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Which Snow Leopard Tracking Tour: India, Mongolia or Kyrgyzstan?

Planning a snow leopard tracking tour? Learn what’s best for you: India, Mongolia, or Kyrgyzstan. We compare comfort, altitude, and sighting chances.

Reading Time: 26 minutes

Seeing a wild snow leopard may be the world’s most coveted wildlife experience. Found across 12 countries in South and Central Asia, the snow leopard is perhaps the most mythical big cat.

As a company, snow leopards are our foremost passion. Our journeys have been praised and featured by the world’s top press. Harper’s Bazaar listed our snow leopard expedition to Ladakh as a top 100 ultimate travel experience of 2020.

This detailed article gives an overall picture of the snow leopard tourism landscape. It is designed to help you choose the ideal type of snow leopard tracking tour and ideal destination for you.

Three destinations have emerged as the best options for those that want to see snow leopards in the wild:

  1. India. Covered on our Signature Snow Leopard Expedition to Ladakh and our Classic Snow Leopard Tour to Ladakh.
  2. Mongolia. Covered on our Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia.
  3. Kyrgyzstan. Covered on our Snow Leopard Expedition to Kyrgyzstan.
Table of Contents show

Each of these countries has its own pros and cons. This article covers general snow leopard tracking tours. That is, where seeing a snow leopard is the main goal. If you are looking for specific information on a snow leopard photo tour, refer to our extensive article – Snow Leopard Photo Tour : Detailed Planning Information.

There is also information on types of tours run by other companies – at various price-points.

We believe that the right type of snow leopard tourism holds great power to positively transform remote communities. It can provide the snow leopard with a fighting chance at survival.

Whichever operator you choose, make sure they prioritize conservation and local employment. They should also strictly prohibit baiting snow leopards using domestic animals.

Continue reading to learn which destination is best for you. We discuss everything from altitude, to transport, to toilets and showers, to food.

This is the most extensive information on snow leopard tracking tours anywhere on the internet. If you have any questions – we’d love to answer them. Just send us an email.

Similarities Between Snow Leopard Tracking Tours in India, Mongolia, and Kyrgyzstan

A Snow Leopard In The Himalayas. Camera Trapped During A Snow Leopard Tracking Tour

Each destination has many unique aspects and varying highlights. Three distinct cultures, diverse histories, and unique landscapes make each country a destination worthy of it’s own trip.

All our snow leopard tracking tours:

  • combine the very of best of expedition, tour, and safari
  • use the best available regional accommodations
  • are based in ideal habitat and make use of remote camps
  • use our award-winning trackers
  • use the very best Swarovski BTX 95 scopes
  • are small group trips. Never more than 8 guests per group.

Quick Destination Summary: Snow Leopard Tracking Tours to Ladakh

Ladakh, in the northernmost part of India, is an achingly beautiful region dominated by vast mountain ranges. Geographically, it is hemmed in the East by the Tibetan plateau. By the towering Karakorum Range in the North and North-West. The Great Himalayan Range cuts it off from the rest of India in the South and South-West. Ladakh sits in prime high-altitude snow leopard habitat. The region has rich Tibetan Buddhist and Muslim heritage. Several stunning medieval Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are featured on both our Signature Snow Leopard Expedition to Ladakh and Classic Snow Leopard Tour to Ladakh itineraries. We will also have several wonderful engagements with local communities. The chances of seeing a snow leopard are extremely good.

Quick Destination Summary: Snow Leopard Tracking Tours to Mongolia

Mongolia evokes images of the vast steppe and open grasslands. However, much of the country is superlative snow leopard habitat. Mongolia has the second highest population of snow leopards in the world. Our snow leopard tour to Mongolia is based in the Altai Mountains in the West where Mongolia, China, Russia, and Kazakhstan come together. This tour spends some time with the traditional Kazakh Eagle Hunters, as well as remote Mongolian nomads to give you an authentic understanding of life in Mongolia. The region of Khovd, where much of the tour is based, has 19 ethnic groups. Mongolia is lower in altitude. The chances of seeing a snow leopard are good, but not as good as Ladakh.

