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Snow Leopard Photo Tours

Spiti Valley - Snow Leopard country

9 nights & 10 Day Tour

Tour Information

Spiti Valley is one of the remotest places in Himachal Pradesh which at one time was known as the most treacherous place to visit, however has now become the heart of the elusive Snow leopard sighting. Thanks to long term conservation efforts by well-known groups, Snow leopards have been sighted here regularly. The valley is situated between Ladakh to the west and Tibet to the east. The sightings of Snow leopards is generally between 200 to 450 metres and at eye level to few degrees angle as most of the snow leopards are comfortable because of the gorge separating the animal from human. This valley also has a good prey base and that helps the predator move in the same area.
The Snow Leopard tour has helped eco-tourism in the valley and many home stays and locals have benefitted from the tourist influx. The tourist influx has helped with employment during winter months and a fee is collected for the betterment of the village and forest.
Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary is the main area of the Snow leopard movement and with help of guides and porters, photographers and wildlife fans are taken to the sighting site. A comfortable set up for the winter months is also arranged for the guests so they can have a wonderful experience!
Our Snow Leopard photo tour has two parts –
3 days of traveling in Himachal Pradesh (India): The drive up to Kibber in Spiti is a 2-day travel. We do this because it helps with the acclimatisation and arrival airport is in the plains and safe to travel during winter months. You will get to enjoy the views of scenic way, the local terrain and the topographical changes from plains to green mountains turning to steep mountains and finally the barren mountains above the treeline. The drive up is definitely once in a lifetime experience! On the way back, we do a day’s midway stop and the you can fly out from Chandigarh to Delhi, for same night international departures. For guests opting for next day flights, we can arrange a day tour to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, which is a 3-hour drive from Delhi.

6 days of Snow Leopard expedition: We reach our homestay in Kibber on the 3rd night and may chance upon seeing a Snow Leopard . Many a times we may be able to spot a Snow Leopard 4-5 kilometres before reaching the destination along with other birds and mammals like the Blue Sheep, Ibex or Red Fox. From Kaza, it is a 45 minute uphill drive, and a good time to keep an eye out for any sightings.

BASIC INFORMATION

medical

Medical

Please consult with your doctor regarding general travel vaccinations and check the CDC website for more information.

health

Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase trip insurance that includes trip cancellation and medical coverage while overseas.

access-point

Internet Access

No wifi available during most locations, however the facility to call home country via satellite phone is available at a cost.

knowledge

Electricity

Non-US style plug - However multi-plug charging strip available in rooms.

airport

Airport

You should arrive to and depart from Chandigarh International Airport, India. Our representative will be waiting to provide your private transfer to a hotel near the city of Chandigarh.

patent

Certified

All of our services are conducted by fully licensed travel, lodge, and transport operators. This is part of our commitment to providing a professional travel experience.

Cost (In USD)


1. $4400 per person in sharing accommodations/ $4900 in single supplement (2020)
2. $4800 per person in sharing accommodation/$5300 in single supplement (2021)

Tour Dates


Main Tour – Maximum 6 - 8 people per group.
1. Feb 1st - Feb 10th, 2021
2. Feb 11th - Feb 20th, 2021
3. Feb 21st - March 2nd, 2021
4. March 3rd - March 12th, 2021
5. March 15th - March 24th, 2021

Tour Specifics


  1. Moderate walking at high elevation
  2. All level Photographers
  3. Land Photography
Tour Motive

Our all-inclusive Snow leopard tour is a unique opportunity to spot and photograph the elusive Snow leopard in its high-elevation habitat. Once a dream, with the help of locals and excellent logistical planning, the tour is a good opportunity to fulfil this you’re once in a lifetime opportunity to see this beautiful cat. Through our extensive expert guiding and skipper assistance, we aim to maximize your experience.

