Our journey with Wilderness Journey was primarily centered on looking for snow leopards of their pure habitat. After a protracted day of touring and acclimatizing to the altitude (we’re at 13,000 toes, in any case), we had been prepared to start the search.
Fortunately, we noticed our first one inside one hour of reaching our lodging in Ulley, a village of 5 households in Ladakh. We had simply arrived and sat down for lunch when our native information mentioned, “seize your cameras and binoculars—somebody simply noticed a snow leopard cross the street in entrance of them!” After a ten-minute drive later and a lung-busting stroll up a hill, we received our first glimpses—a paw right here, a again there, often a face as he lazed in a sunny spot. You’ll be able to see how camouflaged they’re towards the rocks.
Three hours later, we watched as our snow leopard left its spot and ascended to the ridge, disappearing excessive. It was an exhilarating begin to the remainder of the journey.
Once you’re on this elevation, what does the modern snow-leopard vacationer put on? The whole lot! Temperatures whereas we had been in Ulley ranged from -13°F to 50°F, however had been typically across the 30s in the midst of the day.
Whereas snow leopards will eat something they’ll catch, together with birds, picas, and marmots, their primary meals supply on this space are two wild sheep species: the Asiatic ibex and the Ladakh urial. You’ll discover that there seems to be just about nothing for them to eat right now of yr. These sheep will truly dig within the floor (and thru the snow if wanted) to feast on buried roots.
Even if you end up not looking for a snow leopard, you at all times have the beautiful surroundings of the Himalaya.
Ladakh is extra much like Tibet than to most of India in its tradition, which is closely Buddhist with a big Muslim element. We visited this Buddhist temple adorned with intricate particulars and surrounded by Tibetan prayer flags.
After three snow leopard sightings in six days, we headed right down to Kanha Nationwide Park looking for tigers.
They proved to be fairly elusive, however the deer and birds had been plentiful.
We had been delighted to come back throughout a dhole (Indian wild canine) whereas leaving the park one afternoon. Usually they run in packs so we aren’t positive why this one was on their own.
After quite a few tigerless journeys into the park, we lastly received a pleasant view! From this level on, we noticed tigers on each tour for the remainder of the journey.
On our final morning throughout our closing recreation drive, the Forest Service escort who’s required to accompany all guests let loose a scream—”Aaaaaapppp!!!” I appeared over to my proper, and never six toes from my spouse, was a tiger strolling out of the woods in the direction of the jeep. I used to be wanting proper into its eyes. For the following 5 minutes, we had this magnificent creature to ourselves. No different vehicles, no different folks. We had been surprised. What a strategy to cap off a wildlife journey!