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Classic Snow Leopard Tour
to Ladakh

This snow leopard tour to Ladakh is the quintessential snow leopard experience. World’s best trackers, a private luxury camp, and the incredible Himalayas.

Voygr Expeditions is recommended by:Voygr Expeditions - Press

Classic Snow Leopard Tour To Ladakh

This snow leopard tour to Ladakh is the quintessential snow leopard experience. World’s best trackers, a private remote camp, and the incredible Himalayas.

The Snow Leopard Tour to Ladakh is our classic snow leopard trip to India. The best trackers paired with the top snow leopard camp offer you a singular experience.

This journey is highly acclaimed. It is unique for it’s low environmental impact, huge contribution to conservation, and award-winning field team.

Harper’s Bazaar rated Voygr’s snow leopard tour as 2020’s “Top 100 Ultimate Travel Experiences.Condé Nast Traveler featured this expedition as the 10 page cover story (UK & US) in October, 2020. The FT’s How To Spend It recommended this trip in a 10 page article in November, 2019.

23 Departures
2021 | 2022 | 2023
Nov – April | 10 Guests
Starts/ends in Leh, India.

Domestic flights not included.
From $4,115 per person
.

Departures can be made private.
Bespoke departures welcomed.

This is our Classic snow leopard tour. It is different from our Signature snow leopard tour.

  • The Classic tour starts and ends in Leh, India.
  • The Classic tour is guided by our expert field team, Ladakhis with two decades of experience. The field team consists of our award-winning trackers and the very best English-speaking local guides and tour escorts. It is capped at 10 guests.
  • Both tours utilize the same camp, same hotel in Leh, and include the same level of service and comfort. Both are carbon negative.
  • The Signature Snow Leopard Expedition to Ladakh starts and ends in New Delhi, India.
  • It includes domestic air, a hotel in Delhi on either end, and is capped at 8 guests.
  • The Signature snow leopard expedition adds specialist tour leaders to our field team. Specialist tour leaders are photographers, naturalists, historians, and highly acclaimed explorers. They add a lot to the trip.





    The Snow Leopard Tour to Ladakh is our classic snow leopard trip to India. The best trackers paired with the top snow leopard camp offer you a singular experience.

    This journey is highly acclaimed. It is unique for it’s low environmental impact, huge contribution to conservation, and award-winning field team.

    Harper’s Bazaar rated Voygr’s snow leopard tour as 2020’s “Top 100 Ultimate Travel Experiences.Condé Nast Traveler featured this expedition as the 10 page cover story (UK & US) in October, 2020. The FT’s How To Spend It recommended this trip in a 10 page article in November, 2019.

    23 Departures
    2021 | 2022 | 2023
    Nov – April | 10 Guests
    Starts/ends in Leh, India.

    Domestic flights not included.
    From $4,115 per person
    .

    Departures can be made private.
    Bespoke departures welcomed.

    This is our Classic snow leopard tour. It is different from our Signature snow leopard tour.

    • The Classic tour starts and ends in Leh, India.
    • The Classic tour is guided by our expert field team, Ladakhis with two decades of experience. The field team consists of our award-winning trackers and the very best English-speaking local guides and tour escorts. It is capped at 10 guests.
    • Both tours utilize the same camp, same hotel in Leh, and include the same level of service and comfort. Both are carbon negative.
    • The Signature snow leopard expedition to Ladakh starts and ends in New Delhi, India.
    • It includes domestic air, a hotel in Delhi on either end, and is capped at 8 guests.
    • The Signature snow leopard expedition adds specialist tour leaders to our field team. Specialist tour leaders are photographers, naturalists, historians, and highly acclaimed explorers. They add a lot to the trip.





      World Class Field Team

      A 100% success rate for snow leopard tours. Our field team is the very best in the business. Senior trackers have two decades of experience.

      Superb Location

      Hemis National Park offers you the best chances to find the ghost of the mountains. Access productive valleys with the best sightings on earth.

      Top Equipment

      Teams are equipped with the latest in communication tech, the best Swarovski optics, and have over two decades of tracking experience in this region.

      Ultimate Stays

      Luxurious private camp with heated geodesic domes & bell tents, 5 course meals, and spectacular attention to detail. One of the world’s ultimate experiences.

      Introduction to the Snow Leopard Tour to Ladakh

      The World’s Best Snow Leopard Tour

      Ladakh, in northernmost India, is prime high altitude habitat for the snow leopard. Hemmed by mountains on all sides, this Tibetan-Buddhist region is the best place on Earth to see the grey ghost. This itinerary is designed to give you an intimate feel for the ancient cultures of the region and an insight into the successes and challenges of community based conservation.

      Leh, the capital of Ladakh, was once a major trading hub on the ancient Silk Road. A melting pot of Himalayan, Tibetan, and Central Asian cultures and people, this town has a great deal to offer travelers of all types.

      Once you fly across the Great Himalayan Range and land in Leh, our tour will start with an easy day of acclimatizing to the 11,000 feet of altitude. Spend the second day exploring some of the magnificent medieval Tibetan Buddhist monasteries spread out around Leh. On the third day, transfer to our exclusive private camp, the LungMār, situated in the heart of snow leopard habitat. As you settle into remote camp life, our professional trackers will spread out through the valleys. The towering ridges that surround our camp offer ideal snow leopard sighting conditions, while the herds of blue sheep roaming our valleys provide the snow leopards favorite meal.

      Scheduled group departures are timed with peak season for snow leopard sightings. Early winter overlaps with blue sheep mating season. January’s cold drives all animals into lower valleys, allowing for easier tracking. February and March bring snow leopard mating season and heightened movement through the valleys.