Photo Opportunities

⦁ Opportunity to spot and photograph the elusive Snow Leopard in its habitat.
⦁ Try to find different photo opportunities to photograph the beast, if lucky with its cubs/families and against different backdrops and habitats.
⦁ Photograph and see large raptors along with other mammals such as Red Fox, Blue Sheep, and Ibex.
⦁ Opportunity to photograph good potrait shots of these elusive animals.
⦁ Birding opportunities during downtime (no Snow leopard sighting)
⦁ Expert guidance during photography sessions along with assistance at every step.
⦁ Our all-inclusive tours help you enjoy a stress-free, photography focussed days coupled with local lodging and culinary experience.

Suggested Equipments

It is recommended that each participant bring the following equipment:

  • A digital SLR and your longest telephoto lens preferably 300mm or more
  • A macro lens
  • A sturdy tripod or monopod
  • You may also bring your flash with a flash bracket
  • Pack a ton of memory cards
  • Release cable

Tour Pace


Moderate to Tough
The Snow leopard tour is a high-altitude tour, which requires physical fitness and endurance to cold and extreme weather conditions.
Some hiking may be involved to reach the snow leopard sighting location. While assistance is provided at every step with gear, logistics and accommodation, it is important that you are physically and mentally fit to take this tour. Please do check with your physician about high-altitude sickness and issues that may arise due to elevation changes. Also ask your physician if you are ok to take Diamox – medicine to prevent high altitude sickness

ITINERARY

Day 1

Upon arrival you will meet our representative at the Chandigarh International Airport and depart for our first night stop-over at Rampur which is a 8 hour drive. This night we stay at Rampur to acclimatize ourselves to the elevation and rest for the upcoming days.

You are encouraged to reach the Chandigarh airport before 12pm IST, since it will be a long drive to Rampur.

  • Overnight at hotel in Rampur, L-D
  • Elevation: 4000 ft
Day 2

This day we travel all day to our second stop-over. We meet at 7 am with packed breakfast and take a long drive to the city of Tabo to further get comfortable with the high-elevation. This journey is a long and covers high-elevation road. It is 10 to 12-hour drive depending on the weather and road conditions.

  • Overnight at homestay in Tabo, B-L-D
  • Elevation: 10,500 ft
Day 3-8 (6 nights)

Today we wake up early morning to pay visit to the Tabo monastery and then take a 2 hour drive to Kibber, which will our base location for these 6 nights and snow leopard tour.
On the way, our expert guides will keep an eye for Snow Leopards and depending on the situation we may take a break and set up our gear to photograph them even before reaching the base.

  • Overnight at a homestay in Kibber, B-L-D
  • Elevation: 14,500 ft.

Notes for the 6 nights at the base:
• Once we settle in our rooms at the home stay in Kibber, you can go for a short walk around the village to familiarise with the sorroundings. Our expert guides will be on a lookout for sightings and if we get one, we will proceed to the spot to start with our photography.

For the next 6 days our routine will be as follows:

  • Have our morning tea/coffee around 6:30am and be ready by 7:15am for breakfast. Our expert spotters will provide a brief during the same time and set out for the snow leopard sighting sites. After breakfast, we proceed to spot and photograph other wildlife like the Blue Sheep, Red Fox and Ibex, while waiting for the Snow Leopard sighting in the vicinity of the homestay.
  • There might be a small hikes of 100-400 metres to reach the snow leopard site. Yak ride is available at request.
  • Lunch is generally served at the snow leopard sighting site. On days of no sighting, we shall stay back at the home stay.
     We try to spot and photograph the Snow Leopard till evening and return to out homestay.
  • Dinner is always at the home stay. Our partner guest rooms are comfortable and equipped with a wood fired hot stove and electric heater. Each bed has an electric blanket. Heavy quilts are provided. Bath towels are also provided. There is generator set if the electricity goes out.