Quick Destination Summary: Snow Leopard Tracking Tours to Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan, land-locked and in the heart of Central Asia, is dominated by perfect snow leopard landscapes. We will search for them in the Tien Shan Range. The phenomenal mountain landscapes and steppes of Kyrgyzstan lend themselves really well for nature focused travel in supremely beautiful areas. Kyrgyz hospitality, like its neighbors, is famed. Nomadic and semi-nomadic communities can be found in small settlements across the Tien Shan Range. On our snow leopard expedition to Kyrgyzstan, we will also get to engage with locals, including traditional communities that use Golden Eagles to help with hunting. Altitudes are between Ladakh and Mongolia, but closer to Ladakh. Chances of seeing a snow leopard are good but not as great as Ladakh.

All three of Voygr’s snow leopard destinations are connected to the great history of the Silk Road. Every tour is rich in cultural engagement and interaction. Guests have several opportunities to experience local culture and religion. They can get an authentic feel for the unique history of where they are.

In the main tent, prayer flags flutter and lampshades provide subtle shadows. Ladakhi dishes – delicately spiced soups and curries – are impeccably prepared and there is an open bar. If the American billionaires had said in advance that they wanted Cheval Blanc instead of Indian Sula red, [Voygr] would have put it in place, regardless of any disappointment the damage to palate a jolting pony trek at 4,000m might cause.

After dinner, a hand of cribbage, a game of Scrabble, a single malt and a not-so-early night. The spotters rise at dawn to seek out tracks while guests enjoy French-press coffee and pomegranate juice ahead of a hard day on the hill. [Voygr] has a few set departure dates, but most of [their] groups are private, predominantly from the US, the UK and Australia. The majority are dedicated hikers, but trophy wildlife images are the primary incentive.

British birders add another dimension, staking out the Field of Dreams to spot the white-browed tit-warbler and the partridge-style Tibetan snowcock. Golden eagle and lammergeier swoop imperiously overhead, primed to pick any available carcasses clean.

From Ladakh: In The Snow Leopard’s Lair. Published in the FT’s How to Spent It, November 28, 2019.

Detailed Comparison : The Best Destination for a Snow Leopard Tracking Tour?

Which snow leopard tracking tour is right for me?

Ladakh

If you’re ok with being at high altitude, want the highest chance of seeing a snow leopard, enjoy winter, and want a premium experience – this is your tour.

Mongolia

If you have an aversion to altitude, or don’t want to spend a lot of time in the cold, and don’t mind roughing it in parts – this is the tour for you.

Kyrgyzstan

If you want to add a healthy doze of fun adventure to your search for the snow leopard and don’t mind roughing it – this is your expedition.

What are the chances of seeing a snow leopard?

Ladakh

Extremely high. 100% of our guests in the past five years, have seen multiple snow leopards. For photography, Ladakh has a higher chance of a close snow leopard sighting than Mongolia or Kyrgyzstan.

Mongolia

High. Most guests see snow leopards.

Kyrgyzstan

High. We’ve had great luck over here, but the area is new to all trackers, so it’ll keep getting better as trackers learn snow leopard behavior here.

Physical Activity Level?

Ladakh

Car based. You’ll be driven to camp and driven to various spotting locations. Normal levels of walking about once there. No long hikes. Unless you love to hike, then our team is happy to do that.

Mongolia

Car based. Drive to camp. Drive to spotting locations. Normal amounts of walking about once there. No long hikes.

Kyrgyzstan

Drive to camp. Then switch to horses for daily excursions searching for snow leopards.

Classic Snow Leopard Tour To Ladakh's Hemis National Park

Classic Snow Leopard
Tour To Ladakh

Group departures.
Starting from $4,115.
Private tours available.

Signature Snow Leopard Expedition To Ladakh's Hemis National Park

Signature Snow Leopard
Expedition To Ladakh

Group departures.
Starting from $5,752.
Private tours available.

Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia

Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia

Group departures.
Starting from $5,680.
Private tours available.

Snow Leopard Expedition To Kyrgyzstan

Snow Leopard Expedition To Kyrgyzstan

Group departures.
Starting from $6,880.
Private tours available.

Understanding Our Snow Leopard Tracking Tour Difficulty Scale

We’ve listed various factors that make a snow leopard tracking tour easy or difficult. Everything from the cold, to remoteness, to physical difficulty. Take a look to see what works best for you.

