Trip report: India The Search for Snow Leopard (Jan-Feb 2018) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Iain Campbell, Pablo Cervantes Daza and Sam Woods. This was a custom tour. Trip report by Sam Woods.

With the opening of a new lodge in Ladakh, for the express purposes of serving ‘Snow Leopard Tourists’, we threw together a custom trip with some regular Tropical Birding participants and guides, to test the waters of this new development, which removed the need to camp to search for this Himalayan beast. The tour was an unreserved success; we watched three different groups of Snow Leopards for hours on end (two separate groups of a mother and two old cubs, and another pair that were thought to be mature young animals now independent of their mother); immersed ourselves in the colorful culture of Tibetan Buddhism at Thiksey Monastery in Leh, and also added the enigmatic Ibisbill in nearby Choglamsar too, as well as spending a long time with a Wallcreeper close to the newly minted ‘Snow Leopard Lodge’. Of course, in this mountainous section of India, the Himalayan landscapes were as much highpoints as anything avian or mammalian, and we stood in awe of the Ladakhi scenery on a daily basis.

With the opening of a new lodge in Ladakh, for the express purposes of serving ‘Snow Leopard Tourists’, we threw together a custom trip with some regular Tropical Birding participants and guides, to test the waters of this new development, which removed the need to camp to search for this Himalayan beast. The tour was an unreserved success; we watched three different groups of Snow Leopards for hours on end (two separate groups of a mother and two old cubs, and another pair that were thought to be mature young animals now independent of their mother); immersed ourselves in the colorful culture of Tibetan Buddhism at Thiksey Monastery in Leh, and also added the enigmatic Ibisbill in nearby Choglamsar too, as well as spending a long time with a Wallcreeper close to the newly minted ‘Snow Leopard Lodge’. Of course, in this mountainous section of India, the Himalayan landscapes were as much highpoints as anything avian or mammalian, and we stood in awe of the Ladakhi scenery on a daily basis.

Click this link to view the full Tropical Birding India Photo Journey trip report in PDF format (9.7 MB file size)