      Our private camp, the LungMār, is the result of years of R&D. It features custom-made heated tents, hand-woven Afghan rugs, and exquisitely prepared meals. Our own solar power plant ensures reliable and green power. The LungMār guarantees an excellent and warm experience. Our private camp is accessible by road and we have road access through much of the area we track snow leopards in. Guests do not have to hike into camp

      Conservation

      Conservation is at the heart of every thing we do. Voygr Expeditions is proud to donate $350 per snow leopard tour booking to the Snow Leopard Trust and 20% of its annual profits to the High Asia Habitat Fund to further conservation in front-line communities across Central Asia. Besides this our trackers and naturalists provide annual training to rangers in Central Asia as well as access to high-tech equipment and gear to preserve critical habitat on the world’s highest frontiers. All our tours are carbon negative, and our camps uses solar power and solar water heaters.

      High Asia Habitat Fund

      Itinerary : Snow Leopard Tour To Ladakh

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      Day 1. Explore Leh and nearby medieval Tibetan Monasteries.

      1.Leh straddles the old silk route and was a nexus of important Central Asian trade routes till the late 1950’s. Today the bustling town serves as an entry point to a dozen different types of mountain and high altitude adventures.

      We’ll check-in to our hotel in Leh, the Grand Dragon, and spend the day at a pace that is slower than normal to properly acclimatize to the high altitude. We recommend reading a book, drinking a few cups of tea, and enjoying the view. Time is the best way to acclimatize.

      In the evening we’ll have a welcome dinner and trip briefing with the whole crew. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Grand Dragon Hotel.

      Day 2. Explore Leh and nearby medieval Tibetan Monasteries.

      2.Walking tour of Leh. An early start for those interested. We’ll head to Thiksey gompa (monastery) to attend morning prayers. This is a beautiful and calming experience steeped in the tradition of the Gelugpa (yellow hat) order of Tibetan Buddhism, headed by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. The monastery, begun in 1630, features Ladakh’s most gorgeous image, a huge (and surprisingly modern) gilded statue of the Maitreya (Future Buddha).  Afterwards, we drive along the beautiful valley and find a spot to eat our packed breakfast and admire Stakna gompa, towering above the meandering Indus River since 1580.

      We’ll return to our hotel for lunch and some rest.

      In the evening, we’ll visit the Shanti Stupa, a peace pagoda build by the Japanese in the 80’s. It offers commanding views of Leh, the Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo, the beautiful 16th century monument to victory that crowns the central peak in Leh, and the mighty Ladakh Range.

      Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Grand Dragon Hotel.

      Day 3. Leh to the LungMār Remote Camp

      3.We’ll transfer to our private camp in Hemis National Park today. An hour and a half drive will take us into the heart of snow leopard territory. Spend the daylight hours searching for the elusive ghost of the mountains with our field teams and the evenings sipping hot toddys around the dining room fire.

      Breakfast, lunch, dinner at Camp, or packed.

      Day 4-8. Hemis National Park

      4-8.Explore Hemis National Park. We’ll explore Hemis National Park with our expert spotters on the lookout for wildlife such as the Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal (Blue Sheep), Shapu (Ladakhi Urial), and the elusive Snow Leopard. You’ll be transferred to various points by 4×4. Depending on where wildlife is sighted, walking or short hikes may be required to achieve suitable viewing positions.

      An Average Day On A Snow Leopard Tour To Ladakh

      Snow leopards are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Our spotters leave camp at dawn. One of our 4x4s drops them off at various points in different valleys. They scan the ridge-lines and slopes for wildlife, reporting any sightings back to camp. Usually guests start waking up around 7 AM. Our expansive geodesic dome dining tent is already warm and inviting. Hot French presses, pots of tea, and breakfast to order.

      At this point, two things can happen. Either our spotters see a snow leopard or don’t see one. If a snow leopard is seen, guests rush off to the closest vantage point. They are either driven or walk, depending on the spotter’s location. Our spotters at other locations pack up and converge on the sighting location. They use their combined experience to decide on a plan for the day to best track the snow leopard for as long as possible. Meals, coffee, tea, snacks, all keep arriving from camp for as long as guests are at a sighting.

      If a snow leopard is not seen, the trackers convene back at camp and decide on a plan for the day. This is usually influenced by the previous days sightings and intelligence gathered in the morning.

      Based on the plans, guests accompany the spotters and trackers to various parts of the valley as they search for the snow leopard. Spotters, trackers, and the field team always point out interesting birds and wildlife, as well as share details about local life and culture.

      There will be opportunities to visit some local homes and villages as well. These visits are always an important way to understand what life is like in this beautiful region of the world, and how essential communities are to conservation. Breakfast, lunch, dinner at Camp, or packed.

      Each day on this snow leopard tour will consist of some driving and some walking.

      Day 9. Return to Leh

      9.Drive to Leh. Free day to rest, relax, and explore Leh. If you’re interested in picking up some souvenirs or antiques, one of our guides can take you shopping. Breakfast, lunch, dinner at the Grand Dragon Hotel.

      Day 10. Fly Out

      10.Fly to Delhi. Say goodbye to the mountains and fly to Delhi in the morning. Our tiger safaris in Ranthambhore are the perfect extension to our snow leopard tour.

       

      The Area: Hemis National Park

      Hemis National Park is India’s largest conservation area with over 1,700 square miles (4,400 sq km) of territory. The park has alpine shrublands, meadows, and alpine tundra. It has the highest concentration of snow leopards in the world.

      Along with the Snow Leopard the Park is home to Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal (Blue Sheep), Shapu (Ladakhi Urial), and plenty of domesticated yaks. A small population of the Asiatic Ibex is also present in Hemis.