Some important points to note:

  • There is no running water in winters. Hot water will be provided for freshening up every day. For use of toilet, it is a dry toilet. Wet wipes and toilet paper is provided. Bathroom is separate and hot water will be provided in case someone wants to take a bath.
  • A porter is provided for each guest. You don't have to lift anything. Your camera is carried by the porter and he will also carry your daytime camera bag/ back pack.
  • Extra scanner guides for maximum chances of quick and confirmed sighting.
  • You will be provided with a walking pole and a chair/stool while sitting down for photography.
  • Oxygen tank is also carried along with the group while going to the sighting site. Oxygen saturation measurement device for any symptoms of shortness of breath.
  • The escort will watch over you and be available for any issues. There is arrangement of dropping the guest to lower altitude if suffering from mountain sickness or shortness of breath.
  • Any detour up to 30 kilometres for new or different sites for Snow Leopard sighting.
  • Any extra help needed or extra trips by the helpers to get equipment or other essential items from the home stay to the sighting site
Day 9

Today we depart early for our long journey back to Rampur.

  • Overnight at hotel in Rampur, L-D
  • Elevation: 4000 ft
Day 10

Post breakfast we depart to our departure airport in Chandigarh. Guests opting for Taj Mahal cutlural extension will be further driven to Delhi for next day visit.

End of Tour

Note:
INNER LINE PERMIT FOR INTERNATIONAL GUESTS
Indian government requires a permit for non-resident visitors (Inner line Permit) is done on the second day once we leave Rampur (2 hour-detour). The process takes only 15 minutes and our representatives will be there to assist you to obtain the same.

Day 1:
Upon arrival you will meet our representative at the Chandigarh International Airport and depart for our first night stop-over at Rampur which is a 8 hour drive. This night we stay at Rampur to acclimatize ourselves to the elevation and rest for the upcoming days.
You are encouraged to reach the Chandigarh airport before 12pm IST, since it will be a long drive to Rampur.

⦁ Overnight at hotel in Rampur, L-D
⦁ Elevation: 4000 ft

Image2_

Day 2:
This day we travel all day to our second stop-over. We meet at 7 am with packed breakfast and take a long drive to the city of Tabo to further get comfortable with the high-elevation. This journey is a long and covers high-elevation road. It is 10 to 12-hour drive depending on the weather and road conditions.

⦁ Overnight at homestay in Tabo, B-L-D
⦁ Elevation: 10,500 ft

image3_

Day 3-8 (6 nights):
Today we wake up early morning to pay visit to the Tabo monastery and then take a 2 hour drive to Kibber, which will our base location for these 6 nights and snow leopard tour.
On the way, our expert guides will keep an eye for Snow Leopards and depending on the situation we may take a break and set up our gear to photograph them even before reaching the base.

⦁ Overnight at a homestay in Kibber, B-L-D
⦁ Elevation: 14,500 ft.

Image4jpg_

Notes for the 6 nights at the base:
⦁ Once we settle in our rooms at the home stay in Kibber, you can go for a short walk around the village to familiarise with the sorroundings. Our expert guides will be on a lookout for sightings and if we get one, we will proceed to the spot to start with our photography.

For the next 6 days our routine will be as follows:

⦁ Have our morning tea/coffee around 6:30am and be ready by 7:15am for breakfast. Our expert spotters will provide a brief during the same time and set out for the snow leopard sighting sites. After breakfast, we proceed to spot and photograph other wildlife like the Blue Sheep, Red Fox and Ibex, while waiting for the Snow Leopard sighting in the vicinity of the homestay.
⦁ There might be a small hikes of 100-400 metres to reach the snow leopard site. Yak ride is available at request.
⦁ Lunch is generally served at the snow leopard sighting site. On days of no sighting, we shall stay back at the home stay.
⦁ We try to spot and photograph the Snow Leopard till evening and return to out homestay.
⦁ Dinner is always at the home stay. Our partner guest rooms are comfortable and equipped with a wood fired hot stove and electric heater. Each bed has an electric blanket. Heavy quilts are provided. Bath towels are also provided. There is generator set if the electricity goes out.

