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Snow Leopard Expedition

• Top Snow Leopard Expedition Trackers •
• Snow Leopard Tour Rated Top 100 Ultimate Experience in 2020 by Harper’s Bazaar •

The Snow Leopard Expedition is a rare opportunity to spot elusive Snow Leopards in the wild. Use the same guides and trackers as BBC’s Planet Earth II and NatGeo’s Hostile Planet. The majority of the snow leopard tour is based deep in Hemis National Park in Ladakh, with one of the world’s highest concentrations of snow leopards.

This tour is rated 2020’s top 100 Ultimate Travel Experiences by Harper’s Bazaar.

11 Day : Starts and ends in Leh. No internal flights. Delhi not included.
14 Day:  New Delhi > Leh > New Delhi. All internal flights & hotels in Delhi included.

11 Day Expedition
Leh, India
Varied Leaders
Feb 2 – Feb 12, 2021 (Full)
Feb 17 – Feb 27, 2021 (Open)
Mar 4 – Mar 14, 2021 (3 spots)
Mar 19 – Mar 29, 2021 (Open)

Group Size: 7
US $6,986 per person

14 Day Expedition
New Delhi > Leh > New Delhi, India
Leader : Brad Josephs
Jan 31 – Feb 14, 2021 (Open)

Feb 11 – Feb 25, 2021 (Open)
Feb 22 – March 7, 2021 (Open)
March 4 – March 18, 2021 (Open)

Group Size: 8
US $8,980 per person

World Class Field Team

A 100% success rate for snow leopard tours with world-leading conservationists, scientists, film-makers, and naturalists on staff.

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

Heated tents, ultra-warm sleeping bags and duvets, 5 course meals, and spectacular attention to detail make us one of the world’s ultimate experiences.

Our snow leopard 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 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.

Introduction to the Snow Leopard Expedition

Snow Leopard Expedition

The high reaches of the Ladakh Range are prime territory for the magnificent Snow Leopard, one of the rarest of all big cats. As winter sets in and the snow-line descends, these shy and elusive creatures move down from the towering ridge lines to the lower altitudes of the valleys in search of their prey, the mountain sheep and antelope of this region.

In turn, we will search for the ghost of the mountains in Ladakh’s beautiful Hemis National Park with our expert spotters on this once-in-a-lifetime snow leopard tour. Ladakh’s location on the ancient Silk Route in the very North of India, it’s towering snow-capped mountains, and it’s rich Tibetan Buddhist cultures are the perfect backdrop to our search for the snow leopard.

The very best snow leopard trackers and spotters in the world, with two decades of experience, will guide us on this incredible journey. This 14 day adventure starts off with a day in Delhi before we head up to the high mountains of Ladakh. A few easy days of sightseeing initially allows us to gently acclimatize to the 10,000+ foot altitude of Leh. After that we drive to our private camp within the national park. Our exceptional camps are in prime snow leopard habitat. Years of R&D, custom-made heated tents, hand-woven Afghan rugs, and exquisitely prepared meals guarantee an excellent experience. We are proud to equip all our spotters and provide guests access to the very best optics by Swarovski.

If you’d like, read a recap of our 2020 snow leopard tours here.

High Asia Habitat Fund

Hemis National Park & The Wildlife Within

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 birdwatching 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.

11 DAY SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION

SNOW LEOPARD TOUR
DAY 1 : Leh

1.Arrive in Leh. 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.

SNOW LEOPARD TOUR
DAY 2 : Leh

2.Walking tour of Leh. Stretch your legs and continue to acclimatize on today’s guided tour of the old town of Leh, the Leh Palace, and Namgyal Tsemo, the beautiful 16th century monument to victory that crowns the central peak in Leh. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Grand Dragon Hotel.

SNOW LEOPARD TOUR
DAY 3 : Leh to Camp

3.Trek begins. We’ll set out for Hemis National Park today with an hour and a half drive to our camp. Spend the daylight hours searching for the elusive ghost of the mountains with our field teams and the evenings around the dining room fire. Breakfast, lunch, dinner at Camp, or packed.

SNOW LEOPARD TOUR
DAY 4-9 : Hemis National Park

4-9.Exploring Hemis National Park. We’ll explore Hemis National Park with our expert spotters on the look out for wildlife such as the Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal (Blue Sheep), Shapu (Ladakhi Urial), and the elusive Snow Leopard. We will move depending on our spotting success and intel reports of snow leopard spotting around the valleys. Each day will consist of some driving and some hiking. There will be opportunities to visit some local homes and villages as well. Breakfast, lunch, dinner at Camp, or packed.

