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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 in the valley that day). Voygr uses the best guides (for real, these guys are total pros with decades of experience), and will be happy to take care of any need you may have.

One example stands out to me – after leaving camp, we ask if we can trek further into the valley that day and use a local homestay for lodging that night. Logistics would be uncertain as none of us had left camp thinking we wouldn’t be back that evening. 10 minutes later, we see a guy with a horse heading back toward our camp. Rashid arranges for him to pick up some supplies from our camp and bring them to our destination, as well as sends a message to camp to bring our lunch about 2.5 hour hike away to where we’ll be. I was so impressed with their ability to make adjustments on the fly, take care of their clients, and deliver an exceptional experience.

We also had a great snow leopard spotting one day and decided that we should visit other parts of Ladakh the following day. No problems – Behzad and Rashid made arrangements and took us all over Nubra Valley and all the way to Pangong Lake. These guys are totally dedicated. They have the connections all over Ladakh to make anything happen. I’ll definitely be coming back for another tour!

Overwhelmingly sensational!

We wanted to see snow leopards and we wanted an adventure. Our expectations were exceeded! This trip delivered in spades. It was a game changer for us. How we travel going forward will be forever influenced by this trip. And it wouldn’t have been so incredible without Voygr.

We couldn’t have had the deep and broad connective experience we had without Voygr’s:
– close, influential network in the region, which provided amazing ‘access’
– the care and expertise of the individuals Rashid, Khenrab, Dorjay, Sajan and broader team supporting us (emphasis on the word ‘care’ – expertise was overflowing but it was the care factor that warmed up the very cold days and nights)
– the effort from everyone to ensure our experiences with wildlife, with the communities, in/around camp, out hiking etc. were maximised at every opportunity
– the support of the team to help us manage well in the harsh altitude and super cold winter conditions (nourishment, warmth, protection, equipment).

What did we like best? For us, the most memorable experiences traveling are those when we feel as though we are immersed in the environment and culture of a place, and when we feel as though we are learning and contributing in some small way to something important (in the context of the protection and prosperity of wildlife and the natural world). This is what we loved most on this trip. Voygr gave us access and opportunity to have this type of experience. It felt very personal and very ‘big’ if that makes sense. Hard to find words really, and we’re still trying to process how amazing it was. We observed the incredible wildlife (including rare snow leopards), learned the challenges and opportunities of the region, met local villagers and learned their way of life, experienced the harsh environment, felt part of the beautiful mountains and valleys. Overwhelmingly sensational!

What did we like least? Nothing really! But be warned if you go in January everything is going to freeze. Everything! Moisturizer, toothpaste…. haha! So be prepared for that!

A few extra thoughts:

We didn’t have any problem with our camera equipment in the cold, we were able to charge our batteries each night (and kept spare batteries warm in our pockets). We did take our own little power pack for the iPhone which was super helpful out in the field (we took a lot of landscape shots and videos with the phone so having it outside the batteries could run out super quick!).

Don’t be tempted to stay in your warm sleeping bag too long in the mornings! It’s prime spotting time! The team will let you know if they spot any wildlife but if you’re still tucked up, by the time you get your clothes on and get up there (huffing and puffing, everything is harder at altitude!) you can miss that wolf on the ridge line or that snow leopard as it disappears over the ridge.

Before leaving home for the trip and while we were in Leh acclimatising before starting the expedition we got good, detailed advice on so many things from both Behzad and Rashid, which we followed to the letter. And we’re so glad we did, we’re so thankful. They really know what they are doing and they cared about setting us up for success. Follow their advice.

By the way, our expedition was for 8 nights in Hemis National Park. And even though we didn’t see a snow leopard until the evening of the 6th day, at no time did we think that we wouldn’t see one because we had full confidence in the expertise of the team. And aside from that we had such a fulfilling wildlife experience in the lead up to the 6th day observing lynx, wolves, blue sheep and other wildlife. It was truly wonderful before we even got to observe and photograph the beautiful snow leopard in the wild.

Get this on your bucket list! It was the experience of a lifetime for us!!!

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 well organized. Behzad ensured each of us acclimatized to the high altitude in the first two days. None of us felt altitude sickness. Behzad and the team also kept a close watch on our physical ability and mental awareness throughout the trip. Their attention was key in a very enjoyable experience.

The camp site was perfect. Behzad had pitched the tents well in advance of our arrival, to take the best position. The tents themselves were luxurious, with a bed ensuring we were not sore or cold by sleeping on the ground. The food was delicious, with pizzas, pastas, noodles, dumplings and Indian food for lunch and dinner. Breakfast was elaborate, with porridge, eggs, bread and cereal. Many varieties of tea and coffee were always available through the day.