Some important points to note:

⦁ There is no running water in winters. Hot water will be provided for freshening up every day. For use of toilet, it is a dry toilet. Wet wipes and toilet paper is provided. Bathroom is separate and hot water will be provided in case someone wants to take a bath.
⦁ A porter is provided for each guest. You don't have to lift anything. Your camera is carried by the porter and he will also carry your daytime camera bag/ back pack.
⦁ Extra scanner guides for maximum chances of quick and confirmed sighting.
⦁ You will be provided with a walking pole and a chair/stool while sitting down for photography.
⦁ Oxygen tank is also carried along with the group while going to the sighting site. Oxygen saturation measurement device for any symptoms of shortness of breath.
⦁ The escort will watch over you and be available for any issues. There is arrangement of dropping the guest to lower altitude if suffering from mountain sickness or shortness of breath.
⦁ Any detour up to 30 kilometres for new or different sites for Snow Leopard sighting.
⦁ Any extra help needed or extra trips by the helpers to get equipment or other essential items from the home stay to the sighting site.

Image5_

Day 9:
Today we depart early for our long journey back to Rampur.

⦁ Overnight at hotel in Rampur, L-D
⦁ Elevation: 4000 ft

Image6_

Day 10:
Post breakfast we depart to our departure airport in Chandigarh. Guests opting for Taj Mahal cutlural extension will be further driven to Delhi for next day visit.

End of Tour

NOTE:
INNER LINE PERMIT FOR INTERNATIONAL GUESTS
Indian government requires a permit for non-resident visitors (Inner line Permit) is done on the second day once we leave Rampur (2 hour-detour). The process takes only 15 minutes and our representatives will be there to assist you to obtain the same.

Tour Motive


Our all-inclusive Snow leopard tour is a unique opportunity to spot and photograph the elusive Snow leopard in its high-elevation habitat. Once a dream, with the help of locals and excellent logistical planning, the tour is a good opportunity to fulfil this you’re once in a lifetime opportunity to see this beautiful cat. Through our extensive expert guiding and skipper assistance, we aim to maximize your experience.

Photo Opportunities

⦁ Opportunity to spot and photograph the elusive Snow Leopard in its habitat.
⦁ Try to find different photo opportunities to photograph the beast, if lucky with its cubs/families and against different backdrops and habitats.
⦁ Photograph and see large raptors along with other mammals such as Red Fox, Blue Sheep, and Ibex.
⦁ Opportunity to photograph good potrait shots of these elusive animals.
⦁ Birding opportunities during downtime (no Snow leopard sighting)
⦁ Expert guidance during photography sessions along with assistance at every step.
⦁ Our all-inclusive tours help you enjoy a stress-free, photography focussed days coupled with local lodging and culinary experience.

Cost (In USD)


$4000 per person in sharing accommodations/ $4500 in single supplement

TOUR DATES


Main Tour – Maximum 6 - 8 people per group.
1. Feb 1st - Feb 10th, 2021
2. Feb 11th - Feb 20th, 2021
3. Feb 21st - March 2nd, 2021
4. March 3rd - March 12th, 2021
5. March 15th - March 24th, 2021

Tour Specifics:

  1. Moderate walking at high elevation
  2. All level Photographers
  3. Land Photography

Tour Pace


Moderate to Tough
The Snow leopard tour is a high-altitude tour, which requires physical fitness and endurance to cold and extreme weather conditions.
Some hiking may be involved to reach the snow leopard sighting location. While assistance is provided at every step with gear, logistics and accommodation, it is important that you are physically and mentally fit to take this tour. Please do check with your physician about high-altitude sickness and issues that may arise due to elevation changes. Also ask your physician if you are ok to take Diamox – medicine to prevent high altitude sickness

Photo Gallery

Suggested Equipments

It is recommended that each participant bring the following equipment:
⦁ A digital SLR and your longest telephoto lens preferably 300mm or more
⦁ A zoom lens (70-200 or a 100-400)
⦁ A sturdy tripod or monopod
⦁ Pack a ton of memory cards

Click on the link below for some questions you may have:

TOUR RELATED GENERAL FAQS

Testimonials

My Fiancé and I have gone on multiple trips with Tropical Photo Tours(Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru)! Each workshop has been amazing and different from the last. We would highly recommend to any serious photographers or birdwatchers. The tour leaders help get you in front of your target birds and are willing to help with photography techniques if needed.