SNOW LEOPARD TOUR
DAY 10 : Leh

10.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.

SNOW LEOPARD TOUR
DAY 11 : New Delhi

11.Fly to Delhi. Say goodbye to the mountains and fly to Delhi in the morning.

14 DAY SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION

SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION
DAY 1

1.Arrive in New Delhi, India. We’ll pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the Roseate House Hotel. Breakfast.

SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION
DAY 2 : Delhi to Leh

2.An early wake-up call today as we catch the morning flight to the Trans-Himalayan town of Leh. 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.

SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION
DAY 3 : Leh

3.Walking tour of Leh. Stretch your legs and continue to acclimatize on today’s guided tour of the old town of Leh, the Leh Palace, and Namgyal Tsemo, the beautiful 16th century monument to victory that crowns the central peak in Leh. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Grand Dragon Hotel.

SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION
DAY 4 : Leh to Camp

4.Trek begins. We’ll set out for Hemis National Park today with an hour and a half drive to our camp. Spend the daylight hours searching for the elusive ghost of the mountains with our field teams and the evenings around the dining room fire. Breakfast, lunch, dinner at Camp, or packed.

SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION
DAY 5-11 : Hemis National Park

5-11.Exploring Hemis National Park. We’ll explore Hemis National Park with our expert spotters on the look out for wildlife such as the Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal (Blue Sheep), Shapu (Ladakhi Urial), and the elusive Snow Leopard. We will move depending on our spotting success and intel reports of snow leopard spotting around the valleys. Each day will consist of some driving and some hiking. There will be opportunities to visit some local homes and villages as well. Breakfast, lunch, dinner at Camp, or packed.

SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION
DAY 12 : Leh

12.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.

SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION
DAY 13 : New Delhi

13.Fly to Delhi. Say goodbye to the mountains and fly to Delhi in the morning. Arrive in Delhi and check in to the Roseate House for a relaxing end to your amazing adventure in the Trans Himalaya. Breakfast

SNOW LEOPARD EXPEDITION
DAY 14 : Fly Out

14.Fly out of India. Book a late afternoon or evening flight to make sure you’ve left enough gap time just in case our previous day’s flight is rescheduled due to bad mountain weather. Breakfast.

 

11 Day Itinerary
Expedition Crew

Leader & GuideBehzad J. Larry
Crew ChiefAbdul Rashid
Expert Snow Leopard SpotterSmanla Tsering
Expert Snow Leopard SpotterDorjay Stanzin
Additional Snow Leopard SpottersNawang Tsering, Jigmat Chosgyal
Camp Manager & Executive ChefSajan Rai
Kitchen TeamGagan Rai & Lila Rai
Camp Team

14 Day Itinerary
Expedition Crew

Leader & GuideBrad Josephs
Crew ChiefAbdul Rashid
Expert Snow Leopard SpotterKhenrab Phuntsog
Expert Snow Leopard SpotterDorjay Stanzin
Additional Snow Leopard SpottersNawang Tsering, Jigmat Chosgyal
Camp Manager & Executive ChefSajan Rai
Kitchen TeamGagan Rai & Lila Rai
Camp Team

FIELD REPORT

2017

 

 

100% of snow leopard tours operated by Voygr Expeditions had success.
23 snow leopard sightings between January and April.
7 Tibetan wolf sightings,
2 Eurasian lynx sightings.

FIELD REPORT

2018

 

 

100% of snow leopard tours operated by Voygr Expeditions had success.
29
snow leopard sightings between January and April.
12
Tibetan wolf sightings,
4
Eurasian lynx sightings.

FIELD REPORT

2019

 

 

100% of snow leopard tours operated by Voygr Expeditions had success.
37
snow leopard sightings between January and April.
18
Tibetan wolf sightings,
6
Eurasian lynx sightings.

2020 FIELD REPORT

2020

 

 

100% of snow leopard tours operated by Voygr Expeditions had success.
30
snow leopard sightings in 34 tracking days between January and March.
8
Tibetan wolf sightings,
9
Eurasian lynx sightings.
Season cut short due to COVID-19.

All expeditions see hundreds of blue sheep, 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.

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 2021, we’re upgrading all tent infrastructure to be en-suite with a private bath and toilet with each tent. 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.

Worried about the cold? Don’t be!
Scroll down and read the FAQ section on how we deal with the cold.

