Wildlife

Snow Leopard Trek

This epic adventure takes you to Hemis National Park in Ladakh, India’s best-protected area for Snow Leopards and a good place to sight this magnificent cat. Being whitish-grey in color (tinged with yellow) and patterned with dark grey rosettes and spots, the Snow Leopard exhibits superb camouflage for its mountain environment of bare rocks and snow. It is on account of its reclusive nature that it is often referred to as the Grey Ghost of the Himalayas.

Since Snow Leopards are generally found at elevations between 3000-4500m, the trek takes you through stunning Himalayan alpine and sub-alpine zones where vegetation is sparse and temperatures are extreme. Snow Leopards are most active at dawn and dusk and show a strong preference for cliffy habitat with moderately to very broken terrain, rocky outcrops and ravines. They are opportunistic predators and are known to take prey up to three times their own weight, though a large part of their diet comprises of small prey like marmots, pika, hare, birds and domestic livestock.

Accompanying us are expert naturalists and local trackers whose local expertise in this harsh terrain and their intrinsic training to look for the minutest evidences like pugmarks, scrapes and scats to track this elusive cat, is unmatched. While the sighting of this mysterious cat can in no way be guaranteed, the Snow Leopard Trek offers a unique opportunity to understand this amazing specimen and its habitat while trekking through some spectacular scenery.

The present global distribution of Snow Leopards is in the high mountain ranges of Central Asia scattered over 12 countries in fragmented habitats. Highly endangered throughout its range in Asia, the loss of habitat and prey, poaching and retaliation killings blamed for livestock losses have reduced its numbers to dangerously low levels. Wild World India promotes community-driven home-stays in the region supported by the Snow Leopard Conservancy program.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Delhi
Arrive Delhi airport and transfer to hotel, followed by tour briefing and orientation in the morning. Afternoon visit some important sites of Old and New Delhi. Overnight at hotel

Day 2 : Delhi – Leh
In time transfer to airport to board the flight for Leh. Arrive Leh and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure or free for optional activities. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3 : Leh
Day at leisure for acclimatization. Overnight at hotel

Day 4 : Leh
Full day visit Shey, Thiksey and Hemis monasteries around Leh. Overnight at hotel

Day 5 : Leh
Morning walk around Leh Palace. Afternoon at leisure to make last minute arrangements for the trek. Evening interactive audio/ visual on wildlife and conservation efforts made in the region. Overnight at hotel.

Day 6 : Leh – Hemis National Park
Morning drive to Zingchen and trek to Husing Nallah. Evening walk around to trace the signs of the Snow Leopard. Overnight in tent.

Day 7 : Hemis National Park
Full day explore Husing Valley. Overnight in tent.

Day 8 : Hemis National Park
Morning continue trek towards Rumbak Valley. Afternoon explore the Rumbak village and the surroundings looking for the mammals of the region. Overnight in tent.

Day 9 : Hemis National Park
Morning explore the valley and later in the afternoon hike around Kharlung. Overnight in tent.

Day 10 : Hemis National Park
Morning depart on a day return trek to Ganda La to look for highly endangered Tibetan Argali. Overnight in tent.

Day 11 : Hemis National Park
Morning explore the surrounding area. Later continue return trek to Rumbak valley. Overnight in tents.

Day 12 : Hemis National Park – Leh
Morning continue return trek to Zingchen and drive back to Leh. Arrive Leh and check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 13 : Leh
Full day at leisure or free for optional activities. Overnight at hotel.

Day 14 : Leh – Delhi 
In time transfer to airport to board the flight for Delhi. Tour concludes

Duration:  14 Nights/15 Days
Route:  Delhi – Leh – Hemis National Park – Leh – Delhi

Best Time: June to September

Highlight: People, Village, Wildlife and High Passes

Physical Challenge: Moderate

 

Trekking grade

Moderate: suitable for most hill walkers and generally involving shorter days at moderate altitude, on good paths and tracks. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required as these treks can involve considerable amounts of ascent and descent and the occasional difficult day.

 

The first day has been kept free for getting acclimatized to the low level of oxygen in Ladakh. We will do short visits to places around in a vehicle and also take short walks around the town.

COST INCLUDES

• Assistance on arrival and departure

• Transport in Non Ac car

• A Class Hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis in Leh

• Tented accommodation during treks on twin sharing basis

• Rafting in Indus – 3 hrs

• All meals beginning with lunch on first day till breakfast on last day

• Professional and experienced trekking and monastery guide

• Cook, porters & other service staff

• Ponies

• Trekking fees / Monastery entrance fees

 

Camping equipment provided on the trek

 

• 2 Men Expedition Tents

• Sleeping bags

• Insulated Mattresses

• Kitchen Tent

• Dining Tent

• Toilet tent

• Basic Medical kit

 

COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

• Airfare

• Any meals/services not mentioned above

• Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.

• Liquor, soft drinks, beverages, etc.

• Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.

• Expenses arising from unexpected fuel hikes, and any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.

• Medical or Travel Insurance

• Costs towards evacuation of customers for medical or any other reason

Ladakh Safari reserves the right to change, alter or cancel a trip due to any reason which might not be in the best interest of your safety, like dangerous water levels, landslides and extreme weather conditions etc.

 

TRIP LEADERS

Our trip leaders have a vast experience of trekking & camping in the Himalayas. They are fluent in English language and are always forthcoming with interesting lore and information on local history, culture and practices. All our trip leaders have knowledge of First-Aid.

 

CAMPING

We believe that camping is an art – all about providing a safe and comfortable stay. We maintain very high standards of camping and with constant innovations try to hone our skills. We lay a lot of emphasis on site selection with camping sites on most of the treks being pre-decided and used previously by our team.

 

MEALS ON OUR TREKS

On all our treks we provide food that’s tasty, hygienic and nutritious. Our chefs are experts at keeping the team’s batteries charged with mouth-watering watering multi-cuisine meals, at times under difficult conditions. Cuisine is decided keeping in mind the profile of the group. Also on most of our treks our clients get the option of trying out the local dishes.

 

Trekking Gear

The following list only mentions the essential elements. You have to prepare a list of clothes and small personal articles you will need during the trek:

 

• Sleeping bag

• Boots

• Camp shoes/sneakers / sandals

• Socks

• Light wind jacket

• Down jacket/vest

• Fleece jacket/vest

• T-shirts

• Underwear

• Trekking pants

• Thermal tops

• Thermal bottom

• Warm hat

• Sun hat/baseball cap

• Light gloves

• Duffel bag

• Sunglasses

• Torch/Headlamp

• Camera and Film

• Books

• Lip balm

• Sunscreen

• Camp towel/towel/sarong

• Toiletries

• Personal medicines

• Money pouch/belt

• Bandana/scarf

 

 

Camera

Bring a spare set of batteries or a small solar charger for rechargeable batteries. And LOTS of film, as Ladakh & Zanskar are extremely photogenic!

 

Video camera

Either bring extra batteries or a solar charger.

 

What we provide

our camping trips are full-service, with tents, sleeping pads, our dining tent, kitchen tent, all supplies and food, ponies and a fantastic staff and guides provided. You just need to bring your personal gear and a good spirit to enjoy the adventure.

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