Matthew Kusiak

A very professional outfit catering to the needs of wildlife photographer community. Supreet is an amazing tour leader. He keeps needs of the clients in mind. I remember many a times that he offered his spot to me so that I could get a better shot of the bird. Highly recommended!

Jaideep Padhye

I have been several tours with Tropical Photo tours and Supreet starting with Texas bird photo tour and then Ecuador photo tour and Costa Rica photo tour, I have already booked two tours in 2020 as well.
They make sure you are taken to the bed of locations and also since Supreet is an amazing photographer himself he make sure that you would make amazing images with lovely perches and background.
So if you are looking to visit anywhere in South America you should check them out!

Suraj Ramamurthy

Tour Leader

supreet-sahoo-tpt

Supreet Sahoo An avid birdwatcher and photographer from Austin, U.S.

Supreet's work has been featured in reputed publications like the BBC Earth, National Geographic Spain and Sanctuary Asia.

sanjeet-mangat

Sanjeet Mangat A Nature and Wildlife photographer who has been travelling to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries

in India for over a decade and has been awarded several times in reputed magazines. His work has been exhibited in Delhi, India. Nat Geo Traveller India has showcased Spiti Valley with him and it has over 2 million views on YouTube. He has authored a coffee table book in 2018 on Leopards (from one location for 6 years 75 leopards covered, Bera, India) which has been sold out. Sanctaury Asia (the most reputed magazine in India) has given him Cover shot of Snow leopard attacking an Ibex in Spiti Valley. He spends his winters in Spiti Valley photographing and mentoring tours for Snow Leopards since 2016.

Click on the link below for some questions you may have:

TOUR RELATED GENERAL FAQS

⦁ A 'non-refundable' deposit of USD 1000 of the Tour fee as booking amount
⦁ The remaining balance is due in full 90 days before the start of the tour
⦁ All figures per person
⦁ Failure to make payments within this timeline could result in tour cancellation

• Lodging as specified in twin sharing.
• Meals as specified
• Drinking water
• Private airport transfers on first and last days.
• Land transportation during the tour as specified in itinerary
• Professional driver/photo/nature guide and private transportation in spacious tour van.
• Guide and Photography Skipper services
• Entrance fees for all described activities.
• Taxes on all services listed above.

• Non-mealtime snacks or meals not included.
• Non-mealtime soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
• Visa fees
• International/personal airfare
• Insurance
• Phone calls
• Laundry
• Tips
• Cost of hospitalization and evacuation, if necessary
• Force Majeure – Some things that are beyond the reasonable control of even the most careful planning may occur before or during your tour experience. Such events include, but are not limited to, war, threat of war, riot, social disturbances or strife, technical or maintenance problems with transport, machinery or equipment, power failure, natural disaster, adverse weather conditions, closure of airports, closure of roads, changes of schedules or operational decisions of transport providers. Compensation or refund will not be payable by Tropical Photo Tours LLC under occurrence of such unforeseeable or unusual conditions.

Photo Gallery

Registration

To register for this trip, fill out and submit the below Registration form. PayPal invoice option is also available.
To contact us you can send an email to info@tropicalphototours.com.
See the TERMS AND CONDITIONS page for cancellation/refund policies and other important information.