Voygr Camp
Voygr Camp
Voygr Camp
Voygr Camp
Voygr Camp Voygr Camp Voygr Camp

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.

The Roseate House, New Delhi

Roseate House New Delhi is a beautiful hotel in New Delhi, and our choice for short transitional stays near the airport.

Each room is equipped with state of the art amenities, a four fixture bathroom, a flexible workstation, and luxe amenities. Sample mouth-watering fare at DEL, the all-day world cuisine bistro, fine Indian cuisine at Kheer and an impressive beverage menu at Chidya Ghar Bar. You can also visit Tara the Japanese roof top lounge and get patisserie delights at Roasted.

The Aheli spa has 4 therapy rooms, salon, steam room and sauna, a gym and an infinity pool.

2021 and 2022 Dates and Prices for 11 and 14 Day Snow Leopard Expeditions

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required for all bookings.
Full payment for tours are due 120 days before date of travel.

Single supplement fees waived for COVID in 2021.

We have flexible terms & conditions specially in place because of the COVID pandemic.

See full booking terms & conditions.

2021 Dates

$6,986
/ person

Expedition 1
Feb 2 – Feb 12, 2021 (FULL)

Expedition 2
Feb 17 – Feb 27, 2021 (Open)

Expedition 3
Mar 4 – Mar 14, 2021 (3 spots left)

Expedition 4
Mar 19 – Mar 29, 2021 (Open)

Start City : Leh, Ladakh, India. Airport code : IXL
End City : Leh, Ladakh, India. Airport code : IXL

Nearest international airport : New Delhi, India. Airport Code: DEL.
Travelers booking this itinerary must book flights from their home city to New Delhi and then on-wards to Leh, where the tour commences.

An internal flight between New Delhi and Leh is not included in this itinerary.
A hotel in New Delhi is not included in this itinerary.

Single supplement ($846) waived in 2021.
$595 for a personal porter (if you’d like heavy camera gear carried)

2021 Dates

$8,980
/ person

Expedition 1
Jan 31 – Feb 14, 2021 (Open)

Expedition 2
Feb 11 – Feb 25, 2021 (Open)

Expedition 3
Feb 22 – March 7, 2021 (Open)

Expedition 4
March 4 – March 18, 2021 (Open)

Start City : New Delhi, India. Airport code : DEL
End City : New Delhi, India. Airport code : DEL

New Delhi is an international airport.
Travelers booking this itinerary must book flights from their home city to New Delhi. On-ward domestic flight from New Delhi to Leh (roundtrip) are included in tour price. The price also includes a hotel in New Delhi at both ends of the tour.

An internal flight between New Delhi and Leh is included in this itinerary.
A hotel in New Delhi is included in this itinerary.

Single supplement ($1,475) waived in 2021.
$595 for a personal porter (if you’d like heavy camera gear carried)

2022 Dates

$6,986
/ person

Expedition 1
Feb 2 – Feb 12, 2022 (Open)

Expedition 2
Feb 17 – Feb 27, 2022 (Open)

Expedition 3
Mar 4 – Mar 14, 2022 (Open)

Expedition 4
Mar 19 – Mar 29, 2022 (Open)

Start City : Leh, Ladakh, India. Airport code : IXL
End City : Leh, Ladakh, India. Airport code : IXL

Nearest international airport : New Delhi, India. Airport Code: DEL.
Travelers booking this itinerary must book flights from their home city to New Delhi and then on-wards to Leh, where the tour commences.

An internal flight between New Delhi and Leh is not included in this itinerary.
A hotel in New Delhi is not included in this itinerary.

Single supplement $846
$595 for a personal porter (if you’d like heavy camera gear carried)

2022 Dates

$8,980
/ person

Expedition 1
Jan 31 – Feb 14, 2022 (Open)

Expedition 2
Feb 11 – Feb 25, 2022 (Open)

Expedition 3
Feb 22 – March 7, 2022 (Open)

Expedition 4
March 4 – March 18, 2022 (Open)

Start City : New Delhi, India. Airport code : DEL
End City : New Delhi, India. Airport code : DEL

New Delhi is an international airport.
Travelers booking this itinerary must book flights from their home city to New Delhi. On-ward domestic flight from New Delhi to Leh (roundtrip) are included in tour price. The price also includes a hotel in New Delhi at both ends of the tour.

An internal flight between New Delhi and Leh is included in this itinerary.
A hotel in New Delhi is included in this itinerary.

