Paro Dzong fortress and monastery in Bhutan, home of snow leopards. Photo Sibylle Noras.
Kuzuzangbola is “hello” in Dzongkha, the official language of Bhutan.
Our friends at the Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) have launched a new trip with their partner, KarmaQuest aimed at eco travellers interested in supporting snow leopard conservation in beautiful Bhutan.
For many years KarmaQuest has been at the forefront of snow leopard treks in Ladakh in India and they have an amazing and unique 100% success rate in sighting – each winter group for the last five years has spent time watching a snow leopard (or snow leopards) in the wild in these magnificent mountains.
I am a lucky member of the small group of people in the world to have seen a snow leopard in the wild thanks to KarmaQuest when on their 2011 winter trek I spent 8 hours watching a beautiful female cat rest on snow covered rocks. (Read story here.)
One of the many photos captured by remote camera traps in Bhutan. Photos WWF.
The SLC, which was founded by world renowned snow leopard expert, Dr Rodney Jackson, has been working closely with the Bhutan Foundation on the Jomolhari Snow Leopard Conservation Program, building a data base of snow leopard movement and habits, and awareness in snow leopard conservation among communities that share its mountain habitat.
The Bhutan government (Parks Department and Ecotourism Division) has joined the effort, and the Bhutan Foundation has initiated the Jomolhari Mountain and Snow Leopard Festival as a yearly event coinciding with the autumn trekking season.
The trek is in October this year (2014) and goes to Jomolhari Base Camp. Jomolhari is Bhutan’s highest mountain. You will join villagers and snow leopard experts in festival celebrations and conservation activities aimed at appreciating the beautiful snow leopards left in this country.
Although an actual snow leopard sighting is less likely, you’ll be watching closely for the elusive cat and checking remote camera traps for possible pictures of the cats or other passing wildlife. And you’ll will also get opportunities to talk with Bhutanese villagers and yak herders as well as spend time with research scientists who have seen snow leopards in the wild.
If you are interested in going on this trek and supporting snow leopard conservation in Bhutan see more information on the KarmaQuest website.