  • 1/5 is easy, comfortable, accessible : think beach vacation in the Caribbean.
  • 2/5 is somewhat easy, mostly comfortable, and relatively accessible : think a safari in Kenya.
  • 3/5 is moderate, somewhat comfortable, and somewhat remote : average for a snow leopard expedition.
  • 4/5 is mostly hard, with mostly basic comforts, and complicated to get to : think a trek in Nepal.
  • 5/5 is difficult, uncomfortable, and quite remote : think winter camping in Siberia.


We don’t add communication ease (phone, internet, etc) to our score as it skews results.

Overall Difficulty Rating

Ladakh
3/5
Mongolia
3/5
Kyrgyzstan
4/5

Physical Rating

Ladakh
3.5/5

The high-altitude is the main factor here. This tour only has an average amount of walking each day. Major distances are covered by our 4x4s. No actual “hiking” or “trekking” needed.

Mongolia
2/5

Not a physically demanding tour. Great if you’re not a fan of high altitudes. Average amount of walking about. Perhaps equivalent to steps you’d do on day tour around Florence. Major distances by Land Cruiser.

Kyrgyzstan
3.5/5

A lot of the moving about the tracking area takes place on horse-back, and of course, being in the saddle can get tiring. The altitude can also be a factor. Not heavy on hiking or trekking.

Camp Remoteness Rating

Ladakh
3/5

International flights to New Delhi, India, then an hour flight to Leh. Our snow leopard camp is just an hour’s drive from Leh.

Mongolia
4/5

International flight to Ulanbataar. 3 hour flight to Khovd. 2 hour 4×4 drive to our snow leopard camp

Kyrgyzstan
5/5

International flight to Bishkek. 5 hour drive to the an overnight stop by lake Issyk-kul. Then another 5 hour drive to our snow leopard camp.

Discomfort Rating

Ladakh
2.5/5

This is the pinnacle of what a snow leopard tracking tour can be. Definitely glamping. No efforts are spared to make you comfortable. Roomy heated and insulated tents. Comfortable king-size or twin beds, hot showers, three chefs and great food. A generous pour of Cognac or a hot toddy. We’ve got it covered.

Mongolia
3/5

This snow leopard tracking trip is less “luxury” than Ladakh. It has spacious yurts rented from neighboring nomads albeit with more basic beds. Experienced chefs round out the experience with fantastic food and our ever-present bar.

Kyrgyzstan
4/5

Camping. In wilderness. This trip puts the “expedition” in snow leopard expedition. But have no fear, this is exactly what we’re all about. The very best expedition equipment imported from the USA meets great chefs, personalized service, and of course, the Voygr Camp Bar.

Ease of Communication Rating

Ladakh
2/5

A 20 minute drive with one of our camp staff will get you to internet access should you really need to check those emails while on a snow leopard tracking tour. Sat phones are illegal in India.

Mongolia
4/5

Satellite phones and/or satellite messengers are the only way to communicate with the outside world. Our team will have a messenger that you can use. You can also rent them online before your trip.

Kyrgyzstan
4/5

Satellite phones and/or satellite messengers are the only way to communicate with the outside world. Our team will have a sat phone and messenger that you can use. You can also rent them online before your trip.

Classic Snow Leopard Tour To Ladakh's Hemis National Park

Classic Snow Leopard
Tour To Ladakh

Group departures.
Starting from $4,115.
Private tours available.

Signature Snow Leopard Expedition To Ladakh's Hemis National Park

Signature Snow Leopard
Expedition To Ladakh

Group departures.
Starting from $5,752.
Private tours available.

Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia

Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia

Group departures.
Starting from $5,680.
Private tours available.

Snow Leopard Expedition To Kyrgyzstan

Snow Leopard Expedition To Kyrgyzstan

Group departures.
Starting from $6,880.
Private tours available.

General Comparison Of Snow Leopard Tracking Tour Destinations

Here we compare various factors such as altitude, location, climate, mammalian species, accommodations, food, and facilities.

Sighting Season

Ladakh

November – April

Mongolia

August – April

Kyrgyzstan

August – April

Best Season

Ladakh

Mid Nov to Mid Dec : Blue sheep mating season. Early Feb to Late March : Snow leopard mating season

Mongolia

September – October. Too cold after to be comfortable.

