snow-leopard-ladakh-guest-telescope

Private Guides

From the moment guests touch down in India, to the moment they leave, &Beyond will be at their side throughout their adventure. Our wealth of expertise found in our private and specialist guides, ground logistics teams and over 2000 &Beyonders means that guests will experience a journey unlike any other!

Meet your private guides

David Sonam

David is one of Ladakh’s most distinguished residents, and comes with immense knowledge and expertise on the cultural heritage and natural history of the region. His family name, Zipata, was given as a title to his great grandfather – a renowned sculptor and artist whose work can be seen in many of Ladakh’s monasteries. His grandfather was Ladakh’s first ordained Moravian priest. It is a legacy that gives David that extra edge of insight into the history and culture of his high Himalayan homeland. David started working for Tiger Tops at the Ladakh Sarai and later in Nepal and Central India. After more than 10 years with Tiger Tops, he worked as the Dean at the Moravian Mission School in Leh before opening the Snowview Hideaway Hotel. At the same time, David also started his travel company, and still manages to lead several wildlife and birding tours. He has been a founder trustee of the Snow Leopard Conservancy India and is now the Managing Trustee. An active member of various societies in Leh, he is best known for his work as head of the REWA Society, which provides physiotherapy for disabled children, specially in the remote parts of Ladakh.

Surya Ramachandran

Surya is an engineer from the south-Indian city of Chennai who later pursued his passion into the wild. His jungle journey commenced in the forests of Satpura at Forsyths, where he started as an intern and then later turned into a full time naturalist. His interests vary to all types of life forms, especially the lesser fauna of the region and their microhabitats. His vehement enthusiasm led to pioneering Central India’s first walking safari, canoeing, wilderness camping and night drives at Satpura. Satpura, having been a less tiger centric park, gave him the chance to explore other activities other than just Jeep safaris. His love for wildlife, and eagerness to learn led him to explore India’s special and rare mammals, birds, reptiles and butterflies. Surya enjoys the idea of guiding and explaining the little secrets of the jungle to people rather than just seeing it for himself. The need to guide people encouraged him to write a book ‘Photo Field Guide to Central India’ which covers 850 species of the region, a first of its kind field guide in India. Surya believes that the key to sustainable ecotourism is to keep the locals at the helm. He is currently working on setting up wildlife lodges in Ladakh in the Trans Himalayas with snow leopard and other lesser fauna as the focus. This is going to be in collaboration with the houses and villages in the valley, making sure to include the local residents.