Single supplement $1,475
$595 for a personal porter (if you’d like heavy camera gear carried)

What's Included & Excluded
Snow Leopard Expedition

What’s Included

  • All guiding, tracking, and expedition services.
  • Accommodation at the Roseate House in Delhi, with breakfast, on twin-sharing. (Single extra.)
  • 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 camping.
  • All road journeys and airport transfers
  • Domestic flights between New Delhi and Leh (roundtrip)
  • Pre-trip advice and briefing
  • Group medical kit and oxygen cylinders for emergencies.
  • Access to a Gamow Bag for high-altitude emergencies.
  • Austrian and Swiss full down sleeping bags (Rated to -40ºC)

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.

The difference between the 14 day and 11 day expedition is that the 14 day tour includes a hotel night in Delhi at the start and end of the tour as well as round-trip flights between New Delhi and Leh.

The 11 day tour does not include this – all guests must arrange for their own flights within India as well as their accommodations in New Delhi (if they need them).

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT FEES HAVE BEEN WAIVED FOR SELECT 2021 EXPEDITIONS.

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.

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 Expedition Leader, Brad Josephs is a former EMT and a certified Wilderness First Responder. He has led wild-life focused expeditions for twenty years.

Your Expedition Crew Chief, 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 Conservationist, Khenrab Phuntsog, 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.

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.

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.

Our luxury tents are en-suite, with private bathrooms.

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 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

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.

Book Your Snow Leopard Expedition

Please submit the information requested below and we’ll get back to you quickly.

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to book this tour.






11 Day Expedition14 Day Expedition

20212022




Frequently Asked Questions - Learn More About Why We're The Best

Click topics to expand

+ Why Are We Experts At Snow Leopard Tours?

Why are we experts at snow leopard tours in Ladakh?

Voygr Expeditions is the world’s leading supplier of high-end snow leopard tours. Our tours employ the world’s leading snow leopard trackers and expedition crews and our camps are exceptional for their expedition luxury. Deploying camps instead of building a permanent property allows us to place ourselves in prime snow leopard habitat instead of being in a village. 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.

All our guests have access to our 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.

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 snow leopard tour.

+ Why is Ladakh the Best Choice for a Snow Leopard Tour

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 on a snow leopard tour puts the odds in your favor. Tracking snow leopards in one of the highest mountain ranges on earth is no mean feat. Khenrab and Smanla, our lead trackers have over two decades of experience with snow leopards 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 on a Snow Leopard Tour?

How do you find a snow leopard in the wild on a snow leopard tour?

Snow leopards are fantastically adapted to life in these high mountains. Their fur is incredibly dense, with over 4000 hairs per square centimeter. The snow leopard’s long tail, ranging from 75-90% of it’s 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 snow leopard tours 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 snow leopards 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 snow leopard 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?

Where should I go on a snow leopard tour?

We recommend a snow leopard tour in Ladakh and Kyrgyzstan for the best chances of seeing one. Snow leopard tours in Ladakh have the highest rates of success. This is because snow leopard tours in Ladakh take place in terrain that is much steeper than that in other parts of the world. This means that snow leopards in Ladakh 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. Elsewhere, snow leopards are on much flatter terrain, making line-of-sight tracking and spotting much more difficult.

Voygr operates its snow leopard 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. 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 snow leopard tours.

+ How Do You Deal With the Cold on a Snow Leopard Tour?

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

Snow Leopard Expedition Team

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 &…

read full profile.
Behzad Larry

Behzad J. Larry, FRGS, FRAS

CEO • Photographer • Snow Leopard Specialist • Historian

Behzad Larry is a professional photographer, historian, and adventurer. An avid explorer, Behzad specializes in documenting the remote reaches of the world. Through his travel photography he covers wildlife, portraiture, and landscapes in the high Himalayas, Central Asia, and the…

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Brad Josephs

Brad Josephs

Senior Naturalist • Wildlife Photographer

Brad has been a professional naturalist guide, wildlife photographer and wildlife expedition leader since he graduated from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks with a B.S. in wildlife biology in 1999. He guides Voygr’s snow leopard and Himalayan brown bear expeditions.…

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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…

read full profile.
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…

read full profile.

Testimonials for the Snow Leopard Expedition

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

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 expeditions aren’t planned by “specialists” that have visited a destination once on a familiarization trip, 4 years ago. Our experts live and work in the regions where we take our guests.

Empowering Remote Communities

Our singular mission when starting Voygr almost a decade ago was to put more money into remote communities. Controlling our own operations means that we can own our own infrastructure, hire our own local employees with exclusive contracts and ensure 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. In addition, we support several environmental causes. 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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