Clouded Leopard Expedition
December 5 - December 14£700 – £2690
Clouded Leopard Expedition
For a very long time clouded leopards were among the top of every wildlife enthusiasts wish lists, but for a long time the chances of seeing one were slim. Nearly all sightings of clouded leopards occur in Sabah, Malaysia (Deramakot Forest Reserve). But nearly at the same time as this location arrived on the wildlife watching scene the clouded leopard was split into two different species; the Indochinese clouded leopard (native to the mainland of Asia) and the Sunda clouded leopard (found on Sumatra and Borneo). So whilst seeing the Sunda clouded leopard is now possible (although still with some luck and the right guides), there remained nowhere to see the Indochinese clouded leopard – well that was until very recently.
Due to some very adventurous pioneers and the incredible work of clouded leopard researchers various parks and forests in the north-east of India and along the Himalayan foothills of Nepal have been extensively studied and tracked with views of finding clouded leopard populations and possibly getting a sighting. This tour works with the best clouded leopard researchers in Nepal to take people to this special location to try and find this species. We have also hired the serviced of Mike Gordon, the dedicated and passionate wildlife spotter and guide from Sabah, made famous for his numerous sightings of Sunda clouded leopards. Possibly no one in the world understands this species better than Mike and we are delighted that he will be guiding our new Clouded Leopard Expeditions to Nepal.
Top Animals on Tour
Indochinese Clouded Leopard
Nepal Grey Langur
Himalayan Musk Deer
Tour Dates: 5/12/2021 – 14/12/2021
Duration: 9 nights
Type / Focus: Indochinese Clouded Leopard
On arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport you will be met by your tour guide and our local guide/driver. From the airport we will be transferred in our private vehicle into the middle of Kathmandu (20-30 mins). Once here we will head to the Thamel district and your hotel for the night. If there is time you will be taken around the winding streets of Thamel. This area is the heartbeat of Kathmandu and a place which teems with colour, sights and sounds. You can easily get lost meandering down the maze of streets souvenir shopping and we can spend hours here enjoying the hustle and bustle of Nepal’s busiest city. Whilst still very touristy Thamel is a good welcome to Nepal and in particular Kathmandu. If time allows we will have a short city tour today, however it depends on the arrival times of all of the clients booked on the trip. However Thamel is safe to walk around and with a large selection of restaurants your guide can point you in the right direction for your evening meal, alternatively you can rest and prepare for the long car journey tomorrow morning to get to Lantang district.
Depending on the time we arrive back into Kathmandu on the final day of the trip we will look to conduct some sightseeing around the city and show you some of the better known sites such as Boudnath Stupa, which is the largest Buddhist stupa in the world and a very important place for Nepalese Buddhists. We will then visit the hilltop temples at Swayambunath that are dedicated to Hanuman the monkey god n Hindu mythology; alongside the playful macaques the views over Kathmandu are worth the long climb up alone. We then visit the historical Royal palaces and temples of the bustling Durbur Square.
Kathmandu – Langtang District
This morning you will be collected from the hotel after breakfast and transported around ~6 hours north towards the Langtang district of Nepal in our own vehicle.
On arrival we will either set up the camp or check into the local guest house (depending on what is recommended by the local guide (based on clouded leopard sightings)) we will head out into the forest with the local ranger and our own expert guide to try and locate some wildlife, including clouded leopards.
We can also go out after dark looking, however many of the sightings are made during the day, so we will focus during the day, but also there will be some spotlighting offered each night.
Over the next 6 full days you will explore the forest both during the day and some night time activities looking for as much wildlife as we can find, with the target of course being the wonderful and elusive Indochinese clouded leopard. There is not much known about the movements of clouded leopards here, and we will be helped by the local rangers as well as information from local researchers and of course the expertise of our guides. So we will spend a lot of time walking the trails, scanning slopes and also waiting patiently in certain areas for animals to come to us or walk across the trails.
Other species which could be seen from here include red pandas, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan tahr, Assamese macaque, Nepali gray langur which make up the 46 species strong mammal list (however this is likely to miss some of the rodents, shrews and bats that also inhabit the region (there have to been comprehensive censuses here)).
There is no fixed pattern to the days here and so there is not much else to put in the daily description, our main aim whilst here for these 6 full days is to try and see a Indochinese clouded leopard and of course other wildlife and so we will take our queues from the local rangers, researchers, recent movements and sightings as well as the local conditions of the forest when we are there.
We will either be staying in a local guest house nearby to the forest or camping on the edge of the forest, again our final decision will be based on what is best for chances of seeing clouded leopards when we are there.
This morning is your last opportunity to explore the forests here looking for wildlife, before we depart and leave in our private vehicle and head back to Kathmandu.
On arrival back in the city you will be taken to the same accommodation as on the first day here and if we arrive in time and you would like we can look to do some sightseeing if you wish, such as visiting Boudnath Stupa, Swayambunath and Durbar Square; however the time of arrival into Kathmandu will dictate that and this sightseeing trip would be extra and arranged with the accommodation.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
The weather in the Himalayan foothills during spring and autumn (when this tour is best run) is a mixture of both hot and sunny when the skies are clear and cold and wet during cloudy days. Mist and fog are also common occurrences. The temperatures are usually around 15-20C and rain can be common at any time of year.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner when in the Langtang – but only breakfast is included when in Kathmandu). There will be an amount of bottled or boiled spring water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private vehicle to be driven by a local guide for transfers when needed.
All our excursions including guided walks, spotlighting, use of high quality optical equipment, camping fees and park entrance fees and anti-poaching patrol fees also included; we also include all fees for our camping team including cooks, assistants and translator.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars or spotting scope (thermal and night vision are also good to have) as well as appropriate clothing; which should be both light and durable walking clothes as well as at least one change of warm clothing, such as a jackets & fleece, walking socks, gloves, hat, scarf etc. Broken in and comfortable, waterproof walking boots are essential and a light waterproof jacket is recommended. Any medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. There is usually a spare pair of binoculars and scope to share but in a group of 4 people these do not stretch too far. We also provide a spot light for nocturnal viewing (this is subject to local condition when we arrive). We also provide a thermal imaging scope where possible to do.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals, drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport
We recommend Qatar Airways as a good airline for flights to Kathmandu. One of the best websites to search for the best fares is www.travelup.co.uk. They are an ATOL bonded company and this provide all the securities related to ATOL protection. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
Visas and Health Information
All UK passport holders and most other nationalities are required to have a visa for Nepal. These are easy to get and are usually issued on arrival at the airport for a fee. The fee for a multiple entry tourist visa valid for 30 days is £35. For more information look on the Nepalese embassy website www.nepembassy.org.uk/ (be aware that this link leaves our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for information on the site).
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Nepal, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A as well as taking a form of malaria prophylactics. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Nepal as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Reviews of this Holiday
Ewan Davies - England, UK
Mr. Sjef Ollers - Netherlands
Mr. Clode - London
Peter Hobbs - San Fransisco, California