      Other predators besides the snow leopard include the Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear (endangered in India), and the red fox. Small mammals include the Himalayan marmot, mountain weasel, and the Himalayan mouse hare.

      The park is also an excellent place to view Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan birds of prey including the golden eagle, the lammergeier vulture, and the Himalayan griffon vulture. Great opportunities for bird-watching abound, including several Tibetan species not common in other parts of India. Birds present here include brown accentor, robin accentor, Tickell’s leaf warbler, streaked rosefinch, Tibetan snowfinch, chukar, fork-tailed swift, red-billed chough, Himalayan snowcock, and the fire-fronted serin.

      The national park is home to 16 mammal species and 73 bird species. Read our exhaustive article about Hemis National Park to learn more.

      Conservation

      Conservation is at the heart of every thing we do. Voygr Expeditions is proud to donate $350 per snow leopard tour booking to the Snow Leopard Trust and 20% of its annual profits to the High Asia Habitat Fund to further conservation in front-line communities across Central Asia. Besides this our trackers and naturalists provide annual training to rangers in Central Asia as well as access to high-tech equipment and gear to preserve critical habitat on the world’s highest frontiers.

      High Asia Habitat Fund

      Past Sighting Reports

      2017

      • 100% of our snow leopard tours were successful.
      • 23 snow leopard sightings between January and April.
      • 7 Tibetan wolf sightings,
      • 2 Eurasian lynx sightings.

      2018

      • 100% of our snow leopard tours were successful.
      • 29 snow leopard sightings between January and April.
      • 12 Tibetan wolf sightings,
      • 4 Eurasian lynx sightings.

      2019

      • 100% of our snow leopard tours were successful.
      • 37 snow leopard sightings between January and April.
      • 18 Tibetan wolf sightings,
      • 6 Eurasian lynx sightings.
      • 2 groups saw mating snow leopards.
      • 1 group saw a snow leopard with 2 cubs.

      2020

      • 100% of our snow leopard tours were successful.
      • 30 snow leopard sightings in 34 tracking days between January and March.
      • 8 Tibetan wolf sightings,
      • 9 Eurasian lynx sightings.
      • 2 groups saw a snow leopard with 2 cubs
      • 2 groups saw mating snow leopards
      • Season cut short due to COVID-19.

      All expeditions see hundreds of blue sheep, a few fox, and various birds including the chukar, Himalayan snowcock, Tibetan snowcock, red and yellow billed choughs, white-browed tit warbler, lammergeirs, golden eagles, Himalayan griffons, robin accentor, fire-fronted serin, Tibetan partridge, and many more.

      Worried about winter camping? Put your fears to rest.
      This snow leopard expedition has a winter set-up worthy of the Arctic.

      Besides working with the most experienced snow leopard trackers on earth, the most important thing for a successful snow leopard tour is location. Hemis National Park has a significant snow leopard population and Voygr has a one-of-a-kind private camp here, the only such camp anywhere on earth, specialized in snow leopard tours deep in prime snow leopard habitat.

      Our private camp is located in a part of the National Park that is infrequently accessed by tourists and other tour operators. With road access, grid power (with back-up power generation), and Wi-Fi, you can experience the magnificent Trans-Himalaya without being cut-off for two weeks.

      Voygr’s private camp takes inspiration from the nomadic Changpa community of the Tibetan plateau and blends it with flavors of the ancient Silk Route. Our tents are heavy canvas on the outside, with an insulation system designed in-house after years of research and testing. The Changpa live in yak-wool tents through winter temperatures that reach -40ºC, and they have done so for over two thousand years. So they know a thing or two about winter camping.

      Some of the world’s oldest dwellings, found in both the frigid Arctic as well as the fiery heat of the Namib, use the naturally insulating properties of the ground to protect from both extreme heat and cold. These “earth shelters” have inspired our iconic tents which keep our guests warm using ancient knowledge, modern materials, and central heat. The hand-woven Afghan rugs, hand-painted Tibetan tables, and comfortable king size / twin beds round-out our luxurious remote camps.

      Camp toilets are heated and environmentally friendly. They combine the traditional system of Ladakhi composting toilets with western standards.

      Shower tents are spacious, well heated, and stocked with hand-made Himalayan soaps.

      Two giant Geodesic domes serve as lounge and dining spaces where guests enjoy their meals or some après-sighting cocktails.

      Cold hard data. Don't take our word for it- see what temperature sensors report.

      Maps & Satellite Imagery

      Map loading, please wait ...

      Click Satellite Image Thumbnails to Expand

      Voygr Expeditions - Snow Leopard Tour Map

      Context. A zoomed out view of India with Ladakh at the very top.

      Voygr Snow Leopard Expedition Camp For Snow Leopard Tours Zoomed Wide

      Zoomed in. Red areas indicate that the area is great habitat for snow leopards. Yellow indicates medium suitability for snow leopards, and uncolored areas are low in suitability. Usually these are the highest ridges and peaks.

      As you can see, we’re located in prime territory in a stretch of unbroken red and yellow. Lots of overlapping territory for many cats.

      Voygr Snow Leopard Camp. Zoomed In Map Showing Where Snow Leopard Tours Take Place.

      And zoomed in some more. The world’s best snow leopard camp.

      Overlays depicted in red and yellow taken from WattsSM, McCarthy TM, NamgailT (2019) Modelling potential habitat for snow leopards (Panthera uncia) in Ladakh, India. PLoSONE 14(1):e0211509. Creative commons attribution license. Superimposed on high res satellite imagery from Google Earth Pro.

