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Snow leopard and Pallas's cat tour

Observe two elusive Central Asian felines guided by Mongolian wildlife experts. Many other high mountain
bird and mammal species such as Altai Argali, Siberian Ibex and Mongolian Saiga are seen during this tour.

Summary

We are pleased to introduce our key mammal tour combined with bird watching whilst visiting some spectacular landscapes of Mongolia, one of the very few true wilderness areas of the world.

This 2-week tour is specifically tailored to observe some of the unique mammal species native to the steppes and mountains of central Asia such as Snow Leopard, Pallas’s Cat, and Mongolian Saiga which are rarely seen anywhere else altogether. The entire tour is well planned as we visit the vast open steppe grassland in the east and great mountains of Altai and the semi-arid depression in the west in search of these fabulous mammals and other wildlife sharing the same habitat. Our tour is usually timed with autumn bird migration, so a good number of resident and migratory bird species should be observed.

No other companies in the world guarantee, not only if offer, observation of both Snow Leopard and Pallas’s Cat in the wild on a single tour. Even though the highly secretive nature of Snow leopards our tours have over a 90% chance of sightings and we guarantee observation of Pallas’s cat.

After many years of experience tracking and observing Snow Leopards across the high mountain of Altai, our spotting and tracking skills are unparalleled by any other company.

The biggest advantage of our tour is we provide our clients an opportunity to see Snow Leopard in the wild without any altitude sickness and physical effort such as strenuous hiking and trekking through rugged and steep mountains where Snow Leopard inhabits. Our selected mountain for Snow Leopard is positioned at a relatively low altitude (2200-2600m) compared to other high mountain ranges. It doesn’t require being exposed to harsh climatic conditions so often associated with viewing this secretive species.

We have a number of selected and well positioned observation points in the mountains from where we usually scan for the Snow Leopard. We drive to these points by 4x4 Land cruiser jeeps.

Accommodation

During the entire tour, our clients will be accommodated in Ger camps specially set up for the trip. Gers are the traditional round shaped, portable, felt dwellings in which Mongolians have lived for thousands of years. These ger camps are similar to motels and are spacious and cozy, often heated by wood or coal fires. Each ger has twin or double beds, bedding consisting of blankets, sheets, pillow and duvet. Washing and toilet facilities at these camps are basic but do consist of separate toilet and shower buildings. There will be a separate dining Ger with table and chairs.

  • Tour dates: February to early October
  • Duration: 14 – 18 days
  • Availability: Full / Available

ITINERARY

Our two weeks tour (it can be extended to up to 18 days) usually divided into 3 parts. 2-3 days we explore Hustai national park, next we return to the capital city and fly two hours to Altai mountains to spend 6 days there. After completing our mountain experience, we fly back to the capital once again and proceed to the Eastern Mongolian steppe for the rest of the tour.

Hustai national park: Hustai National park, situated in a beautiful mountain steppe ecosystem comprised of gently rolling hills, open grasslands and patches of birch forest. The main attraction of the national park is the herds of Przewalski’s Horses, or “Takhi” as they are called by the local Mongolians. At one time extinct in the wild (in Mongolia, the last wild Przewalski's horses had been seen in 1966), it has been reintroduced from various European zoos to its native habitat in Mongolia at 3 different locations since 1992. As being the first site of the reintroduction of Takhi, Khustai national park hosts almost 400 wild horses currently.

In this biodiversity rich reserve, our first mammals of the trip will be Long-tailed ground squirrel, Brandt’s vole, Mongolian marmot and adorable little Daurian pikas. Array of raptor species such as Cinereous vulture, Himalayan griffon, Golden and Steppe eagle, Saker and Amur falcon, Lesser kestrel and Upland buzzard are seen soaring high in the sky or feasting on dead livestock. Also, other bird species such as Japanese Quail, Daurian partridge, Meadow bunting, Mongolian lark and Asian short-toed Lark and Blyth’s pipit breed here.

We have our best chance to encountering wild wolves (Mongolian wolf) in this park. Furthermore, the park hosts a small population of Argali, Siberian Ibex and Mongolian gazelle.

Eastern Mongolia: Mongolian-Manchurian grassland of Eastern Mongolia is possibly the last and largest expanse of unspoiled and pristine grassland ecosystem not only in Asia, but also in the world. It contains an abundance of natural wonders and conjures images of endless and open land — tall grasses and wide-open spaces without a glimmer of civilization.

Our selected destination, a highly undisturbed and intact dry steppe ecosystem hosts an array of species including dozens of pairs of Pallas’s cats. For up to 4 days, depending on our success to see the target species, we will be stationed in a pre-set-up camp surrounded by breathtaking expansive open space. During these days in this true wilderness we unlikely to see other people except for our camp staff and your mammal guide who will be helping us to observe this cute fluffy feline which we expect to see on more than one occasion.

Altai mountain: We will be settled in an impressive wide mountain valley, with steep rocky sides and surrounded by the huge, rocky mountain which will be our base camp for the next few days. The site supports species typical of semi-desert and Altai high montane biomes, such as Altai Argali, Siberian Ibex, Mongolian Wolf, Pallas’s Pika, Altai Snowcock, Mongolian Groundjay and other bird species.

TOUR REPORTS

Group and dates Read the report
  • Autumn mammal (Snow leopard and Pallas’ cat) and bird migration watching tour. 13 - 26 Sep 2022. 
TOUR REPORT
  • Autumn mammal (Snow leopard and Pallas’ cat) and bird migration watching tour. 22 Sep - 05 Oct 2019. 
TOUR REPORT
  • Winter Snow leopard and Pallas’s cat watching tour. 21 Oct - 02 Nov 2018
TOUR REPORT

TOUR DATES

2024
Guaranteed Departures Duration  Availability   Details
24 Aug - 06 September 2024  14 days FULL    
08 - 21 September 2024 14 days FULL     
29 Sep - 10 October 2024   10 days 2 SPACES AVAILABLE  BOOK TOUR  Snow Leopard photography tour. Maximum group size is 3 pax.

 

2025
Departures   Duration   Availability    
01 - 14 March 2025    14 days SPACES AVAILABLE    
Oct - mid Nov   SPACES AVAILABLE  BOOK TOUR       

 

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