Best Time: Oct to March
Duration: 14 Days
Tour Pace: Moderate (Participants should be physically fit to travel on high
altitude and trekking)
Minimum tour participants: 04
Maximum tour participants: 08
Tour Code: 120
The majestic and elusive Snow Leopard is one of the world’s rarest big cats, and getting the chance to see one is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
This tour is specially designed to give you the optimum chance of spotting one of these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, among the rugged mountainscapes of Ladakh, as well as enjoy the other unique wildlife that this high-altitude habitat has to offer.
While most only get to see pugmarks of this almost-mythical animal, our trained guides and local trackers will try their best to ensure a glimpse of this magnificent predator.
Ladakh at the northern boundary of India is a once in a lifetime, must visit destination. The stark natural beauty is awe-inspiring as is the elusive and enigmatic snow leopard that is found amid the mountains of Hemis National Park. While most people only see footprints of this mythical mammal, our guides and local trackers will try their best to ensure a glimpse of this high-altitude predator as it comes down to more accessible altitude following the Blue Sheep or Bharal.
This trek is regarded as the most rewarding and complete circular trek in the entire Himalayan region. The programme is blended with a great range of flora and fauna, Himalayan nomads, spectacular panoramic views, high passes, open skies, villages, and Buddhist monasteries.
We start this tour with one of the most sensational flights in the world. Flying from Delhi to Leh, in the distance, you can see the peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum and Nun Kun Massif. Situated at a height of 11,000 ft, you will need to rest for 24-36 hours when you get to Leh to acclimatize yourself to the high altitude.
The first two days are at leisure to acclimatize to the rarefied air and explore Leh. You may choose to stroll along the main bazaar – observing the varied crowds. Looking into curio shops is an engaging experience. A particularly attractive sight is the line of women from nearby villages sitting along the edge of the footpath with baskets of fresh vegetables brought for sale. Behind the main bazaar, Chang Gali is less bustling but has interesting little shops selling curios and jewelry. Further on are the labyrinthine alleyways and piled-up houses of the old town, clustering around the foot of the Palace Hill. In the other direction, down the bazaar, are the Tibetan markets where one can bargain for pearls, turquoise, coral, lapis lazuli and many other kinds of semi-precious stones and jewelry, as well as carved yak-horn boxes, quaint brass locks, China or metal bowls, or any of a whole array of curios. When tired of strolling, one can step into any of the several restaurants; some of them located in gardens or on the sidewalks and serve local Tibetan, Indian and Continental cuisine.
Also walk to the Leh Palace & Shankar Gompa, which belongs to Gelukspa school of Tibetan Buddhism. This small Gompa is a branch of Spituk Gompa, founded by the first incarnation of Skyabje Bakula (head monk of Spituk monastery)
The third day is when we begin the real trek by driving to Zingchan which is the entry point to Rumbak Valley – the home of the Snow Leopard. You will get the opportunity to interact with the locals of the area and get enthralling insights into local folklore, as well as learn about their customs and traditions.
Staying in tented camps, you will now trek on mountainsides, valleys and gorges, and interiors of Snow Leopard country for the next nine days.
Hemis National Park has an incredibly scenic landscape. You might sight raptors such as Lammergeier and Himalayan Griffon Vulture and maybe other birds like Brown and Robin Accentors, and Himalayan & Tibetan Snowcock. The area is home to Red Fox, Pika and Woolly Hares. You might be lucky enough to spot rare mammals including Tibetan Wolf, Lynx, and Tibetan Argali, though these are rarely seen.
This tour does require a high level of fitness. You may need to be prepared to trek through light to medium snowfalls for up to several hours a day. If you are lucky, whether, at a kill of the blue sheep or making its solitary way up a remote mountain pass, there is no greater wildlife thrill than seeing a Snow Leopard blending into its natural habitat which to us seems so inhospitable.
Choosing the best time of year for sightings, this thrilling and challenging tour rewards you with an opportunity of one of the rarest and awe-inspiring wildlife sightings ever.
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Day 02: Morning flight to Leh. Rest of the day for acclimatization.
Day 03: Acclimatization / Birding around Leh
Day 04: Leh to Zinchan to Rumbak Valley
Day 05: Rumbak Valley
Day 06: Rumbak Valley
Day 07: Rumbak Valley
Day 08: Rumbak Valley
Day 09: Rumbak Valley
Day 10: Rumbak Valley
Day 11: Rumbak Valley
Day 12: Rumbak Valley to Zinchan – Leh
Day 13: Leh to Delhi
Day 14: Fly back from Delhi
➢ One of the very few tours to offer a realistic chance of seeing Snow Leopard
➢ The ancient kingdom of Ladakh, Buddhist monasteries and mud palaces
➢ Unique flora and fauna or the Trans-Himalayan region
➢ Spectacular trans-Himalayan flights to and from Leh
➢ Enjoy traditional Ladakhi culture and hospitality
Services include only:
-Accommodation on twin sharing basis in the lodges and fully serviced and hotels camps
-Three meals a day (Except Delhi where the hotel will be booked on a bed & breakfast basis)
-Snow Leopard tracking and wildlife viewing with trained guides
-Permits and entry fee
-All surface transfers by a private vehicle
Services do not include:
-Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
-Tips, laundry, phone calls, alcohol, camera fee, sleeping bag etc.
-Domestic & International airfare, visa, insurance.