      Accommodations: The Best Ladakh Has To Offer

      Voygr's Remote Snow Leopard Expedition Camp
      Hemis National Park

      Voygr operates the finest remote camps in the region. The best time to see snow leopards is peak winter, and our custom made tents allow us access to prime habitat while keeping our guests warm and toasty. After a top tracking team, snow leopard expeditions are all about location – and nothing beats ours – as evidenced by our success rate. 

      Comfortable 12 inch mattresses, fine hand-woven rugs from Afghanistan, and beautifully hand-painted tables add luxury to the expedition camp. Tents can comfortably house two guests. The camps also have heated dining tents and lounge tents where you can relax around a fire with a hot toddy or martini after a day of snow leopard tracking.

      In 2020, we’re upgrading all tent infrastructure. Get in touch if you’d like more details on our tent infrastructure and why it’s the best snow leopard experience there is. We don’t divulge our proprietary heating solutions as copycats abound! Pictures show our previous camp set-up.

      Voygr Camp - Snow Leopard Tour
      Voygr Camp - Snow Leopard Tour
      Voygr Camp - Snow Leopard Tour
      Voygr Camp - Snow Leopard Tour
      Voygr Camp - Snow Leopard TourVoygr Camp - Snow Leopard TourVoygr Camp - Snow Leopard Tour

      The Grand Dragon Hotel, Leh

      We have a long running partnership with the Grand Dragon Hotel in Leh. One of the first luxury hotels in Ladakh, it is owned and operated by the Abdu family from Leh, with over 40 years of experience welcoming visitors to this stunning region. It is decorated magnificently with handmade paintings by Gulam Mustafa (Ladakh’s first modern artist) and tasteful locally inspired decor.

      The hotel is centrally heated and solar powered, not only ensuring warmth but also ensuring that it is eco-friendly. The attention to detail offered by the staff, coupled with the magnificent views, will guarantee you take back home sweet memories.

      Grand Dragon - Snow Leopard Expedition
      Grand Dragon - Snow Leopard Expedition
      Grand Dragon - Snow Leopard Expedition
      Grand Dragon - Snow Leopard Expedition
      Grand Dragon - Snow Leopard Tour
      Grand Dragon - Snow Leopard Tour
      Grand Dragon - Snow Leopard Tour
      Grand Dragon - Snow Leopard Tour
      Grand Dragon - Snow Leopard ExpeditionGrand Dragon - Snow Leopard ExpeditionGrand Dragon - Snow Leopard ExpeditionGrand Dragon - Snow Leopard TourGrand Dragon - Snow Leopard TourGrand Dragon - Snow Leopard TourGrand Dragon - Snow Leopard Tour

      Dates and Prices for the Snow Leopard Tour

      PRICING

      All tours are the same price in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

      • USD $4,115 per person – twin-sharing rate
      • USD $6,024 per person – single rate.

      TWIN RATE VS SINGLE RATE?

      • On the twin-rate you’ll share accommodations with another person. Good for couples, friends, and those that don’t mind sharing space.
      • On the single rate, all accommodations will be yours alone.

      2021 Fixed Departures

      #StartEndStatusGuestsLeaderPriceLink
      1Nov 17, 2021Nov 26, 2021OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      2Nov 23, 2021Dec 2, 2021FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      3Nov 29, 2021Dec 8, 2021FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      4Dec 5, 2021Dec 14, 2021OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      5Dec 11, 2021Dec 20, 2021OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online

      2022 Fixed Departures

      #Start DateEnd DateStatusGuestsLeaderPriceLink
      6Jan 18, 2022Jan 27, 2022FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      7Mar 30, 2022Apr 9, 2022OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      8Apr 5, 2022Apr 15, 2022OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      9Apr 11, 2022Apr 21, 2022FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      10Nov 17, 2022Nov 27, 2022FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      11Nov 23, 2022Dec 3, 2022FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      12Nov 29, 2022Dec 9, 2022FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      13Dec 5, 2022Dec 15, 2022OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      14Dec 11, 2022Dec 21, 2022OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online

      2023 Fixed Departures

      #StartEndStatusGuestsLeaderPriceLink
      15Jan 18, 2023Jan 27, 2023FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      16Mar 30, 2023Apr 9, 2023OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      17Apr 5, 2023Apr 15, 2023OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      18Apr 11, 2023Apr21, 2023FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      19Nov 17, 2023Nov 27, 2023FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      20Nov 23, 2023Dec 3, 2023FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      21Nov 29, 2023Dec 9, 2023FULL10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      22Dec 5, 2023Dec 15, 2023OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online
      23Dec 11, 2023Dec 21, 2023OPEN10Field TeamTwin: $4,115
      Single: $6,024
      Book Online

      • Book online, by phone, or via email.
      • A 15% deposit is required for confirming bookings.
      • Paying in full when booking will get you a 5% discount.
      • Full payment is due 60 days before departure.
      • See full booking terms & conditions.

      Voygr’s Flexibility Guarantee

      We know you’re looking to travel again. And we know you need your plans to be flexible. 



      Need to change plans?
      Reschedule it.
 Change plans up to 45 days before your scheduled departure. We’ll let you reschedule to the same tour within a 18 month period. You may incur charges if the tour you switch to is more expensive.

      Need to cancel entirely?
      No penalty cancellation up to 60 days before departure.

      New travel restrictions imposed?

      We understand that travel restrictions can pop-up forcing you to change plan. We’ll issue a full refund if a restriction affects your trip and you can’t reschedule it. We’ll do this up to 45 days before start of trip.

