The Snow Leopard Tour to Mongolia is a wonderful opportunity to see and experience the vast beauty of Mongolia. This tour hops from Ulaanbaatar to the great Altai Range, where Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, and Russia. come together. We search for snow leopards using our private Yurt camp as a base and travel to the famed region of Bayan Ulgii to meet with traditional Kazakh Eagle Hunters.
Departures can be made private.
2021 | 2022 | 2023
Starts/ends in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Led by Behzad J. Larry FRGS, FRAS
From $5,680 per person.
Introduction to the Snow Leopard Tour to Mongolia
Overview : The Snow Leopard Tour to Mongolia
This journey is truly one of a kind. It combines the world’s top snow leopard tracking team with leading snow leopard scientists.
On this incredible journey, we explore Western Mongolia and combine the very best of natural beauty with cultural engagement and photography. Mongolia’s rich culture and great history have had a huge impact on the world. The area that modern-day Mongolia covers has seen a variety of nomadic empires, the most famous of which, the Mongol Empire, was founded by Genghis Khan.
The geography of this vast country is varied. The Gobi Desert covers a chunk of the southern part, while cold mountains strech across the west and north of the country. Much of the country is steppe. Even the Gobi is a type of desert steppe.
Voygr’s snow leopard tour to Mongolia starts with arrival in the capital Ulaanbaatar, abbreviated as UB. We explore UB, and then catch a flight to the western province of Khovd. From Khovd, we drive southeast to our yurt camp with a nomadic family. Thirty percent of this great country is still nomadic or semi-nomadic. Horses remain an integral part of the culture. We stay in this region, prime snow leopard habitat, for a week. Our trackers work their magic as we look for snow leopards, wolves, fox, corsac fox, Saiga antelope and more.
Then we head west. The very furthest west you can go in Mongolia, to the province of Bayan Ölgii. Here we spend two days with Kazakh nomads, famous for their falconry using golden eagles.
Through the entire tour, there are several opportunities to engage with our nomadic hosts, and get a genuine understanding of life here. Photographers will be able to make thoughtful portraits, shoot amazing landscapes, and witness incredible wildlife.
This expedition is led by a photographer, so there will also be lots of opportunity for hands-on-learning. What an amazing journey! We fly back to UB to end the tour.
What’s Unique About The Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia?
The snow leopard tour to Mongolia is unique because it combines Mongolian, Himalayan, and Western snow leopard experts with the incredible landscapes and cultures of Mongolia.
We buttress our Mongolian trackers abilities by flying one of our very best spotters from Ladakh, India. With two decades of experience tracking these cats – Dorjay is one of the world’s foremost snow leopard trackers. He is assisted by local rangers that know each habitat like the back of their hand.
This expedition is led by Behzad Larry, FRGS, FRAS. Behzad has seen over 100 snow leopards in the wild.
All our spotters and guests have access to the very best optics by Swarovski. Read more about why great optics are critical and why we ensure the best guest to scope ratio. This snow leopard tour to Mongolia is lower in altitude than our trips to the Indian Trans-Himalayas and to Kyrgyzstan.
Itinerary : Snow Leopard Tour to Mongolia
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Day 1. Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
1.Welcome to Mongolia! We’ll meet you at Ulaanbaatar airport and transfer you to your hotel.
A relaxed evening with a welcome dinner and a Mongolian folk concert.
Day 2. Explore UB
2.Explore Ulaanbaatar (the locals abbreviate it as UB!). We’ll do a tour of this city of 1.5 million today. Starting with the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, an important Tibetan Buddhist monastery established in 1727.
Get a feel for the rich history of Mongolia through the ages. Then visit the Mongolia Museum of Natural History. After lunch, we’ll explore the “black market” a sprawling bazaar where locals do their shopping for a taste of live in this bustling capital. Dinner at a restaurant outside, then back to the hotel for the night.
All meals included.
Day 3. To The Altai!
3.We’ll fly to the Western province of Khovd, about 1,500km from UB. After landing at Khovd airport, we’ll transfer by awaiting LandCruisers to our private camp in the mountains.
Khovd province is rural and remote. The majority of the population are nomadic herders who rear livestock. Our private camp will be next to one such nomadic family in prime snow leopard habitat.
Guests will settle in to their gers (Mongolian yurts). We’ll spend some time getting to know our neighbors, learn their way of life, learn about how climate change affects their lives, and about the snow leopards that inhabit this area.
Day 4-9. Tracking Snow Leopards
Our snow leopard trackers will scan the surrounding mountains and valleys for signs of snow leopards. Trackers will split up across a few different sectors with high powered Swarovski spotting scopes and radios.
