An avid explorer, Behzad specializes in exploring the remote reaches of the world through his travel photography with an emphasis on portraiture and landscapes in the high Himalayas, Central Asia, and the Tibetan Plateau.
Snow Leopards are some of the most elusive animals on earth. Spotting them is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. However, the terrain they live in is high, harsh, and difficult. Participants on our Snow Leopard Expedition must be relatively fit, have medical clearance from their physician to be at high altitudes (above 10,000 feet), and should be able to walk 4-7 kilometers (2.5 – 4.5 miles) per day in sometimes rough, mountainous terrain. Camps may need to be moved at short notice, especially if a Leopard is sighted in a nearby valley or across a nearby mountain.
March in Ladakh is quite cold. While the sun is out, temperatures remain around freezing or even above freezing. However, as the sun goes down, temperatures plummet and it can get quite cold. You’ll be comfortably warm while you’re sleeping, but you’ll still need to be able to cope with the rigors of a winter expedition. Unlike an African safari, this wildlife spotting expedition is tough, but it is incredibly rewarding should you be prepared to rough it out. We’ve selected amazing hotels in Delhi and Leh so you can get a relaxing start and end to the trip.
It's not the journey it's the destination. Our expedition trips are for those intrepid photographers who are willing to go the extra mile to photograph something unique and special. If you relish travel when the going gets tough and are willing to sacrifice a little comfort for a host of unique experiences, the Expeditioner tours are for you.
Join BBC Planet Earth II Snow Leopard tracker Khenrab Phuntsog to search for the ghost of the Himalaya
Explore the incredible culture at the rooftop of the world
Photography tuition from Ladakh expert Behzad Larry
Capture images of majestic Ladakhi species and document the unique culture of Ladakh
Day 1 - Arrival
Catch the morning flight into the Trans-Himalayan town of Leh. Leh straddles the old silk route and was a nexus of important Central Asian trade routes till the late 1950’s. Today the bustling town serves as an entry point to a dozen different types of mountain and high altitude adventures. We’ll check-in to our hotel in Leh, the Grand Dragon Hotel, and spend the day at a pace that is slower than normal to properly acclimatize to the high altitude. We recommend reading a book, drinking a few cups of tea, and enjoying the view. Time is the best way to acclimatize. In the evening we’ll have a welcome dinner and trip briefing with the whole crew. Breakfast and dinner at the Grand Dragon Hotel.
Day 2 - Leh
After some early morning coffee, head out to explore the imposing Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Thiksey and witness the morning prayers and get some good portraits of monks. Once you’ve had your fill of chants and photos, head down to breakfast at the monasteries’ cafe (if open), before making your way to the monastery of Matho across the mighty Indus river. You can get some fantastic landscape shots from the roof of Matho monastery of the Indus valley and the Ladakh range. Remember to bring a polarizing filter for the bright skies. For lunch, we’ll visit a family home in the small village of Stok, nestled up at the base of the 6,200 meter Stok Kangri peak. A traditional lunch will also give us time to visit a typical kitchen and get a view of the old way of life along the Silk Route. In the afternoon, head to the Shanti Stupa to get magnificent views of Leh and the Indus valley from up high during sunset and dusk. Overnight at the Grand Dragon.
Day 3 - Hemis National Park
We’ll set out for Hemis National Park today with an hour long drive to Zingchen. We’ll start the trek with a walk to our camp. Spend the daylight hours searching for the elusive ghost of the mountains through your binoculars and the evenings around the kitchen fire or tucked into your ultra warm sleeping bags. Breakfast, lunch, dinner at Camp, or packed.
Day 4-7 - Leh to Zingchen. Trek begins.
March 19- March 22 . Leh to Zingchen. Trek begins.
We’ll explore Hemis National Park with out expert spotters on the look out for wildlife such as the Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Bharal (Blue Sheep), Shapu (Ladakhi Urial), and the elusive Snow Leopard. Our camps may be moved depending on our spotting success and intel reports of snow leopard spotting around the valley. Each day will consist of trekking for a few kilometers, perhaps 4-8 KM per day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner at Camp, or packed.