Kyrgyzstan

October – November. Too inaccessible after. Too many frozen stream crossings.

Altitude

Ladakh

Fly in to Leh at 3,400m (11,200ft).
Camp at 3,700m (12,150ft).
Daily altitudes between 3,700m(12,150ft) and 4,200m (13,800ft).

Mongolia

Fly in to Khovd, at 1,395 m (4,577 ft).
Camp at 1,700m (5,500ft).
Daily altitudes between 1,700m(5,500ft) and 2,200m (7,217ft).

Kyrgyzstan

Fly in to Bishkek 800m (2,625ft).
Overnight by Issyk-kul lake 1,600m (5,272ft).
Camp at 3,000m (9,800ft).

Location

Ladakh

Private camp. Hemis National Park in the Ladakh Range, Ladakh, India

Mongolia

Location disclosed to clients. The Altai Mountain Range, Mongolia

Kyrgyzstan

Location disclosed to clients. Central Tien Shan Range, Kyrgyzstan.

Climate

Ladakh

Daytime temperatures on a snow leopard tracking tour in Ladakh are around -5ºC (23F). Night time temps can drop to -20ºC (-4F). Tents are kept at around 13ºC (55F), but guests can choose to make them warmer.

Mongolia

Daytime temperatures on a snow leopard tour in Mongolia are around 10ºC (50F). Night time temps can drop to -5ºC (25F). Tents use wood stoves, so the heat is a bit inconsistent.

Kyrgyzstan

Daytime temperatures on a snow leopard tracking tour in Kyrgyzstan are around 5ºC (41F). Night time temps can drop to -10ºC (14F). Tents are unheated.

Major Mammal Species

Ladakh

Snow leopard, lynx, Tibetan wolf, blue sheep, Tibetan argali, Tibetan urial, fox. If you want, we can also search for the Himalayan brown bear on an extension.

Mongolia

Snow leopard, lynx, Pallas’s cat, Siberian ibex, Altai argali, wolf, corsac fox, Przewalski’s horse, saiga antelope, goitered gazelle.

Kyrgyzstan

Snow leopard, lynx, Pallas’s cat, Siberian ibex, Marco Polo sheep (argali), wolf, red fox.

Trackers

Ladakh

Voygr’s full time snow leopard tracking team. 80 years of combined tracking experience. 100% success rate. Equipped with the finest optics money can buy – Swarovski BTX 95 scopes.

Mongolia

Eagle-eyed local herdsmen who are part-time snow leopard trackers. We replace their basic telescopes with our powerful Swarovski BTX spotting scopes and bring along one of our Ladakhi spotters.

Kyrgyzstan

Local rangers trained by Voygr, equipped with powerful Swarovski scopes, and supported by one of our Ladakhi spotters. All of them have years of wildlife tracking experience.

Snow Leopard Tracking Tour Accommodations

Ladakh

Best in region accommodations. The 5 star Grand Dragon in Leh, Voygr’s luxury camping set-up in Hemis National Park.

Mongolia

Best in region accommodations. 5 star hotel in Ulaanbaatar. Upgraded traditional yurts at camp.

Kyrgyzstan

Best in region accommodations. 5 start hotel in Bishkek. Best available guest house by Issyk-kul, and expedition style tents at camp.

Food

Ladakh

Our chefs make diverse multi-course meals. Indian favorites, Ladakhi staples, and western comfort food. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free guests’ requirements are welcomed.

Mongolia

The chef whips up Mongolian delicacies as well as western dishes. Dietary restrictions can be planned for with advance notice. Mongolia is a meat and dairy heavy country!

Kyrgyzstan

Just because we’re in a remote camp, doesn’t mean we won’t go the extra mile. Central Asian recipes abound in camp – kebabs, rice dishes, hearty stews, and more. Dietary restrictions can be catered to with advance notice.

Toilets

Ladakh

Composting toilets. The toilets are western style, heated, comfortable, and super nice given our remote location. Toilets are shared till 2021. In 2022 we’ll have some ensuite options.