      What's Included & Excluded

      What’s Included

      • All guiding, tracking, and expedition services.
      • Accommodation in the Grand Dragon Hotel in Leh with all meals, on twin-sharing. (Single extra.)
      • Accommodation in our spacious custom heated tents, full down sleeping bags/duvets, and full board while in camp.
      • Four high-powered Swarovski BTX 95 or 115 spotting scopes per group.
      • All road journeys and airport transfers
      • Pre-trip advice and briefing
      • Group medical kit and oxygen cylinders for emergencies.
      • Access to a Gamow Bag for high-altitude emergencies.

      What’s Excluded

      • International flights
      • Visa for India
      • Travel insurance (required).
      • Personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks, souvenirs, gifts, calls, laundry, room-service.
      • Gratuities
      • Personal porter ($595). You only need a personal porter if you are bringing heavy camera equipment and would like to not have to carry it up and down hills. Often when a snow leopard is spotted, we go as far as we can on the road and then switch to walking or hiking nearer to its location. Many guests prefer to bring a porter to make their lives easier at altitude and with carrying a large lens like a 600mm or 800mm.

      Altitude Information About The Snow Leopard Expedition

      Snow Leopards are some of the most elusive animals on earth. Spotting them is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

      However, the terrain they live in is high, harsh, and difficult. Participants on our Snow Leopard Tour must be relatively fit, have medical clearance from their physician to be at high altitudes (above 10,000 feet), and should be able to walk 3-6 kilometers (2 – 4 miles) per day in sometimes rough, mountainous terrain. There are always plenty of staff around to help you.

      We promise you, the sight of a Snow Leopard in the wild is something you will never forget.

      If altitude is a concern, explore our snow leopard tour to Mongolia instead.

      We're Experts At Altitude

      Voygr’s team are part conservationists and part mountaineers, and one of the finest expedition crews on the planet. You’re in the best hands.

      Your Field Team Leader, Abdul Rashid, has two decades of experience leading summit attempts on the world’s tallest mountains. He has also led several search and rescue operations on the world’s highest glaciers for the Indian Army and commercial mountaineering operations.

      Your Expedition Lead Tracker, Dorjay Stanzin, has two decades of experience in Hemis National Park and knows the terrain, the communities, and the wildlife here intimately.

      Our itineraries are built with acclimatization in mind and our staff is well trained to always monitor guests’ well being. Together, your team is well equipped to handle any emergency that pops up.

      Voygr’s guests always have access to oxygen (in the hotel in Leh, in camp, in the car), in case they should need it along with pulse oxymeters to easily measure their blood oxygen content. We are also one of the few operators to own Gamow Bags, portable hyperbaric chambers that are an emergency apparatus that a patient suffering from high altitude sickness can be put in.

      We’ve never had to use it due to our excellent planning, but our staff drills with it regularly and many on our team have used it during much more high-altitude (17,000ft+) mountaineering expeditions.

      Health & COVID

      Exceptional care is taken to protect our staff and our guests from the transmission of any communicable diseases. Training and re-training are the norm. If you’d like to read a more detailed account of our COVID policies, please go here.

      As an organization, we love science. We’re following the advice of the WHO on best practices to keep everyone safe and healthy. We’re also a very transparent organization. If you have questions, just ask.

      Private Camp

      Voygr’s camps are located off the beaten path and away from crowds. The exclusivity of our location also offers peace of mind. A tented camp means no shared hallways, lots of space, clean air and pure water. Snow leopard expeditions aren’t safari vehicle bound. So you’re not stuck in close spaces with other guests. Meals can be served privately, in your own tent, or outside.

      Copper is King

      Copper has incredible anti-bacterial and anti-viral capabilities. Along with the SARS-COV-2 virus (COVID-19), copper has been shown to kill pathogens like  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Swine Flu (H1N1) in research studies.

      We’re introducing copper to all our high-touch point surfaces, such as tables, door handles, and zippers. We’ve been using copper utensils in our dining rooms for years.

      Want to learn more science behind why copper is such a great germ killer? Here’s a good article by the Smithsonian.

      Sanitized

      Common spaces, such as dining facilities are cleaned 5 times a day. All touch surfaces are wiped down with alcohol. Vehicles are sanitized before guests get on board and the drivers wear masks. Trackers, guides, and spotters in close proximity to guests also wear masks and are trained to practice rigorous personal hygiene.

      Add These Incredible Add-On Trips To Your Snow Leopard Expedition

      Bengal Tiger

      ADD THE ROYAL BENGAL TIGER TO YOUR EXPEDITION

      Witness the wonder of the Indian jungle in the forests of Ranthambore on a group departure for the Bengal Tiger. This trip has a tight focus on tigers and other predators in the park, while also covering the wide variety of small mammals and herbivores that abound.

      The extension departures are scheduled either at the start or end of a 14 day snow leopard expedition. Get in touch and we’ll figure out the right way to pair tigers and snow leopards.

      Camera Trapping Workshop

      CAMERA TRAPPING WORKSHOP

      If up-close shots of the snow leopard are a priority for you, we recommend adding the camera trapping workshop as an extension of your regular tour. Camera Trapping snow leopards with Voygr combines our location expertise with regular monitoring, swapping batteries, replacing memory cards, troubleshooting, and uploading images to our clients. Our crew also has significant experience using the newest tech for camera trapping.





        Or give us a call:
        US: +1 646 905 0550
        UK: +44 1316 080 049

        Essential Reading

        An Important Note On Guiding

        The Classic 10 day snow leopard tour to Ladakh is guided by our Ladakhi Field Team. The team is directed by Abdul Rashid, a legendary Ladakhi mountaineer and expedition leader, and Voygr’s Head of Field. Dorjay Stanzin is our lead tracker and has tracked snow leopard for two decades. He is widely recognized by his peers as the best. Our Field Team are world-renowned for their expertise in the region. They are supported by Khenrab Phuntsog and Smanla Tsering, official wildlife guards of Hemis National Park and global authorities on all things snow leopard. Between the three of them, Dorjay, Khenrab, and Smanla (all cousins!) have had thousands of snow leopard sightings. They have also trained the majority of snow leopard spotters in the region.