Our Mongolian field team knows these mountains like the back of their hands, while our Ladakhi spotters have tracked these elusive cats for over 20 years. A winning combination.
Our highest chances of spotting snow leopards are at dawn and dusk. If one of our spotters finds a snow leopard, they will report it on the radio, and we’ll converge to their location, if we aren’t already nearby. The days are spent looking for a wide variety of wildlife.
Depending on sighting success, we will also visit nearby locations such as Khar Us Nuur (Black Lake) where we will search for a variety of endemic bird species and the rare and endangered Saiga antelope.
While the snow leopard trackers do their job, guests can do a variety of things that include going with the trackers, engaging with our nomadic neighbors in activities like cooking, setting up a yurt. There will be lots of opportunities for photography or hikes, should those interest you.
Day 10-11. The Eagle Hunters of Bayan Ölgii
10-11.After 6 days tracking snow leopards, corsac foxes, and many other animals, we’ll depart this part of the Mongolian Altai and head to the province of Bayan Ulgii, the westernmost province in Mongolia. After breakfast, we’ll set out on a 4 hour drive through some incredible terrain crossing parts of the Altai range and magnificent rivers. In Ölgii, our time will be spent meeting with Kazakh nomads.
This province of Mongolia is primarily dominated by the Kazakh ethnic group. The Kazakh pastoralists of this region are famous for raising Golden Eagles to hunt. Our time here will be spend learning about the life of Kazakh eagle hunter, with several opportunities to make incredible portraits and witness the eagles prowess. The Kazakhs have large families and there will be plenty of interaction.
Overnight in a traditional ger (yurt.)
Day 12. Back to UB.
After bidding farewell to our Kazakh hosts, we’ll fly back to the Mongolian capital. A farewell dinner will bring this incredible tour to a close. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13. Fly Out!
Depart. There are extensions available for those that would like to see the Prezwalski’s Horse in Khustai National Park.
The Area: Western Mongolia & The Altai
The Altai are a mountain range in Central Asia where Mongolia, China, Russia, and Kazakhstan come together. Altai translates as golden mountain in a variety of Turkic languages. The range itself is vast and is incredible to explore. We will be in the Ek-Tagh or the Mongolian Altai. It separates the Khovd drainage basin on from the Irtysh drainage basin on the south. The Irtysh is a major Russian river that originates in the Altai. This makes the Ek-Tagh a true border range.
This magnificent region is home to diverse fauna. The major ones we will seek are the snow leopard, Siberian ibex, the rare argali (Marco Polo sheep), the Saiga antelope, lynx, wolves, and brown bear. There are dozens of smaller mammals and an incredible variety of birds. This trip has an extension to visit Huustai National Park to see the Przewalski’s horse and wapiti. Previous sightings have included Snow Leopard, Saiga Antelope, White-tailed Mongolian Gazelle, Argali, Siberian Ibex, Siberian Marmot, Corsac Fox, Tolai Hare, Long-tailed Souslik, Siberian Jerboa, Pallas’s Pika, Lammergeier vulture, Pallas’s Sandgrouse, Pallas’s Gull, White-headed Duck, Dalmatian Pelican-endangered bird,Steppe and Golden Eagle, Saker falcon, Upland Buzzard, Cinereous and Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Altai Snowcock, White-winged Snowfinch, Long-tailed Rosefinch, White-crowned Penduline-tit, White-cheeked, Starling, Daurian Partridge, Demoiselle Crane, Amur Falcon and more.
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.
Who Doesn't Love Some Good Maps?
Context. A zoomed out view of Mongolia. As you can see, we’ll arrive in the East, but mostly travel in the West.
Absolutely fantastic snow leopard habitat to the west!
Accommodations: Snow Leopard Tour to Mongolia
Voygr's Western Mongolian Base Camp
On the snow leopard section, our base camp is made up of Mongolian felt gers or yurts in a valley located within the mountain range where we’ll be searching for snow leopards. Located in prime habitat, our base will allow for scenic hikes and panoramic views while our snow leopard trackers work their magic.
The gers are furnished with raised cots, air-mattresses, and a wood-burning stove. We’ll provide some warm sleeping bags. The camp has a heated dining ger where we will gather for meals and a after sighting cocktail.
Our camp neighbors will be Mongolian nomads, giving us several opportunities to learn about their unique way of life as well as conservation challenges in this region.