Day 8 - Trek to Zingchen, drive to Leh
After a trek to Zingchen and a short drive to Leh, re-discover the comforts of a hot shower. Free day to rest, relax, and explore Leh. If you’re interested in picking up some souvenirs or antiques, one of our guides can take you shopping. Breakfast & dinner at Grand Dragon Hotel.
Day 9 - Sumur, Nubra Valley
After breakfast, we’ll set out for the beautiful Nubra valley across the high pass of Khardung La (5,300m). Once we cross the pass, we’ll be in the Karakoram Range and our base for the night will be in the beautiful village of Sumur which was a traditional stopping point for Silk Route caravans that went between the Himalayan foothills and Xinjiang in China. We’ll explore the village on an afternoon walk and spend the evening going over our images and learning some post processing. Stay at the Kesar hotel, with breakfast and dinner.
Day 10 - Explore Sumur
Our day will be spend with portrait sessions in the day time and a landscape shoot with Bactrian camels (famous for their two humps) in the evening. We’ll have some more post-processing instructions in the evening when we get back. Stay at the Kesar hotel, with breakfast and dinner.
Day 11 - Kuri
To get a taste of really rural life, we’ll visit the small village of Kuri today, which is separated from Sumur by the Siachen river. Here we will explore the old way of life on the silk-route, get some great portraits, and visit the monastery of Charasa. Our stay overnight will be in home stays, where you can get to know your local hosts and get a real feel for how life in Ladakh is life. Breakfast at the Kesar, and lunch and dinner in Kuri.
Day 12 - Sumur
The day will be spent exploring Kuri and the nearby village of Charasa, where we will visit a local black-smith and copper worker. We’ll return to Sumur by the evening. Post-processing instruction in the evening.
Day 13 - Drive to Leh
We’ll bid adieu to Nubra valley as we re-cross the mighty Khardung La pass to return to Leh. Free afternoon and evening in Leh with a celebratory dinner in the evening. Stay at the Grand Dragon with dinner and breakfast.
Day 14 - Delhi
Fly to Delhi in the morning. You’ll need to book a hotel in Delhi for this day
Day 15 - Departure
Book a late afternoon or evening flight to make sure you’ve left enough gap time just in case our previous day’s flight is rescheduled due to bad mountain weather.
Please note that this itinerary may change slightly depending on the areas where snow leopards have been spotted in the lead up to your trip.
Of course! If your partner in crime wants to join our adventure they’re more than welcome. All our tours are designed to immerse you fully into the culture of the destinations that we visit. We think even non-photographers would find this pretty fascinating. The only caveat we have is that this is first and foremost a photography adventure and any accompanying non-photographers would be required to stay with us at all times throughout the tour.
Yes. It is a mandatory requirement on all of our tours that each participant has their own travel insurance policy. We highly recommend a travel insurance policy that not only covers medical expenses and repatriation but also covers your personal belongings and liability. For more information on travel insurance and our suggested providers please visit our travel services section.
Also, as a traveller with Intrepid Exposures, it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visas and travel documents. Despite the fact we can’t sell you visas directly, we work with a number of partners who can find you the best solution to match your needs. If you need help arranging visas for any of our tours, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
We will try our very best to cater to any dietary needs, that being said we cannot always guarantee it due to the remoteness of some of the places we stay. We will notify you if this is the case and work with you to come up with a fair solution. As long as you notify us of any requirements or allergies when booking your trip we will do our best to accommodate any needs you have.
Yes, of course! Unfortunately our website doesn't offer this functionality yet. If you wish to pay the deposit and then the remainder in one instalment you can do so using the website. If you would instead like to pay for the trip in its entirety in one payment, please contact us directly and we can advise you on the best way to do this.
We do, but on a trip by trip basis. Some tours naturally lend themselves to extensions, others not so much. Please consult the individual tour pages for more details on the extensions offered. If you would like to create your own personal tour extension, please contact us directly for assistance in doing so.
We do everything in our power to make sure out tours run smoothly, that being said there’s certain things we can’t control. Natural disaster or conflicts in the areas we travel may mean that we have to rearrange our plans and itineraries. However, we will keep a close eye on developments in the areas we travel and notify you if there are any issues or doubts.
In a word, Yes. All our tours are covered by Protected Travel Insurance (PTS). This means that your money goes into a protected bank account and can’t be accessed by us until you get back from your trip, so should anything happen your money is 100% protected. Find out more