        This tour is very similar to our Signature Snow Leopard Expedition to Ladakh (12 days). The major difference is that it does not have Western expedition leaders or naturalists on it. The Classic is all local experts. If you’d like to travel with a Western naturalist, photographer, or specialist guide, look at our Signature Snow Leopard Expedition to Ladakh. The 12 day tour combines our award-winning Field Team and adds a specialist tour leader (photographers, explorers, acclaimed naturalists, etc). The 12 day tour also starts and ends in New Delhi.

        Our Other Snow Leopard Tours & Expeditions

        This snow leopard tour to Ladakh as well as our Signature Snow Leopard Expedition to Ladakh are the most comfortable and luxurious snow leopard journeys in the world. We also have a Snow Leopard Tour to Mongolia, and a Snow Leopard Expedition to Kyrgyzstan. The journey to Mongolia is at lower altitudes, while the journey to Kyrgyzstan is tougher than either of Ladakh or Mongolia. To learn more, read our extensive article, “Which Snow Leopard Tracking Tour: India, Mongolia or Kyrgyzstan?” Or give us a call.

        Our 2020 snow leopard tours were yet again 100% successful.
        Read about them here.









            Snow Leopard Tour Team

            Our snow leopard tracking team are legends. Dorjay, Khenrab, and Smanla are the most well regarded field experts when it comes to snow leopards and their ecosystems in Ladakh, with over two decades working in Hemis National Park. Dorjay is widely considered to be the sharpest snow leopard spotter in the world, with over 65% of snow leopards spotted during an average season attributed to him alone. In combination, Voygr’s snow leopard teams have over seventy man years of experience tracking the grey ghost. Our teams frequently travel to snow leopard range countries to train national park rangers, provide guidance on running eco-tourism programs, and helping communities mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

            Voygr Expeditions is the only Western company operating in Ladakh with full time in-country staff dedicated to snow leopard expeditions with our own infrastructure. We do not subcontract our tours to other operators and do not rent equipment from anyone.

            Abdul Rashid
            Abdul Rashid
            Senior Vice President Operations • Snow Leopard Specialist • Photographer

            Abdul Rashid is a mountaineer, photographer, and Voygr’s Himalayan expert. Originally from a small village in Nubra Valley by the Indo-Chinese border, he speaks 8 languages. Rashid has successfully helped clients summit the tallest peaks in Ladakh including Nun &…

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            Dorjay Stanzin
            Dorjay Stanzin
            Snow Leopard Specialist • Conservationist

            Dorjay "eagle-eyes" Stanzin is probably the world's top snow leopard spotter. Hailing from the small village of Skiu in Hemis National Park, Dorjay has been working with snow leopards and conservation since 1990. Between 1992 and 1997 he helped start…

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            Khenrab Phuntsog
            Khenrab Phuntsog
            Snow Leopard Specialist • Conservationist

            Khenrab is an award-winning snow leopard conservationist. With close to two decades as a Wildlife Guard in Hemis National Park, he is one of the keystones of conservation within the park. Having tracked, rescued, and engaged with wild snow leopards…

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            Rigzin Chhosdol
            Camp Coordinator • Field Guide

            Rigzen hails from the high altitude hamlet of Gya, one of the oldest settlements in Ladakh. With a BSc. in Physics, Chemistry and Math, she's currently pursuing a Masters in Economics from the University of Jammu. An accomplished mountaineer, Rigzin…

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            Smanla Tsering
            Smanla Tsering
            Snow Leopard Specialist • Conservationist

            Smana Tsering is a snow leopard specialist and award-winning conservationist. He has spent two decades pushing conservation in Hemis National Park, India as a Wildlife Guard. Smanla has tracked, rescued, and engaged with wild snow leopard for his whole career…

            View Profile

            Frequently Asked Questions About The Snow Leopard Tour

            What is the best time to go on a snow leopard tour?

            Snow leopard tours take place in the winter from November to Mid-April. The very best time during this season is usually in February and March, which overlaps with snow leopard mating season.

            These elusive cats are also seen during the spring, summer, and autumn, but sightings are much fewer and the distances are usually much greater. Winter is the best time to see them because they tend to move down to lower altitudes as the upper reaches of the mountains are in deeper snow cover.

            What are the chances of actually seeing a snow leopard?

            Very high! Voygr’s snow leopard tours have a 100% success rate. While we cannot guarantee that you’ll see a snow leopard, traveling with us means using the very best trackers, staying in the heart of snow leopard territory, and benefiting from our years of experience understanding animal behavior, habitat, and prey.

            What optics do you use on a snow leopard tour?

            Our snow leopard tour is the best available, and so our guests always have access to top-of-the-line Swarovski BTX 95 scopes, the very best in optics available. All our trackers and spotters are outfitted with Swarovski optics and we always have scopes on hand for the viewing pleasure of our guests.

            Why is Voygr the expert at tracking snow leopards?

            Voygr Expeditions is the world’s leading supplier of high-end snow leopard tours. Our tours employ the world’s leading trackers and expedition crews and our camps are exceptional for their expedition luxury. Deploying camps allows us to place ourselves in prime snow leopard habitat instead of being in a village, surrounded by noise, people, and loads of traffic. It also guarantees that our guests get a truly immersive experience in the incredible ecosystem that is home to the snow leopard. Our camps are superbly appointed with heated and insulated tents, fine-dining, and fantastic attention to detail. High tech temperature sensors across the camp allow our team to keep an eye on guest warmth and comfort 24 hours a day. In Ladakh, 90% of our staff are locals and from within the Hemis National Park area. This allows us to ensure that we’re putting critical financial resources into the communities who live on the front-lines of conservation.