Mongolia

Pit-style camp toilets. A deep pit, with a seat over it inside a toilet tent. When you’re done, throw some dirt in, too. No squatting needed.

Kyrgyzstan

Camp style pit toilets, same as Mongolia, in a toilet tent.

Showers

Ladakh

A heated and spacious shower tent. Piping hot water, lux Turkish towels, eco-sensitive amenities. All our guests say they wish they had tried the showers sooner during their trip.

Mongolia

Hot water whenever you need it for a quick camp shower in a shower tent. Not as lux as Ladakh, not as basic as Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan

We can get you a couple of buckets of hot water for an Asian style shower whenever you’d like. Most guests just bring along some wet-wipes, and enjoy the shower when they get back to Bishkek.

What’s UNIQUE?

Ladakh

This is the ONLY private camp in Hemis National Park, and to our knowledge, the only private snow leopard camp in the world. Complete road/vehicle access to camp.

We’re based in a different part of HNP, 20 miles as the crow flies, from all the other operators, who are all based in one valley. So the experience is exponentially more exclusive.

 

Mongolia

The ONLY tour in Mongolia to use professional full-time snow leopard trackers.

Currently companies rely on local herdsmen who have a keen eye. We supplement the talents of local herdsmen with our full-time snow leopard trackers flown in from Ladakh. Our trackers have multi-country, multi-terrain snow leopard tracking expertise. On average, two decades per tracker.

 

Kyrgyzstan

The ONLY tour in Kyrgyzstan to use professional full time snow leopard trackers. We supplement local rangers (that we are training) with experts from Ladakh.

Kyrgyzstan does not yet have commercial grade snow leopard tourism. We’re setting-it up in the hopes that it boosts snow leopard conservation, enables non-livestock based livelihoods, and preserves large land areas.

 

So now you know how each of these three destinations compare in comfort, access, chance of seeing a snow leopard, and overall type of travel.

Classic Snow Leopard Tour To Ladakh's Hemis National Park

Classic Snow Leopard
Tour To Ladakh

Group departures.
Starting from $4,115.
Private tours available.

Signature Snow Leopard Expedition To Ladakh's Hemis National Park

Signature Snow Leopard
Expedition To Ladakh

Group departures.
Starting from $5,752.
Private tours available.

Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia

Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia

Group departures.
Starting from $5,680.
Private tours available.

Snow Leopard Expedition To Kyrgyzstan

Snow Leopard Expedition To Kyrgyzstan

Group departures.
Starting from $6,880.
Private tours available.

Prices & Costs For Snow Leopard Tracking Tours

Our snow leopard trips are not the only ones in the market. There are actually several options available – these range vastly in comfort and price. So here’s a general understanding of what else is out there so you can make an informed decision. Our tour prices vary according to the expedition leader’s skill sets. They are the best value for money. This is because our camps are as comfortable as possible and we prioritize using the best trackers in the world.

Prices for Snow Leopard Tracking Tours in India

To know how to find the best snow leopard trip that fits your budget, you first need to know what you get for your dollar. Commercially, the widest range of Himalayan snow leopard trips are run in the region of Ladakh in India. This is where the greatest snow leopard tracking infrastructure exists in the Himalayas. In Ladakh, the cheaper options are generally under the $4,000 per person price point. For this price, you can expect 1 or 2 snow leopard trackers equipped with an older model Swarovski scope with a single eye-piece, or a single eye piece Vortex scope. If you’d like to, learn more about why scopes are the most critical piece of gear on a snow leopard expedition, and why they should be an important factor in your decision making. These $2-$4,000 trips can be categorized into two types, camping or home stay/lodge.

A Snow Leopard On A Snow Leopard Tracking Tour
A Snow Leopard On A Snow Leopard Tracking Tour

Budget Friendly Snow Leopard Tracking Trips in India - Camping

These budget camping trips pitch up on public campgrounds near the village of Rumbak in Hemis National Park. The tents are usually standard summer camping tents (single fly nylon) and are unheated. Guests sleep on a sleeping mat on the ground and usually bring their own sleeping bags (if you’re doing this style of trip- make sure its rated to at least -30ºc/-22f). There’s usually a military style canvas dining tent, with a propane powered heater. Meals are hearty – all the companies have decent camp cooks. The Rumbak campgrounds can usually accommodate at least 5 groups, averaging 4-12 people per group. All tourists need permits and there’s a 50 permit limit, so it never gets too crowded. 