The sightings were exceptional. Khenrab Phuntsog, the renowned tracker from BBC Planet Earth 2, is not only a great tracker, but also one of the lead conservationists in Hemis National Park. He gave many, many insights into the ecology, animal behaviour, culture and conservation aspects of what we experienced. He delivered in spades each day: we had 7 snow leopard sightings including one from a few hundred feet and two from the camp (a first, I am told), 5 tibetan wolf sightings, including one from the camp (a first again). We also saw a red fox, many blue sheep and birds. The calls on four different mornings of ‘snow leopard’ even before the first cup of tea, and the first time I saw a snow leopard, will always remain with me.

This trip was supposed to see the snow leopard, to take it off it off my bucket list. Instead, it has turned into the first of hopefully many more trips to see the snow leopards again.

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.

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 people, and the wildlife who live where we travel.

The Snow Leopard tour is a true adventure. You’re a few hours hike in the Himalayas, and you camp surrounded by nothing but ridges and peaks for miles and miles. You have all of the freedom you would want to explore, but they also provide the comforts you would expect from a high end luxury tour. Compared to other companies in the area, we no doubt had the best set up – the best guides, meals, tent (more like giant yurts) set ups (we had in tent heaters turned on at sunrise, and about an hour before we went to bed), and Expert trackers.

Behzad and his team were great with the communications and planning ahead of time, pick up was a breeze, and everything was taken care of from beginning to end. All I had to worry about was being present and enjoying every moment of the trip.

The service was unlike anything I’ve seen. No matter where you were, tea and cookies would find you. Each meal was multi coursed and delicious. It was a great mix of local style food, Indian food, and good old comfort food (pancakes were a treat).

I went into this trip with zero expectations around seeing a snow leopard or any other wildlife. I was excited to just be in the mountains, and meet great people, but I ended up seeing so much more than I could have imagined – tibetan wolves, eurasian lynx, beautiful golden eagles, lammergeiers, and of course the snow leopard. Viewing the snow leopard for hours was truly special, and Behzad’s team and the others on the trip were the perfect people to enjoy it with.

Lastly, the thing I appreciated most about this trip was how much of a positive impact this expedition has on the local community, the national park, and wildlife conservation in general. The entire crew is local, the trackers are local, and so much money is flowing back into the communities and directly towards leopard and wildlife conservation. Behzad and his team care so much about this, and do whatever they can to add value to the communities and lands where they travel.

Thanks Behzad, Rashid, Caitlin and team. See you sometime soon. :)

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 Hemis National Park in Ladakh. Nights were a bit frosty, but Voygr’s campsite was superbly equipped and our stay was very comfortable with a few unexpected luxuries! Along with Brad our group was led by Behzad Larry, the CEO of Voygr, and a large group of local support staff including the best snow leopard spotters in India. We were privileged to spot many leopards along with a number of other species of mammals and birds. I learned so much from Behzad and all of the guides, and left with a deep and lasting impression of the warmth and kindness of the people of Ladakh and of their passion for snow leopards and the mountain ecosystem that is their only home. For anyone interested in snow leopards or seeking an exceptional adventure, I would highly recommend that you contact Voygr.

Truly Exceptional!

I was lucky enough to book a snow leopard expedition with Voygr and simply can’t say enough good things. Behzad’s passion for snow leopards, his true love of Hemis National Park, his desire to improve and expand the experiences he has for his guests, and the team that surrounds you on his expeditions is truly extraordinary. The joy, excitement, passion and caring that every member of the team displayed was above any expectation I could have set going in to this trip. If you’re considering a snow leopard expedition look no further than Behzad and Voygr!

Such an amazing adventure - loved the snow leopards!

I did this adventure in February 2020 together with my father, who is a passionate wild life photographer.

We liked Leh and I really loved visiting a monastery for the morning prayers. It deeply touched me and it was very interesting.

I am so thankful to Behzad, Brad, Khenrab, Dorjay, Rashid,…. the whole staff, who took such great care of us and made all of this possible for us. It was all very well organised. And I managed to learn so much from you. About snow leopards, about Hemis, about conservation, environment. Of course VOYGR wants to offer you a nice holiday and some nice sightings of snow leopards. But what I truly loved is that these people are dedicated to what they do. You can see and feel its not just a job – its a passion, its an inspiration and vocation to make life better for the animals, for the village people, for nature. We really enjoyed some nice sighting of a snow leopard. Once we spent a whole afternoon watching a mum and her two cubs. It was so amazing! The spotters did a great job too so we could also see blue sheep, golden eagles, wolves, and lammergeirs. VOYGR always had an open ear for our individual needs and personal interests. And I was so happy being able to go for hiking with a guide anytime I wanted.

The camp in Hemis national park is really nice and comfortable as possible for the conditions there. I didn’t miss anything at all in our sleeping tent, toilet or wash room. Our “social tent” where we could sit together, chat, have meals was cozy. Food was always great. I loved the apple cider ritual every late afternoon for warming up after going to the field trying to spot some interesting animals.

For anyone who is interested in snow leopards, who is looking for a adventure I would highly recommend VOYGR.


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 made this a trip to remember. I really never thought about conservation before but this was a introduction to a group of individuals who are completely committed. It was inspirational.

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