Tour Registration Form - Snow Leopard Expedition Spiti Valley
Select Tour Dates *
Registering for One Person or More? *
Total Advanced Deposit

Please mail your check or send money order payable to
''Tropical Photo Tours LLC'' within 10 days to :

2414 Elkhorn Ranch Rd,
Leander, Texas – USA 78641
If you wish us to invoice you, please contact us at:
Email: info@tropicalphototours.com

NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, deposits are non-refundable. Please read the payment and cancellation policy terms for details.

  • Select No of Person in quantity field.
  • $ 0
  •  
  • NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, deposits are non-refundable. Please read the payment and cancellation policy terms for details.
  • Please note that a service fee of 3.5% is applicable on payments made through Paypal or Credit card.
  •  

Book Your Tour With Us In 6 Easy Steps

form

1. Confirm your spot for the tour by paying the advance using the registration form.

mail

2. Receive an acknowledgement email from us confirming your booking along with a welcome package and forms.

travel

3. Book your international travel

information

4. Send us your travel details along with the signed package.

money

5. We will send you a final invoice along with some more important pre-travel details.

rucksack

6. Make your full payment and pack your bags for the best Tropical experience.

form

1. Confirm your spot for the tour by paying the advance using the registration form.

mail

2. Receive an acknowledgement email from us confirming your booking along with a welcome package and forms.

travel

3. Book your international travel.

information

4. Send us your travel details along with the signed package.

money

5. We will send you a final invoice along with some more important pre-travel details.

rucksack

6. Make your full payment and pack your bags for the best Tropical experience.

FAQs

Important Note

  • Travel insurance is mandatory for all travellers
  • A Travel risk assessment & medical fitness declarations and Waiver liability form need to be filled and submitted by every guest before travel start date.
  • Tropical Photo Tours holds the rights to modify a reservation at any time during a workshop. As a company, we always try to comply with what we have promised but due to several unforeseeable circumstances such as weather, natural calamity, political, environmental, cultural we may have to make changes to our reservations.
  • All amounts are in USD unless specifically mentioned otherwise

Email us at info@tropicalphototours.com or call us at +1-512-803-8049/512-806-6469 if you’d like to talk first.

Tour Leader

supreet-sahoo-tpt

Supreet Sahoo An avid birdwatcher and photographer from Austin, U.S.

Supreet's work has been featured in reputed publications like the BBC Earth, National Geographic Spain and Sanctuary Asia.

Testimonials

My Fiancé and I have gone on multiple trips with Tropical Photo Tours(Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru)! Each workshop has been amazing and different from the last. We would highly recommend to any serious photographers or birdwatchers. The tour leaders help get you in front of your target birds and are willing to help with photography techniques if needed.

Matthew Kusiak

A very professional outfit catering to the needs of wildlife photographer community. Supreet is an amazing tour leader. He keeps needs of the clients in mind. I remember many a times that he offered his spot to me so that I could get a better shot of the bird. Highly recommended!

Jaideep Padhye

I have been several tours with Tropical Photo tours and Supreet starting with Texas bird photo tour and then Ecuador photo tour and Costa Rica photo tour, I have already booked two tours in 2020 as well.
They make sure you are taken to the bed of locations and also since Supreet is an amazing photographer himself he make sure that you would make amazing images with lovely perches and background.
So if you are looking to visit anywhere in South America you should check them out!

Suraj Ramamurthy

Our aim is to make bird and wildlife photography accessible to everyone! Come join us on our next adventure in the rainforests.

Contact Us > or call us at
+1-512-803-8049 / 512-806-6469 if you’d like to talk first.

Monday–Saturday
9:00 AM–6:00 PM

Bird Photography And Beyond

About Us

​Since our inception, we have curated unique Bird Photography tours, customized Photography Travel Tours and fun-filled photography sessions in over 5 countries!
Tropical Photo Tours LLC is a US Based photography tour company helping birders from all over the world visit and experience the rainforest birding and photography.

Reach Us

Address:
2414 Elkhorn Ranch Rd, Leander, Texas – USA 78641

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