India snow leopard and tiger tracking tour
£6495 including domestic flights only
Description of India snow leopard and tiger tracking tour
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetIn India we (as with everywhere we go) we carefully choose accommodation, suppliers and transportation that either minimise their effect on the environment or that help to contribute to its sustainable development. By choosing small, privately owned accommodation where possible we also look to only stay in truly eco-lodges that abide by basic and also pioneering methods of ecological sustainability.
All the entrance fees paid to the Hemis National Park authorities and the camera trap permits go into direct conservation efforts throughout Ladakh and help to fund rangers and wardens to protect the wildlife against poachers. Since the park has reopened to tourists the decline in poaching has been dramatic and we hope to help maintain this decline until poaching here is a thing of the distant past.
We are a member of Tour Operators for Tigers (TOFT) who run annual audits of the lodges and hotels around all Indian tiger parks and make sure that they adhere to Eco Tourism policies such as being environmentally friendly, employing local staff and buying local products. We also make sure that all the food consumed is produced locally. We also contribute and participate in as many studies that the local researchers and scientists are conducting as possible.
The wildlife is of course of the upmost importance to us on this tour and all other tours run by us. All pictures and videos which we take of wild snow leopards are handed over to the Snow Leopard Conservancy for their on going studies. This helps to keep tabs on the individuals in the area and further understand the behaviour of the species; as the snow leopard is still far from understood completely, every sighting is invaluable to conservation and research efforts. We also actively campaign against poaching and the illegal fur trade worldwide; we are also keen to report any abuse of the environment or wildlife that we see to the local authorities.
By bringing people here with a professional zoologist/naturalist as well as professional local guides we aim to showcase the environment in full but also to allow you to learn about the problems facing the ecosystems here and highlight the ways that continued development and human exploitation are affect the species and how cutting edge research is countering the problems as well as showing you examples of success stories. We also keep a record of all the great sightings we see on each tour and record the environmental factors, this data is used by ourselves but also given to the researchers who are working on many of these species. All the information collected in invaluable as the knowledge of some of the animals that live here are little understood. We also donate our pictures to the researchers to aid in their photo identification studies.
Our zoologist escort who is available on request is a tiger conservation expert and has his own charity (based in the Russian Far East) for the reforesting of deforested tiger habitat and raising awareness of the tiger plight here and also contributes direct to tiger research and conservation in India (as part of Tour Operators for Tigers (TOFT) and also in Russia.
Throughout this trip we use as many locally produced and sourced foods as possible, by doing so we minimize waste as most of these locally produced products have less packaging that mass produced products. All waste we do create during the trek is taken back with us to the city so they can be recycled effectively. In fact nearly everything we consume along the way is locally produced in the villages around these national parks. Leaving next to no waste from packaging.
For water conservation we reduce washing of bedding and towels by encouraging our clients to use the same towel for the duration of their trip, so to reduce water usage in cleaning them regularly. Being a member of TOFT we also audit each of our lodges and accommodations for our Indian tiger safaris and part of their sustainability audit is making sure that the lodge recycles as much water as possible.
Solar power is an important in rural India, it is how water is heated for showers.
We only use one vehicle on this trip, we minimize the amount of driving on the trip, most of the movement on the trip is walking.
All of our local suppliers in India are audited by TOFT, to make sure that they are continually adhering to sustainable and eco-friendly policies. These policies include working hard to introduce eco friendly practices to the local villages around the park.
PeopleAs with any of our tours throughout Asia or elsewhere in the world we always employ local guides and drivers. They have a much better local knowledge and also helps to bring in revenue sources to the local community.
The local community benefits directly from this tour in many ways. The most obvious being that the porters, pony-men, snow leopard trackers, cooks and camp assistants are all local people who are handsomely paid for their tireless work. This as made guiding a genuine career prospect which has helped to keep the current generation of men in the villages (as opposed to the migration out of the mountains and into the towns and cities). The other major impact is that when staying at the homestays in Rumbak or Ullay, this is run by the Snow Leopard Conservancy; the money from the homestay is split to fund many projects in the village as well as some being given direct the host families. Some of the more important projects which are funded are solar powered water heaters, better corrals for their livestock at night (to avoid snow leopard and Tibetan wolf predation) and training of snow leopard guides and trackers.
All of the hotels and lodges that we stay in make sure that all our resources such as food, drink and equipment is locally sourced. We also try and make sure that all the local guides that we hire and who work for the lodges, camps and guesthouses that we visit are from the local area. This is helped by our membership to Tour Operators for Tigers (TOFT) who annually audit the lodges to make sure that everyone adheres to eco tourism policies. We think that by employing local guides we have encouraging a future generation to follow this career.
Many of the accommodations that we use are involved in community based projects and schools in particular.
Many of the projects that are funded by people staying here are geared towards helping children in townships get better education and enhance their career opportunities in the future. We also encourage the purchasing of local handicrafts which are all created in a sustainable way and provide great unique souvenirs.
By using accommodation that is near the park and also local villages the lodges we use are actively encouraged to employ local village people as staff.
Throughout our stay around Hemis National Parks you will have opportunities to purchase local crafts as well as seeing how they are produced, either at the lodge (which often have women initiatives producing handicrafts), or in the local villages that surround the park. We also offer the chance for our clients to visit the local villages in between safari activities and during these village visits you can be involved in handicraft making and also purchase direct from the artisans.
Throughout this trip, as with our other tours in Asia we give all of our clients the opportunity to contribute and participate in local traditions and activities. We are at the mercy of local people and the local communities when off the beaten track in India. So it is crucial we make sure that we have a great relationships between our clients, guides, suppliers and the local communities. By bringing supplies (such as medication, school supplies and solar chargers) from the towns to these rural communities we help to secure a strong relationship through eco tourism.
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