour is not subcontracted or given over for implementation to any other agency – we control all our own operations. We know the rangers, we know the drivers, and our own expedition leaders guide it.
Why Book With Voygr?
Read more about Voygr Expeditions to learn about our ethics, how giving back to the communities we travel to is part of our DNA, and what steps we take to actively preserve our planet.
Our Incredible Journeys
Snow Leopard Expeditions
Award-winning snow leopard expeditions take you on a quest for one of the world’s most elusive cats in the Trans-Himalayas of India.
Amur Leopard Expeditions
Search for the rarest big cat in the world on our Amur leopard expeditions in the magnificent Russian Taiga.
Siberian Tiger Expeditions
Help conserve the beautiful Siberian tiger on our expedition to the Russian Far East in search of this king of the Taiga.