Unfortunately the camp grounds only have 5 toilets in total, so about 40-50 tourists and roughly 3 dozen staff from the various expeditions all end up using the same 5 long drop composting toilets. Some companies proactively keep the toilets clean, some do not. Some provide toilet “seats” to put over the holes in the ground, so guests don’t have to squat, while others don’t.

What Are The Chances of Seeing a Snow Leopard on a Budget Snow Leopard Trip?

In peak season, with four or five groups present, the chances of seeing a snow leopard in this and nearby valleys are very high. Many experienced spotters and great cooperation between the expedition crews mean most visitors end up seeing a snow leopard before they leave. Where the “budget” part of the tour kicks in is in the camping experience – it does leave a lot to be desired in terms of comfort. Getting a good nights sleep can be challenging when sleeping on the ground in a tent meant for warmer summer temperatures. But this is what a budget trip gets you – great chances of seeing a snow leopard balanced by the discomfort of remoteness. All equipment used by the companies providing these trips needs to be brought in from 3 hours away on horseback. So if you want heat, beds, nice toilets, and showers (like on our snow leopard tour), a $3k trip isn’t going to get you that.

Budget Friendly Snow Leopard Trips in Ladakh, India - Homestay

Just up the valley from where the camping trips happen, Rumbak village provides some great options for homestays. This 10 family village is a beacon of conservation and a wonderful model for community based conservation. Many operators use homestay in Rumbak for their guests. The rooms are simple and straightforward. 4 inch mattresses on the ground provide a simple bed, a lot of thick blankets provide warmth. Hosts will often light a wood fire in a traditional wood burning stove before you go to bed to warm your room up. The fire goes out in about an hour. It’s not recommended to keep this fire lit all night as the rooms are tightly sealed (to keep the cold out) and thus carbon monoxide build-up is a very real danger. The village has a 10KW solar power plant that provides it with electricity – enough for lighting and charging batteries, but not enough for running electric heaters. So it’s invariably just as cold sleeping in a homestay as it is in tents. Meals are served in the family’s living room and there are many options to learn more about village life here and engage with your hosts, when you’re not out searching for snow leopards in the day. Food is simple as the cooking is all done by your hosts. Toilets are the same type of long-drop composting toilets as in the camps. Every house has one that the whole family uses. Basically just a hole in the floor of an elevated structure. Homestays don’t provide toilet seats, so remember to ask your operator to arrange for one if you have trouble squatting.

Sarychat-Ertash Reserve In Kyrgyzstan On A Snow Leopard Tracking Tour.

Besides Rumbak, several options for homestay and lodges also exist outside Hemis National Park. Primarily in the villages of Ulley, Saspoche, and Hemis-Shukpachan. These homestays, though still basic in relative terms, are on the whole much better developed than inside the National Park because of road-access. Many of the homestay and lodge options have propane or liquid petroleum gas fueled heat (smoke detectors are still rare) and sometimes better toilet and bathing facilities (mostly bucket baths as they don’t have running water in winters). However, what they gain in some comfort, they lose in overall frequency of sightings. The road-access does mean that guests who are less inclined to hike and camp can still have a decent chance at sighting a snow leopard in Ulley, Saspoche, and Hemis-Shukpachan. Many operators run itineraries that balance some time camping or using homestay in the national park with a stay in these villages outside the national park. If you’re ok with a more basic experience and are looking for options that fit within the $2-4k per person range, we can arrange this for you through a tour operator we trust, while providing our own equipment and 1 team member to make the entire experience more comfortable (one of our custom built tents, heat, top-end sleeping bags, camp cots, etc). If you want the whole 9 yards, like nice toilets, a comfy bed, and the very best scopes, book one of our snow leopard expeditions instead.

Mid-range Snow Leopard Tracking Tours in Ladakh, India

These range anywhere from $4,000 to $7,000. Most of these end up being tours run by western companies that repackage budget tours with some value adds such as an English speaking naturalists, or Western tour guides, They add stays on either end in Delhi, and sometimes add domestic flights to the package. These tours invariably still end up using the same single eye-piece scopes and the same 1 or 2 spotters and stay at the same homestays, lodges, or camps as the budget tours. The hotel choice in Leh is generally nicer.

