One of greatest wildlife trips in my life
I have been focused on wildlife my entire life, and seeing a snow leopard was at the top of my list since I can remember. I have tried several times in other regions of Himalayas and Tibetan plateau with no success, but this time it happened with Voygr! The thrill of seeing a snow leopard in the wild is a wildlife experience in a class by itself.
The scenery in Hemis National Park is as stunning as any I have ever seen. We saw lots of other wildlife including many up close blue sheep, 7 Tibetan wolves, Eurasian lynx, fox, Tibetan Partridge, chukar, griffon, lammergeier, golden eagles, and snowcock.
The system of snow leopard expeditions in Hemis is the best anywhere in terms of being the perfect model of conservation, as the park fees are pooled to fund projects for villagers that help live sustainably in snow leopard habitat. The region is not overgrazed with livestock, as it is outside the park, so there are no conflicts between herders and snow leopards, so leopards do not fear people. There is excellent food resources and habitat for blue sheep which are abundant which sustains high density of snow leopards. The crew for the camps are all locals, so they all have an equal, vested interest in healthy snow leopard populations. When you visit Hemis in the winter for snow leopards, you are directly supporting snow leopard conservation.
We stayed in luxury tents, with cots, heaters, and super warm sleeping bags. The food was amazing, and we had a huge heated tent to hang out and eat in.
We hired the top snow leopard experts from the wildlife department, which guided BBC planet earth 2 team, to find us wildlife ( this is the main reason they have had 100 percent success of snow leopard sightings in the last 4 years! This is the best operation to run snow leopard expeditions, in the best location, which is why I have picked them to run my snow leopard tours that we are organizing for 2020 as I am a career wildlife expedition leader. It is solid, professional team in the best place to see and photograph these amazing big cats. Everyone I spoke to in Ladakh had nothing but top respect for this operation, and they treated all support staff and locals with the same respect, which is my style. Hats off to owners Rashed and Behzad! These guys have set the bar high.