Responsible tourism: Snow leopard tracking vacation in Ladakh, India
This trip is led by local experts who are affiliated to the Snow Leopard Conservancy who co-ordinate education, research and grassroots conservation action in the prime habitats of the elusive snow leopard. It is therefore possible to gain a depth of understanding and respect for the local environment through specialist local knowledge.
We aim to reduce waste and our impact on the environment within our destinations, and at home in the UK, where our offices our based. We work in partnership with the Borough of Brighton & Hove in an attempt to recycle and reuse as much as possible. Our clients are always advised on the best way to do this when away. We recommend using environmentally friendly shampoos, soaps and toiletries, to avoid leaving any litter (whether it is biodegradable or not). Whenever possible we use accommodation that savours every drop of precious water; from using environmentally friendly flushing toilets and to savouring rain water for washing, to using solar power heating.
Accommodation when traveling will vary, but we do try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, promoting the use of local eco-lodges where we can. On this trip we stay in homestay and tent accommodation which have a low impact on the environment and the homestay arrangements we have made for this departure assist the local community. These homestays were established by the Snow Leopard Conservancy.
Currently we work on various conservation and local initiatives in partnership with our colleagues overseas in Ladakh, India, who support livestock insurance in three villages in prime snow leopard habitats, where some livestock may have been compensated by snow leopards or wolves. They also have provided parabolic water heaters in the various cafes along the trekking areas in Saspoche and along the route of Hemis Shukpachen. This is an alternative to plastic mineral water bottles in order to reduce the damaging effects of litter and the villagers boil the mountain water on this solar heater for drinking as well as for cooking purposes, thus reducing fuel wood and providing a responsible source of income for the local communities.
The homestays we use during this trip assist the local communities and provide them with a source of income and economic incentive, thereby assisting with sustainability, while protecting their rich natural and cultural heritage for future generations.