We started out on this journey a little apprehensive, as the optimal time to see the snow leopard is the COLD winter. The type of COLD experienced in that part of the world is something that we had never sensed living in a tent. But we were eager to get a glimpse of the illusive snow leopard in its habitat.
We spent a total of 13 days in Leh and Hemis. The first two days were spent acclimatizing to the altitude after which we were transported to our “luxury tents” in the middle of the most beautiful setting amongst the mountains. The outside temperature was as cold as expected. But inside the tent it was warm and cozy. The hot water showers, the beautiful carpets and the comfortable beds was something that we had not expected in a tented facility. The food was another surprise, as they catered to all our dietary needs and more. The food was plentiful, delicious and prepared with a lot of care. We had three course meals even when we were away from camp waiting to spot a snow leopard. They sent out beds for us to sit on or lie down on while we waited.
We were successful in sighting the snow leopard 6 times. Our first sighting was a mating. It was an absolute thrill and one that we will never forget. The second was a kill. We did not witness the kill but saw the leopard by the kill. The next few were of the snow leopard stalking blue sheep.
The team that Behzad has put together is world class. We went to see the snow leopard apprehensive of the COLD. We returned, WARM from the experience not only because we saw the snow leopard but because of the kindest, friendliest and whole-hearted hospitality that we have ever experienced in all our travels. It was better than a 5 star experience and one that we would like to experience again !!!.