Snow leopards come cloaked in such an aura of incredibly elusive mystery that to even attempt to try and see one appears to be the most forlorn of desolate hopes. Twelve yrs ago, the first snow leopard journeys were designed thanks to advice from the Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) structured out of Ladakh, and it seemed scarcely possible that such ‘quests’ could ever had a successful outcome.
There seemed something faintly Quixotic about the very thought of being able to spot one of these beautiful creatures. This seemed that the very act of searching for such an elusive and charismatic cat in the high, hostile, awe-inspiring home was your real praise, and any actual sighting of a flesh and blood cat was clearly a matter of indescribable good luck or hallucination. However, some serious thought had been invested in the look.
This was just after a radical BBC series had first captured these animals on film in the Rumbak valley of Ladakh’s Hemis National Park in India. The people who got made it possible were the researchers and trackers from the SLC, contributed by their inspirational overseer, the late Rinchen Wangchuk.
In winter, as snow covers the high pastures, the animals follow their wild and domestic food to the valley flooring numerous individuals concentrating around quality value areas like the Rumbak Valley. Knowledge of this behaviour and preferred routes was gained over long arduous months of fieldwork for the SLC team. This helped to position the BBC cameramen in the right places. Rinchen’s idea was heading to leverage this same method for small-scale travel. He understood plainly that the only way to neutralise the severe danger of the revenge hurting of leopards by Ladakhi shepherds – which dovetailed with the against the law hair and bone trade – was going to make live snow leopards more valuable to local areas than dead ones. This kind of was the formula that was adopted alongside the SLC, and the amazement of many, the first snow-leopard trek struck blessed and managed to get some excellent sightings
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More than the years, the snow leopard trips have become a huge success. Determined by increased earnings, local communities have supported the SLC’s conservation programme, resulting in significantly higher snow leopard numbers, leading in change to better sightings, leading in turn – sadly – to a snow-leopard ‘gold rush’. The peaceful valleys and remote shape tops that these small groups searched in digital isolation are now (relatively) over-run by snow leopard ‘hunters’. While these quantities are great for local communities and therefore for snow leopards, it was not great for the customer experience that is more pleasurable in wild country.
A year ago, the area of functions was relocated to another valley where a SLC trained tracker has arranged up an outstanding home stay following some help and advice. Here in relatives comfort, small groups (maximum 4) can spend dokuz nights.
Three trackers with entry to communications equipment lover out over three miles. The gorgeous creatures are carefully tracked and if activity is reported in a remote area, visitors have the ability to quickly set up a mobile camp and your time required amount of time in the field if required. This gives them a big degree of versatility. It’s important to prevent the crowds; to contribute straight to snow leopard conservation and the area community, also to enjoy a spectacular area with a diverse assortment of animals in complete tranquility.