            Snow leopards, after the Amur leopard (also a phenomenal Voygr tour), are one of the rarest big cats to see. Besides a fantastic tour operator, you also need really good luck. We take a lot of pride in providing the best guides, services, and expertise available to increase your chances of finding the ghost of the mountains on the best possible experience.

            Who guides Voygr's snow leopard tours?

            The very best trackers on earth work with expedition leaders with years of guiding experience to create the ultimate experience. Every guide that leads one of Voygr’s snow leopard tours brings a unique set of skills, and knowledge to our journeys. Some are renowned photographers, having documented the High Asian wildlife across various habitats, others naturalists with two decades of experience working with animals and wilderness across the world.

            Our trackers are legends. Dorjay, Khenrab, and Smanla are the most well regarded field experts when it comes to snow leopards and their ecosystems in Ladakh, with over two decades working in Hemis National Park. Dorjay is widely considered to be the sharpest snow leopard spotter in the world, with over 65% of sightings during an average season attributed to him alone. In combination, Voygr’s teams have over seventy man years of experience tracking the grey ghost. Our teams frequently travel to snow leopard range countries to train national park rangers, provide guidance on running eco-tourism programs, and helping communities mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

            Why is Ladakh the best choice for a snow leopard tour?

            Ladakh, sandwiched between the Great Himalayas, the mighty Karakoram range, and the Tibetan Plateau, is an exceptional region. It is isolated by some of the world’s highest mountains yet linked by trade routes to the ancient trading towns of Western China, Central Asia, and the dusty plains of India. Ladakh has been a bastion of the Great Silk Route for over a millennium. Today, Ladakh’s ancient mix of Tibetan Buddhist and Balti Muslim cultures are a pleasure to explore and photograph with our guests. While cultural exploration and the stunning landscapes of the region keep us busy through the springs and summers, the cold Trans-Himalayan winter brings with it the rarest wildlife encounter on earth.

            A snow leopard tour in Ladakh requires expert tracking, top notch logistics, high-end winter gear, a well trained support crew, and great luck. Traveling with a company like Voygr Expeditions puts the odds in your favor.

            Tracking these elusive cats in one of the highest mountain ranges on earth is no mean feat. Dorjay, Khenrab, and Smanla, our lead trackers have over two decades of experience in Ladakh. If you can think of any famous snow leopard image or the recent award-winning film sequences of snow leopards shown in BBC’s Planet Earth II or National Geographic’s Hostile Planet, you know these trackers. Watching them pick up the trail of a snow leopard, or Tibetan wolf, that has passed by in the night is amazing. When we actually spot the ghost cat, there is a feeling of awe and wonderment. Our clients, many of whom have dreamt of this encounter, often feel their eyes well with tears. Then the cameras erupt in a frenzy of shutters.

            How do you find a snow leopard in the wild?

            Snow leopards are fantastically adapted to life in these high mountains. Their fur is incredibly dense, with over 4000 hairs per square centimeter. Their long tail, ranging from 75-90% of their head-body length, acts as a balancing organ, allowing it to descend and ascend rapidly on sleep slopes. Snow leopards can to leap over 15 meters. The tail also doubles as a dense blanket, insulating the paws and head from the biting cold at high altitudes.

            On our journeys Voygr’s phenomenal trackers use a variety of skills to find these elusive cats. While they use high-powered scopes through the day to search for movement on the slopes, many high ridges also provide valuable clues. Scrape markings are the most common type of signs left by snow leopards. These are often found on the top of ridges, near marking rocks, at the confluence of streams and gorges, and at the base of cliffs. Snow leopards also communicate with each other by spraying urine at certain well-trafficked sites, which our snow leopard trackers routinely visit and inspect to gauge recency and direction of snow leopard movement.

            Not only are these cats rare, they also cover enormous territories. Recent research indicates that there may be between 4-5 snow leopards in 100 square kilometers in what would be considered a densely populated area for snow leopards in Ladakh, such as in Hemis National Park.

            Another variable for a successful tour is understanding prey behavior and movement. In Ladakh, the snow leopard’s primary prey base are wild sheep and goats such as the blue sheep (Bharal), the Asiatic Ibex, and the Ladakhi Urial. However, snow leopards are also known to prey on smaller mammals such as marmots, hares, pikas, and even some birds. On average, snow leopards can successfully kill every 8-10 days with 70-90% of attempts at hunting resulting in failure. Thus, Voygr’s trackers also monitor and look for herds of prey animals such as blue sheep. Finding and tracking a decent sized herd of such mountain sheep over a few days usually results in discovering a snow leopard that is also following the sheep.

            Where should I go on a snow leopard tour?

            We recommend a tour with our trackers in Ladakh, Mongolia, and Kyrgyzstan for the best chances of seeing one. Ladakh has the highest rates of success. This is because our tours in Ladakh take place in terrain that is much steeper than that in other parts of the world. This means that the cats need to traverse high ridges to look at prey movement on either side, which allows trackers with high powered scopes to spot them when they move at dawn and dusk.

            Voygr operates its tours in Ladakh within Hemis National Park and is currently doing the groundwork by training rangers and building our community focused conservation program in Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. While snow leopards have been spotted across Ladakh and the remoteness of the region allows for a decent population of prey animals (relatively speaking), sound conservation strategy dictates that Hemis National Park is the best place to see snow leopards in Ladakh and it is also the most sustainable place to run these tours.