Our stay in Bayan Ölgii will be very similar. Our camp here will consist of Kazakh gers set up near a nomadic Kazakh family that trains Golden Eagles for hunting purposes. You will notice that Kazakh gers are a little taller and a little more spacious than Mongolian gers. These gers will be decorated with Kazakh tapestries and have a wooden frame bed with a mattress, a wood burning stove should you like a fire and a gas heater to keep you warm throughout the night.
There will be a basic outhouse at both places. If you’re looking for nicer accommodations and luxuries, see our 12 day Signature Snow Leopard Expedition to Ladakh or our 10 day Classic Snow Leopard Tour to Ladakh. If you’re up for a rugged adventure, you can also consider our Snow Leopard Expedition to Kyrgyzstan – 40% of it’s revenues go directly to our non-profit partners.
The Best Western Tuushin, UB
Located in the city center, the Tuushin Best Western Hotel is a 2 minute walk from Sukhbaatar square. The hotel’s prime location ensures that we have access to museums, restaurants, and a local monastery. Some of these are just a short walk.
While most of our meals will be had outside of the hotel, the out hotel houses two restaurants and a bar on the 25th floor that overlooks the city. If you would like some relaxation without leaving the building, feel free to visit the hotel’s fitness center equipped with a sauna or the aroma spa at your leisure
Dates and Prices for the Snow Leopard Tour to Mongolia
- USD $5,680 per person – twin-sharing rate
- USD $6,950 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.
October 18 – 30, 2021.
October 18. Arrive in Ulanbaatar, Mongolia.
October 30. Fly out of Ulanbaatar, Mongolia.
October 18 – 30, 2022.
October 18. Arrive in Ulanbaatar, Mongolia.
October 30. Fly out of Ulanbaatar, Mongolia.
October 18 – 30, 2023.
October 18. Arrive in Ulanbaatar, Mongolia.
October 30. Fly out of Ulanbaatar, Mongolia.
- Book by email or by phone.
- A 15% deposit is required for confirming bookings.
- 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
On the Snow Leopard Tour to Mongolia
- All guiding, tracking, and expedition services
- Shared accommodation throughout trip with all meals (single extra)
- Hotel in Ulaanbaataar. Yurts in Western Mongolia.
- Full bar at remote yurt camps
- All camping equipment, full down sleeping bags
- 2 high-powered Swarovski BTX 95 or 115 spotting scopes per group.
- All road journeys and airport transfers
- Pre-trip advice and briefing
- International flights
- Visa for Mongolia
- Travel insurance (required)
- Personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks, souvenirs, gifts, calls, laundry, room-service. Alcohol is included in remote camps- but nowhere else
Images for the Snow Leopard Tour to Mongolia
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.
Or give us a call:
US: +1 646 905 0550
UK: +44 1316 080 049
Can’t figure out which tour is the one for you? Download our 43 page e-Book. The goal of this detailed PDF is to lay out the various options possible. It is designed to help YOU choose the ideal type of snow leopard tour and ideal destination for YOU. We list all the merits of each destination, alongside the challenges. We also discuss photography, so you have the correct expectations, cover the ethics of snow leopard tourism, and finally, list our snow leopard itineraries, so you have it all in one place.
This is the most extensive information on snow leopard expeditions anywhere on the planet. If you have questions – just get in touch. We’d love to exchange emails, speak on the phone, or do a video call.
Our Other Snow Leopard Tours & Expeditions
Besides this tour to Mongolia, we have two departures for snow leopards in Ladakh, India. Our Classic Snow Leopard Tour to Ladakh (10 Days) and Signature Snow Leopard Expedition to Ladakh (12 Days) are the most comfortable and luxurious snow leopard journeys in the world. We also have a Snow Leopard Expedition to Kyrgyzstan. 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 to Mongolia Team
Besides Voygr’s Expedition team, this trip will have a set of Mongolian trackers, drivers, and field experts.
Behzad J. Larry, FRGS, FRAS
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…
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…
Testimonials for our Snow Leopard Expeditions
Exceptional journeys get exceptional reviews.
5/5 stars from every guest that’s ever reviewed us.
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 →
What an exciting trip it was to go see the Snow Leopards in Leh. I was not sure what to expect but what I experienced far exceeded it. We were able to see 7 snow leopard sightings. On top of…continue reading →
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 →
My wife and I had a dream trip up to Leh/Hemis National Park with Voygr Expeditions and Behzad and were lucky enough to see several snow leopards! We even saw a mum and 2 cubs playing around in snow from…continue reading →
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 →
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Why Book With Voygr?
Read more about Voygr Expeditions to learn about our ethics, how giving back to the communities we travel to is part of our DNA, and what steps we take to actively preserve our planet.