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A wildlife tour does not get more adrenaline rushing than this! The high and mighty himalayas, unforgiving terrain, 15,000 feet altitude, inhospitable weather and India’s (or rather world’s) most elusive Big Cat on offer, you cannot ask for a greater adventure. The snow leopard, also called the grey ghost of the himalayas, is found in altitudes of 15,000 to 18,000 feet in the Hemis National park of Ladakh during the winter months of January to March. While you can reach Leh by flight, and the entrance of Hemis National park by car, the rest of the journey has to be undertaken on foot or by horses. Though compared to recent times, we have been able to procure a comfortable homestay with hot shower and heater facility (this might not read as luxury but this used to be a dream for snow leopard trekkers in Ladakh till 2 years back). After routine acclimatization at Leh, you transfer and settle down at the homestay in Hemis. Our multiple guides and locals track the snow leopard relentlessly day and night, and they relay any kind of movement information to us. Based on such information our resident guide takes you to such locations, with a few hours of trek involved and we try to spot and photograph this elusive beast. Apart from Snow Leopard we should have regular sightings of the himalayan red fox, himalayan blue sheep, chukar partridge, marmot, pika etc. You need to have a reasonable physical fitness to undertake this tour and if you have any medical conditions do consult your doctor before signing up, we shall be happy to explain the exact conditions on ground in more details to your doctor. While our previous groups have a 100% spotting record, but this being raw and wild nature there are no guarantees of spotting a Snow Leopard. However our local guides and tracking team are the best in business and if you have the best odds of spotting this grey ghost anywhere, it is with us.
Asiatic lion, Indian leopard , jungle cat, Blackbuck, Indian Wolf, Wild Ass, Indian Wolf, Striped Hyena, Desert Fox, Indian Fox, Asiatic Wild Cat
Lesser Flamingo, McQueen’s Bustard, Short Eared Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Pallid Scops Owl, Common and Lesser Kestrel, European Roller, Pallid Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Cream-colored Courser, Sociable Lapwing, Common Crane, Spotted Sandgrouse, Red-necked Phalarope, crested serpent eagle, black-headed oriole, Desert Warbler, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Flamingos, Collared Pratincole, Crab Plovers, Bluethroat, Tufted Duck, Great-crested Grebe, Grey-necked, Red-headed and Black-headed Buntings, Chestnut-bellied and Spotted Sandgrouse, Indian Courser, Grey Hypocolius, Common Crane, Demoiselle Crane, White-naped Tit, Stoliczka’s Bushchat, Montagu’s & Hen Harriers, Hoopoe Lark, Eurasian Eagle Owl, brown-capped pygmy woodpecker, Indian eagle-owl, Bonelli’s eagle, changeable hawk-eagle, brown fish owl, rock bush-quail, crested treeswift and Indian pitta, Imperial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Eurasian Hobby, Long-legged Buzzard
Arrive at the capital of India, Delhi. Here, the tourists will be briefed and given all the information that will be useful for you through the trip by our experts. One can relax for the day and use this day to familiarize themselves with the culture of India with a proper Indian cuisine as lunch and dinner. Enjoy the spices and array of tastes for which India is known.
The tourists will reach Leh through the fastest mode of transport available. Once they reach the beautiful Buddhist city of Ladakh, you will find yourself mesmerized with the quietness and peace of the place. The tourists will spend the day exploring the streets of Leh and the landscape of tall mountains as they enjoy the unique cuisine of the cold desert.
|Days 3 - 4||
These two days of Ladakh snow leopard tour are dedicated to roaming around the Buddhist capital of Ladakh. These days are also essential for the tourists to adapt to the cold climate and high altitude. Take a glimpse at the exquisite Leh Palace built almost four centuries ago. One can also visit She Marshes, flocked by colorful cold-weather birds and a hub for bird watchers. Visit the bazaar to get trinkets as souvenirs as well as dry fruits, nuts, and chocolates that you need in your snow leopard trip. The ancient Buddhist shrines and stupas will snatch your breath away with their splendor.
Hemis National Park
Start the day with a healthy breakfast and then set to Hemis National Park. Trek through the park and search for the signs of snow leopards. Our guide will lead the tourists to the trails of the snow leopards. The waiting and anticipation is the best part of the Ladakh snow leopard tour. The experts will take you across the frozen Rumbak river and take you to the spots where a sight of snow leopard has the highest probability to be caught. Make no mistake, walking in snow at such a high altitude will tire the tourists. But the allure and temptation that a glimpse of the ferocious yet shy snow leopard will provide the strength to the tourists to push on.
|Days 6 - 13||
Snow leopard Trip
The next 8 days of snow leopard tour Ladakh will be spent by the tourists chasing a glance of the snow leopards. The tourists can either accompany the guides and trekkers after breakfast to search for the tracks of various mountain animals including bharal, snow leopards, lynx, snow wolves, and many more. Though the more favorable option is to wait at the camp as the trekkers search for any sign of activity of these animals in the forest. If they find fresh tracks or other signs that show that the animals can be spotted, they will send the signal for the tourists to follow. This way, the tourists do not have to traverse in the snow for hours.
Some nights, the guides and trekkers will take the tourists across the Rumbak river with night vision and infrared to catch a glimpse of red foxes, bharal, and snow leopards. One can also choose to stay for a night at a nearby Buddhist village where you can get an insight into the lore and rituals of the ancient Buddist society. These days go by in a blur as one hopes and tries to watch the beautiful wildlife of the Hemis National Park and connect to nature by walking through the forest for days. Spend your nights in the lap of nature at the camps set in the park.
If there is little success at Hemis, the tourists will be taken to Ullay Valley, where though the population of the snow leopards is the same as at Hemis, they are a little harder to track.
Back to Leh
Marking an end to the snow leopard trip at Hemis, the tourists will trek back to the entrance of the National Park. As the tourists are leaving the park, the guides will still try to mark a track of the snow leopards so that they can get a goodbye glimpse. Once the tourists exit the Hemis National Park, they will travel back to Leh. The tourists can relax at Leh as they recall their days in the cold forests, waiting and catching the sight of the shy cat.
Back to Delhi
The next day, the tourists will be taken to Delhi. Here, they can retreat in their accommodations to wear off the strain of days of snow walking. The tourists can spend their evening exploring the colorful bazaars of the ancient capital and warm their bodies in the mild weather. Depart for your international flight later today.