NEW YORK, NY (10/13) Steppes Discovery, trailblazers in conservation and wildlife tourism, offers IN SEARCH OF THE SNOW LEOPARD, a two-week small group tour (maximum: 8 people) to seek out the rare, well-camouflaged big cat, one of the planet’s most beautiful creatures, one of its most elusive and one of its most endangered. The tour, which won a Responsible Travel Award, takes place in Ladakh, a region of far north India, bounded by two of the world’s greatest mountain ranges, the Himalaya and the Karakoram.
Tours are led by experts from the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust, the wildlife charity which this trip supports. These are the same trackers used by the BBC, National Geographic and other wildlife film-makers.
“We pride ourselves on the characters that we work with,” says Steppes Managing Director Justin Wateridge. “Yes, they are guides; yes, they have expertise, but we work with them for their passionate and charismatic personalities that ensure an exceptional, lasting impression.”
Rates for the scheduled two-week tour (November 19 – December 2, 2013) start at $3664 (USD) per person excluding international flights. Rates for the November 8 – November 21, 2014 tour start at $3,970 (USD) per person excluding international flights. All include a donation to the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust. Private group tours can also be arranged.
If ever there was a soul-enhancing experience for seasoned travelers, it’s catching sight of the magnificent Snow Leopard, a creature so rarely seen it’s known as the “ghost of the Himalayas.” But on Steppes Discovery tour the odds of a sighting are in the traveler’s favor: Not just one, but two Snow Leopards were seen on Steppes’ most recent tour. Not surprising since the experts behind this pioneering tour company were among the first to access the area, and boast a proven track record of sightings over the past 14 years. Wildlife lovers may also encounter blue sheep (bharal), ibex, wolves, wild yaks, brown bears, golden eagles, bearded vultures and Himalayan Griffons.
Travelers will explore Hemis National Park in a high-altitude area famous for Snow Leopard research, photography and filming. They will visit picturesque Buddhist villages and monasteries during winter festival, when communities celebrate with traditional costumes, music and masked dancers. They will meet the region’s hardy mountain people and learn about the Buddhism they practice by spending time in traditional homesteads and experiencing first-hand the warmth and hospitality of the people who call this wilderness home.
For more information or a detailed itinerary,contact: