Mongolia | Ecotours Wildlife Holidays | Snow Leopard and the amazing birds of Mongolia

After running many successful bird and wildlife holidays over the years we have discovered the possibility to design this very special tour that provides a wonderful opportunity for participants to see the to see the mythical Snow Leopard without strenuous hikes, sleeping in tents, or being exposed to the cold in the thin air at high altitudes.

We undertake our tour in relative comfort, especially bearing in mind the species we are dealing with. Further to this, the holiday will provide possibilities to see some of the rare or difficult to see mammals of the region, as well as a fantastic selection of Asian bird species whilst visiting some spectacular landscapes of Mongolia, one of the very few true wilderness areas of the World. During this very slow paced 10-day adventure we will be based in two locations only, using traditional ger camps that are spacious and comfortable accommodations (some are even en-suite), set up in scenic locations, and erected to welcome foreign travellers.

Because Snow Leopard is an endangered species, Ecotours Wildlife Holidays also aims to generate funds with these tours. We support the work of the local grassroots organisation run by very dedicated volunteer rangers who are keen to preserve the natural heritage of the land where they were born. Therefore totally optional donations will be welcome at the end of the holiday, besides which EWH will donate 2% of its profit after every booking. The funds will enable the rangers to purchase 10 camera traps and a field scope, necessary to further understand the behaviour of the Snow Leopard as well as to fight illegal hunting of other wildlife in the habitat of Snow Leopard.

Because this tour is the very first of its kind, and the specific locations of the species mentioned are obviously changing to some degree year after year, there is certain flexibility in the daily programs timing, but this will be kept to a minimum and will not alter the itinerary.

In the West of the country, not far from the not far from the Chinese border, in a small range of the Altai Mountains, we shall spend 6 nights in the foothills of the Altai Mountains, venturing into the deep rocky valleys or higher regions (maximum 3000 m, but usually below) searching for the “mountain cat” that has a healthy population of 30-35 animals in a limited range. Other days we visit the nearby semi-desert area to see the critically endangered mammals: the Saiga Antelope, and also the delicately built, pretty Black-tailed or Mongolian Gazelle. We will also look out for the world’s largest wild sheep, the Argali, that roams the rocky slopes, as does the Siberian Ibex and Siberian Marmot. There is a strong population of Grey Wolf, which is almost equally as difficult to see as the Snow Leopard, so we will use the locals’ tricks to lure them into sight.

Our second base will be nearer to the capital, yet another beautiful natural area, the famous Hustai National Park, home of the world’s only wild horse species, the Przewalski’s Horse, or Takhi, and also Mongolian Gazelle.

Top Five Birds

  1. Snow Leopard (… we’ll let it in the list as an honorary bird!)
  2. Mongolian Ground Jay
  3. Altai Snowcock
  4. Demoiselle Crane
  5. Amur Falcon

Ethics

At Terra Incognita we support tours that do good in the world. They must help to conserve the environment, support local people, and educate their guests. Here’s what Attila Steiner from Ecotours Wildlife Holidays said to us…

What conservation activities do you support through the tour, and your wider operations?

We support a local NGO financially and with equipment to preserve the habitat of Snow Leopard and many other endangered species. 

During our birding tours and wildlife holidays we aim at building the best possible relations with the local communities, trying to involve them in protecting their own environment, and to bring them benefits by using their services. Wherever we travel we look for ways to support local conservationists, ringing stations, bird societies and local initiatives, sometimes by donations, by building friendships and by sharing information. We also work with some of the National Parks in Hungary and other countries in various ways.

These range from simply passing on our observations and records, to organizing and running butterfly monitoring projects. We also support local communities by fostering an interest in their immediate natural environment, for example involving schools in Transylvania with Tengmalm’s Owl nestboxes, where the children are the “owners” of the boxes. When visiting Ghana we work with the local Ghana Wildlife Society employing their local guides and also by financially supporting their work. We have organised several successful Butterfly conservation projects with three Hungarian National Parks and the Butterfly Conservation of UK and BC International.

How does the tour support local people?

We try to purchase most things locally from camping equipment to food products to support the local communities.

What type of environmental education activities do you incorporate into your tour?

We inform our guests about the activities of the local NGO and their importance in preserving the area and the species and ask clients to get involved in the support as well.

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Images

Contact

Tour Operator | Ecotours Wildlife Holidays
Contact Name | Attila Steiner
Contact Email | [email protected]
Website | http://ecotourswildlife.co.uk/
Tour Info | http://ecotourswildlife.co.uk/birding-holidays/asia/mongolia/snow-leopards-and-amazing-birds

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