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Join field biologist Tashi Ghale in a trekking expedition through the Annapurna region of Nepal. You will assist with the collection of snow leopard images from several camera traps in the region.
Over the course of the journey, participants will visit up to six of Tashi’s camera trap sites to recover memory cards and subsequently download image and video data. Photos and video obtained from the camera traps enable GPN to estimate the number of snow leopards inhabiting specific mountain tracks, in addition to the felines’ travel routes and the movement of their prey. Scientists rely on the animals’ spot patterns to identify individual snow leopards when conducting such research. Tashi Ghale’s snow leopard camera trap research is recognized as being amongst the most prolific in its field today.
Explore the towering alpine peaks, crystal clear river waters, ancient stone villages and Buddhist monk monasteries.
Guests will be welcomed at Tribhuvan Airport then transferred to the Marshyangdi Hotel, located in the Thamel district in central Kathmandu.
Over dinner, we will discuss highlights of our upcoming journey.
Early morning, we start our overland journey to Manang. We will cover the initial Kathmandu to Chame segment of the voyage, driving along well-traveled highways and secondary roads.
Dinner and overnight at Chame.
Throughout most of the day, our jeep convoy will climb the twisting, arduous mountain trail ascending from Chame (2,650 meters) to Manang (3,500 meters). We will arrive in Manang in mid-afternoon, after a lunch break along the road.
Our home in Manang will be the Mountain Lake Lodge where in the evenings, around the warm woodstove, Tashi will share with us his unique experience and insight as well as the many fascinating photos and videos he has captured of the legendary snow leopard.
Over the next five days, we will accompany Tashi Ghale on a series of trekking excursions to collect data from up to six of his camera traps set along ridgelines in the Manang area. Sites we will visit include Khangsar (3,800 meters), Yak Kharka (4,000 meters) and Ledar (4,200 meters).
We will overnight at least once along the trail as Tashi seeks interaction with communities of migrant yak herders who today represent the most frequent point of conflict between humans and snow leopards. A large part of Tashi’s (and GPN’s) work today involves the creation of viable alternatives – to the killing of snow leopards – for the benefit of the yak herders to safeguard their livestock. Such alternatives include the construction of portable ‘safe’ corrals for young livestock as well as the supply and use of ‘fox-lights’ to discourage snow leopards from approaching herders’ encampments. Much of the funding provided by our expeditions will be allocated to the acquisition of such tools – ‘safe’ corrals and ‘fox-lights’ – to assist GPN is its efforts to reverse the trend of snow leopard retaliatory killings.
As we make our way along the trail, it will be difficult not to be amazed by the collage of crystal-clear alpine rivers, jagged snow covered Himalayan peaks, Buddhist monasteries and monuments and ancient stone villages. Surrounded by the Annapurna mountain range – which includes one peak over 8,000 meters and thirteen peaks over 7,000 meters – we are reminded that we truly are on the roof of the world.
Our jeep descent of the storied mountain road will be somewhat more comfortable and rapid than the ascent.
At the base of the trail, we will have dinner and will overnight at the Gateway Himalaya Resort in Besisahar.
The Nepalese highway system will feel like 5-star comfort after our mountain ‘off-road’ experience! Closing group dinner in Kathmandu followed by overnight at the Marshyangdi Hotel.
Day 11: Optional trip extension to visit sites in the Kathmandu valley or transfer to and departure from Tribhuvan Airport.
|Population||26,494,504 (2011 census)|
|Major Airport(s):||Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM)|
|Economic Driver(s):||Import/Export, Tourism, Resources|
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Length of Trip: 9 days