Anyone interested in Snow leopards in january/february 2018?

Hi guys,

 

I am thinking about going for snow leopards for a while now and I have decided that next year it should finally happen. To make this happen I contacted two local organisations who came up with different prices. I have contacted Exotic Travel because it was recommended in one of the posts on this forum. They came up with the following prices per person: depending on hotel 2/3 persons costs 2400/2750 USD, 4-6 persons costs 2150/2500 USD, 7-10 persons costs 1950 /2350 USD, 11-14 persons costs 1750/2100 USD. I also contacted Overland Escape, they were recommended by the following report:  http://www.cloudbirders.com/tripreport/repository/BARUAH_India_03_2014.pdf. They came up with the following prices 1 person costs 147496 INR (2283 USD), 2 persons cost 91783 INR (1420 USD), 3 persons cost 86395 INR (1337 USD), 4 persons cost 74188 INR (1148 USD), 5 persons cost 74060 INR (1146 USD) and 6 persons cost 67978 INR (1052 USD)

 

Both companies offer pretty much the same thing. Overlands offers 15 days total with 4 days acclimatizing and trekking to camp. 8 days of spotting and the last 3 days returning and taking the flight back. Exotic offers 12 days total with 3 days acclimatizing and trekking to camp, 7 days of spotting and two days to return and take the flight back. Besides the usual stuff like insurances and personal expenses, also sleeping bags are not included. Meals, stays, guides and transport are included. Both companies are open to tailor things if needed.

 

The huge price difference make Overland for me the obvious company to go with, also based on the recommendations in the report I mentioned. I would like to go in week 4 and 5 of 2018 (22 january- 4 february), I would like to arrive before the weekend and use that to acclimatize so we have a few extra days in the mountains. Of course this can all be discussed. I picked this time because february and march are very crowded nowadays, going a little earlier will probably mean a much quieter stay. Also snow will be pretty low in this time of year so leopards will be too (and there might be a chance to take a picture of a leopard in the snow but that is just fantasizing), it also fits much better in my schedule. Greatest disadvantage of going this time of year will be the extreme cold, however this also does not need to be overestimated in comparison to mid february.

 

If would like to go with a group of people (about 3-6 preferably), this will mean lower costs, more eyes to spot and much more fun! So if you are interested, contact me at lverheuvel AT live.nl. It’s of course pretty early in the year but I wanted to put the invitation out there as I can imagine people are already planning their trips for next year. I will repost this around september/october when I want to make things final. So if you are interested please respond, but know you have still quite some time to make a final decision.

 

Lennart

4 Comments
  1. RICHARD WEBB 6 months ago

    Lennart although the lower temperature in late January/early February is a significant disadvantage, it could well be -20C instead of -10C, it is not the most significant disadvantage. The main disadvantage is that it’s not the best time to go. Although you should be successful the reason that the ‘crowds’ go in late February/early March is it’s the best time to see Snow Leopards as they are still at lower altitudes, it is the mating season and there are consequently believed to be more in the valleys. They are also more vocal and consequently more visible. In addition although there are more people there than earlier in the year each group has it’s own trained tracker/spotter and with more experienced trackers in the area you will inevitably get more good sightings. Having just been to Qinghai to successfully look for Snow Leopards away from the crowds I can understand your thinking but I had seen them before. If I was going to Ladakh needing to see them I would bite the bullet and go at the best time of year.

    • Author
      Lennart 6 months ago

      You are making some good points. I think I read about every report there is on this site about snow leopards in Ladakh and you are probably right that later in the year wil most likely provide more frequent sightings. However I also read reports that showed great sightings in early and mid february especially from leopards on a kill. Sightings later in the year seemed to provide more sightings but also far more distant. This might also have a great deal to do with luck of course. For me personally it is also a matter of finding the time to go, postponing it will probably mean going next year or the year after that. As a bonus it would be less crowded, which has as a disadvantage that there will indeed be less searching eyes. Both companies said that sightings still would be good at this time of year while temperatures would be pretty much the same in january compared to february, they even said that february/march was becoming too crowded. However those arguments might also be financially motivated. I’ll just see if people are interested and decide on it finallly in the fall of 2017. Thanks for the reply though!

  2. Stephanie 3 months ago

    Hi Lennart, I’d be keen.

  3. Author
    Lennart 3 months ago

    Hi Stephanie, thanks for the reply. I will probably postpone the trip for (yet) another year (or two), because I have less free time in february/march than I initially thought. Of course don’t let it stop you from going on your own! I will of course be happy to provide you with any information I have, although most of it is already mentioned above.

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