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Snow leopards are one of the most intriguing animals and one of the least understood big cats. In the winter time, they descend from the high mountaintops of the Himalayas to look for food. With sprawling habitats in some of the world’s most remote regions, you can embark on a trek in search of these “ghosts of the mountains”.
Along the way, you will have incredible opportunities to discover more about the regions other wildlife including blue sheep, wolves, golden eagles, vultures, and more.
Take part in wonderful monastic festivals which give you an opportunity to immerse in the culture of the Himalayan Buddhist communities. Enjoy a traditional meal with a Ladakhi family at an included homestay and really get an understanding of life in the Himalayas.
Your expert guides will take you through this truly magical winter wonderland, making sure you have the experience of a lifetime. Each day on your snow leopard trek will be filled with wonder and anticipation as you train your eye to seek out the large cat’s shape against the rocks and snow. The adrenaline will be pouring through your veins as you make your way through mountain passes watching for signs of wildlife big and small.
There’s no doubt this tour is the trip of a lifetime!
Arrive at the hotel today. Enjoy free time to explore Delhi or rest after your flight. Rooms are typically available after noon. Welcome briefing in the lobby this evening.
Today will start early with a flight to Leh. You may have to leave the hotel around 2 am and drive to the airport for the very early morning. This flight is spectacular as you fly over the Himalayas to Leh.
Landing in Leh, the temperature will drop dramatically and you will need your down jackets at the airport. If the weather is good and the flight is on time, you should arrive in time for breakfast.
The remainder of the day is free to relax and acclimatise to the altitude of 3500m. In the morning rest up and catch up on sleep and in the afternoon you will receive an orientation walk of Leh and its bazaars.
Each monastery in Ladakh holds a festival where the monks dress in elaborate silk and brocade costumes to re-enact century old stories of Tibetan Buddhist religion. This happens each year and people come from all over Ladakh for the occasion.
The whole day is spent at the festival and you'll return to the hotel this evening in Leh.
Today you will visit some of the most important monasteries in the Indus Valley. You will first drive a half hour to Shey, once a residence of the Ladakhi royal family. Below the palace ruin is a temple containing a two-storey gilded statue of Buddha.
From Shey, either drive or walk across the fields to Tikse. Set on a hill, it is one of the most impressive gompas in Ladakh. There are several temples, one which contains a statue of the future Buddha.
Then, drive to Stakna, a small but friendly monastery perched on a rock. This afternoon return to Leh.
Today you will leave Leh and drive across the Indus towards Jinchen. You'll follow the trail from Phe to the entrance of Rumbak Gorge. The trail takes you up the narrow gorge and you'll begin your search for snow leopards in Ladakh. You can also keep an eye out for blue sheep!
Camp tonight at the base camp of Husing, set at 3700m.
The next five days will be spent around Husing, Tarbuns, and Rumbak Valleys all based in Hemis National Park. There is no fixed itinerary and the days will be set by the wildlife guides. This will maximize your chances to see a snow leopard in Ladakh.
Your days will be spend searching for snow leopards and other animals which inhabit the area. The cold winter forces the snow leopards and other animals down from the higher altitudes.
Ladakh is home to a vast array of wildlife. There ar many endangered species including the snow leopard, bharal (blue sheep), Tibetan ibex, wolf, red fox, lynx, and Ladakhi Urial.
You'll spend most of your time at your base camp with daywalks in Husing and Tarbuns Valleys.
Today you will trek back to Jinchen where you will meet your transportation back to Leh.
Today you'll have an early start for the flight to Delhi. The rest of your day is free for individual shopping or sightseeing.
Today you will have a free day in Delhi in case of any delays in the flight from Leh. If you arrive in Delhi on schedule, you will have free time for sightseeing on your own. A few ideas:
Your tour ends today after breakfast.
|Official Language(s)||Hindi, English|
|Population||1,276,267,000 (2015 estimate)|
|Climate(s)||Monsoon, Tropical Savanna, Desert (Warm/Cold), Semi-Arid (Warm/Cold), Mediterranean (Warm/Temperate), Humid subtropical, Oceanic Subpolar, Oceanic (Warm/Temperate), Continental (Mediterranean/Cool/Cold/Warm/Humid/Temperate).|
|Major Airport(s):||Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM), Kempegowda International Airport (BLR), Chennai International Airport (MAA)|
|Economic Driver(s):||Agriculture, Mining, Textiles, Industry, Energy, Tourism, Trade|
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Length of Trip: 8 days