Luxury Snow Leopard Tracking Tours in Ladakh, India

The highest end group tours in Ladakh are between $6,000 and $10,000 per person. Private tours, or longer custom tours usually cost more.

All of these are sold by Western tour companies. All of them outsource tour operations to a local company in Ladakh.

All but us.

Voygr is the only Western tour operator that controls 100% of the experience. Our teams, our camp, our equipment – our responsibility.

If you’re looking at high-end or luxury snow leopard trips, you must ask three important questions.

  • Who is guiding and tracking for the snow leopard trip?
  • How comfortable is the trip?
  • When a snow leopard is spotted, what optics will you use to enjoy the sighting?

If you’re paying over $6,000 per person for a snow leopard expedition, the tour operator should be insured. The guides should have at least a decade of experience at high altitudes. Your accommodations must be heated. You should have electricity. Your chances (wild animal sightings are never guaranteed) of seeing a snow leopard should be very high (our success rate is 100% in Ladakh.) And most importantly, when a snow leopard is spotted, you must have access to the very best optics available – Swarovski BTX scopes, 95mm or longer. All of the above are what drive up costs and make tours expensive. Heating and powering a remote camp or property is a major logistical hurdle in winter at altitude in the Himalayas. The best trackers and guides are expensive. And the very best scopes cost as much as a small car.

If you’re paying top dollar, that’s what you should have.

If you don’t get these comforts, you are overpaying.

A Wild Snow Leopard Walks On A High Ridge. Camera Trap.

Understanding Pricing For Snow Leopard Tracking Tours in Mongolia

In Mongolia, the snow leopard tracking tour landscape is a bit different from Ladakh. Though staffed, operated, and run by Mongolian tour operators, the tours are primarily marketed by Western companies specializing in nature. Birding companies are specially active in this area as Mongolia has a lot of endemic species that are on many birders’ lists. British nature tour operators are dominant here. Pricing is usually between $6,000-$8,000 per person for two week trips. The snow leopard tracking industry is nascent in Mongolia. Most companies rely on entrepreneurial herders with keen eyesight to help track snow leopards and other wildlife. Shepherds and nomads are practiced in the art of searching for wildlife, primarily to protect their flocks. Especially predators. Our tours here are similarly priced, but differ in two major aspects from the rest of the operators. We supplement local trackers with our professional trackers from Ladakh and we provide local trackers with our own scopes. Swapping their outdated soviet binoculars with state of the art Swarovski scopes itself makes a huge difference.

Understanding Pricing For Snow Leopard Tracking Tours in Kyrgyzstan

We’re the only actual snow leopard tracking tour operator in Kyrgyzstan. All other tours in Kyrgyzstan that mention snow leopards have little chance of seeing them. They are science based expeditions that are led by researchers. Guests have great opportunities to participate in citizen science. They do surveys in the field, place camera traps to help with population counts. They are great experiences to see Kyrgyz nature and assist with research. There are no professional snow leopard trackers or spotters on these trips. Pricing varies widely from $2,000 to $7,000 per person.

Classic Snow Leopard Tour To Ladakh's Hemis National Park

Classic Snow Leopard
Tour To Ladakh

Group departures.
Starting from $4,115.
Private tours available.

Signature Snow Leopard Expedition To Ladakh's Hemis National Park

Signature Snow Leopard
Expedition To Ladakh

Group departures.
Starting from $5,752.
Private tours available.

Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia

Snow Leopard Tour To Mongolia

Group departures.
Starting from $5,680.
Private tours available.

Snow Leopard Expedition To Kyrgyzstan

Snow Leopard Expedition To Kyrgyzstan

Group departures.
Starting from $6,880.
Private tours available.

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.

Snow Leopards
1. Hemis National Park : An Icon of Conservation
2. Snow Leopard Photo Tour: Detailed Planning Information
3. Which Snow Leopard Tracking Tour: India, Mongolia or Kyrgyzstan?
4. Snow Leopard Safari or Expedition? What’s In A Name?
5. Snow Leopard Trip Planning: Why Great Optics Are Critical
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