            How do you deal with the cold on a snow leopard tour?

            The best time to see snow leopards is peak winter. One of the reasons Voygr Expeditions is the best tour operator for snow leopard tours is because our expedition infrastructure is second to none! Our custom made tents allow us access to prime habitat while keeping our guests warm and toasty.

            Voygr upgrades infrastructure every single season to keep up to date with the latest improvements in remote expedition equipment and constantly innovates to come up with its own solutions. We employ several high-tech temperature sensors that allow our field team to continuously monitor data. This active data collection of temperatures for the outside, for every guest tent and for our facility tents allows them to proactively manage guest comfort. This data driven approach also allows us to fine-tune insulation, heat delivery, and over all expedition comfort. Voygr also uses several insulation techniques that we have developed in-house to keep our tents super-warm.

            So how cold does it get? It can get down to -20ºC / -4ºF at night during peak season, with day-time highs around 3ºC / 37ºF. Our guest tents are heated through the night, with guests retaining the flexibility to control their own heat. While we’ve seen guest tents heated up to an ambient temperature of 19ºC / 66ºF, most guests keep tent temperature during the night somewhere between 5ºC / 41ºF and 9ºC / 48ºF. This is because our ultra warm expedition sleeping bags are rated to -40ºC / -40ºF, which means that a comfortable body temperature is achieved at much lower ambient temperatures inside the tent. We notice guests lower the temperature right before getting into the sleeping bags and will often increase it in the morning right before getting out of the sleeping bags, or ask one of our dining staff to kick up the heating when they deliver piping hot coffee or tea to their bedside in the morning.

            Some guests also choose to use the sleeping bags as a duvet and crank up the heat at night to balance the warmth. Whatever works for you – works for us! Our award-winning expedition infrastructure will keep you comfortable on a Voygr snow leopard tour no matter the conditions.

            Click the thumbnail below to view in detail how an average tent cycles through heating over a 48 hour period and how it compares to average outside temperatures at the same time and date. Measurements are taken for the entire season and analyzed in detail to allow our team to continuously make data-driven decisions on providing the best snow leopard tour on earth.

            Temperature Analysis Voygr Expeditions Snow Leopard Camp
            Temperature Analysis Voygr Expeditions Snow Leopard Camp

            Testimonials for the Snow Leopard Tour

            Exceptional journeys get exceptional reviews.
            5/5 stars from every guest that’s ever reviewed us.

            A True Adventure

            This is the second time I've traveled with Voygr Expeditions, and I'm sure to come back for more. What makes Voygr so special is that they have created adventures that are deeply aligned with and respectful of the land, the…continue reading

            Amazing!

            This adventure absolutely exceeded my expectations. It was a unique combination of being totally in nature with many upscale comforts. The staff was exceptional, they anticipated your every need and were especially accommodating. I have such respect for everyone who…continue reading

            Exceptional Snow Leopard Expedition

            Just came back from an 8-night trekking expedition with the Voygr crew. Wow. Unbelievable camp experience with some nice amenities (e.g. cots/carpets/side tables in the tents), and great food prepared 3x daily (lunch was delivered to us wherever we were…continue reading

            Fantastic team that made a dream come true

            The recent expedition for snow leopards with Behzad, Rashid, Khenrab, Dorje, Sajan and team was outstanding. The communication from the first e-mail enquiring about the trip to the time we got back, was very good. • The expedition was very…continue reading

            My week with Snow Leopards in the Himalayas

            I had the great good fortune to hear about Voygr Expeditions from Brad Josephs, who was our head guide on the trip I took in February. We camped for eight nights at an altitude of just below 4,000 meters in…continue reading

            Read These Articles To Plan The Best Snow Leopard Tour

            Why Great Optics Are Critical

            Snow Leopard Trip Planning: Why Great Optics Are Critical

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            Snow Leopard Safari

            Snow Leopard Safari or Expedition? What’s In A Name?

            Snow leopard safari? As snow leopard experts, here's why we don’t use the 's' word when describing these trips. Quest? Yes. Expedition? Yup. Tour? Sure.

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            Snow Leopard Tracking Tour

            Which Snow Leopard Tracking Tour: India, Mongolia or Kyrgyzstan?

            Planning a snow leopard tracking tour? Learn what's best for you: India, Mongolia, or Kyrgyzstan. We compare comfort, altitude, and sighting chances.

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            Snow Leopard Photo Tour

            Snow Leopard Photo Tour: Detailed Planning Information

            Want to plan the best snow leopard photo tour? We explain why some destinations are better than others and give you info on the ideal…

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            Hemis National Park

            Hemis National Park : An Icon of Conservation

            Hemis National Park, in Ladakh, is the best place to see snow leopards in the wild. Learn more about this conservation success story.

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            RECAP- Our 2020 Snow Leopard Season

            RECAP: Our 2020 Snow Leopard Tours in India

            Dozens of snow leopards, a handful of lynxes, and a few Tibetan wolves, made for a spectacular 2020 snow leopard season.

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            Why Book With Voygr?

            Actually Local. At Every Destination.

            We don’t subcontract our tours to “local” companies.
            We are the local company.
            At Voygr, our experts live and work in the regions where we take our guests.

            Empowering Remote Communities

            Our mission when starting Voygr almost a decade ago was to put more money into remote communities. Fully controlled operations means we hire local employees from remote communities. This ensures that your dollars actually end up where you’re traveling to instead of lining pockets in NYC or London.

            Conservation is Key

            Environmental conservation and protecting endangered species are core values. Voygr commits 20% of our annual profits to the High Asia Habitat Fund. Expeditions with Voygr are not just carbon neutral – they are Carbon Negative.

            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.

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