Overview of the Expedition :
Spot a Snow Leopard - Ghost of The Himalayas
India is home to all four big cats – Snow Leopard, Spotted Leopard, Royal Bengal Tiger and Asiatic Lions. However spotting a rarest of rare and elusive Snow Leopard in the high hills of Himalayas in India has always been a dream expedition for Nature enthusiasts, Wild-life lovers and photographers. The Trans-Himalayas of Ladakh offer you fantastic chances to find the ghost of the mountains.
The enchanting and mesmerizing Rumbak Valley at an elevation of above 4000 meters, nestled in the heart of the mystic land Ladakh in northern most part of India is a hidden gem where Snow Leopards roam. Perched at the periphery of Hemis National park, this valley is the home to the elusive snow leopard and a rich biodiversity like no other place.
During the winter time in the months of February & March every year, normally this beautiful big cat, the elusive Snow Leopard come down to lower attitude of Rumbek Valley in prey of food and hunt Tibetan wolves, Bharal (blue sheep), Urial, and Asiatic Ibex. To spot a snow leopard in the pristine wilderness of Himalayas, a small trek / drive through the snow terrains up to the Rumbak valley and stay in a tented accommodation / Mountain Wildlife Lodge at an altitude of 4150 meters when usually the temperature is 20-25 degree Celsius below zero is a life time expedition.
This expedition is crafted to bring you close to Tibetan art, culture and wildlife spread on the rugged terrains and high snow capped peaks of Himalayas.
Difficulty Level : High
This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or we shall be glad glad to customize an itinerary with your specific preferences.
Highlights of the Expedition: Spot a Snow Leopard
- Track Elusive Snow Leopards with Experienced Trekkers and Naturalists
- Encounter with other Himalayan wildlife including Bharal, Urial, Ibex and Wolves
- Discover the Nature & Culture of Ladakh – The Little Tibet
Know More About Your Expedition : Spot a Snow Leopard
Arrive at Delhi International Airport
Arrive Delhi International airport. Your Tour Experience Manager shall meet you upon arrival for further transfer to your hotel in Aerocity near the airport.
If time permits, your first introduction to India shall start with visiting some of the historic and cultural sites of Delhi.
Overnight at your hotel in Delhi near to the airport.
Flight from Delhi to Leh (1.5 Hours)
After a coffee in your room, early in the morning, a private transfer to the domestic terminal of Delhi airport for a flight to Leh at an altitude of 3500 meters and the capital of Ladakh. Your representative will meet you at the airport for further transfer to your hotel.
After a small brief about Ladakh, it is highly recommended to relax for a whole day at your hotel to acclimatize. Keep in mind that now you are at an altitude of 3500 meters and a very cold temperature.
Explore Tibetan Culture of Ladakh
Today you will travel into Leh city and its rural surroundings, exploring the rugged Indus River Valley and centuries old monasteries. It’s easy to see why this enclave at the northern tip of India is often called “Little Tibet,” as we cross passes marked with colorful prayer flags beneath soaring Himalayan peaks.
Later in evening, your naturalist and trekking guide will meet you in the hotel for a brief about Snow Leopard spotting in Hemis National Park in Rumbek valley.
Overnight at your Deluxe hotel in Leh.
Day 4 – Day 8
Hemis National Park – Rumbek Valley
After breakfast at hotel, you shall drive for about 3 hours to Rumbak Valley, located at an altitude of 4000 meters. You can choose to stay either at a camp site near to a frozen river or at a mountain lodge. However staying in a tent, though challenging, is a life time experience. We will make all adequate arrangements for your comfortable stay like inclusion of a power generator for electricity supply ( 2 hours in morning and 2 hours in evening so that you can charge your camera batteries etc ), mattress and gears to keep you warm. Your personal chef shall be glad to cook and serve hot food ( both Ladakhi and International ). On the other hand, stay at a mountain lodge is much more comfortable as having heated floors and rooms.
Over the next 5 days, you shall be staying at Rumbek valley. Experienced naturalist and trekkers gather the different inputs like direct sightings by villagers, snow leopard calls and the alarm calls or evasive behaviour of prey species, vultures, crows and magpies, foxes or wolves on through the pug marks and other trekkers in the region. Based on the information, you will trek to different view points spread in the regions of Rumbak Valley to spot the mesmerizing Snow Leopard and other Himalayan Wildlife.
Overnight at your Tent/Mountain Lodge
Rumbek Valley – Leh
Post your breakfast at the ten / mountain lodge, You will trek/drive back to Leh city. Check-in at your hotel and after a hot shower, explore the beautiful monasteries and life in Leh.
Overnight at your deluxe hotel in Leh.
Leh – Delhi ( Flight / 1.5 Hours )
Wake-up early for a private transfer to Leh airport followed by a direct flight to Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi airport, you can choose to continue exploring more of India or connect an International flight back home.
Post your lifetime Snow Leopard expedition in the Great Himalayas, You can have various options for an extension tour of couple of days more. As your tour ends at Delhi which is well connected by a network of roads , trains and domestic flights with many other tourist destinations in India, you can continue to explore India more. Some of the options are :
Option : 1 – Two nights extension tour of Varanasi – The Spiritual Capital of India
Option : 2 – Four nights extension tour to Essential India – Taj Mahal and Palaces of Forts of Rajasthan
Here are the details of possible itineraries for each option of extension tour :
Please feel free to write us and we shall be glad to send you a detailed brochure with more information on the Snow Leopard Expedition.
Temperatures on this trip can get quite cold, especially in February and March when average daily temperature varies in between the -20 and -30 degree Celsius. Besides the temperature, trekking and spotting needs different kind of equipment and gears. We recommend following to pack in your bag:
- Thermal underwear
- Fleece jacket
- Thick down Jacket
- Caps or Ski Caps – ones that cover the ears also to shield from the cold winds on bad weather days
- Hiking trousers ( down or padded trousers work well in these conditions)
- Sleeping Bag
- Working gloves and woolen gloves on top ( the new synthetic waterproof gloves are a good substitute)
- Ankle length waterproof shoes with thick soles
- Socks ( thick and thin to make two layers )
- Warm night wear
- Sunscreen ( SPF 50+ ), a good moisturiser and petroleum jelly
- Adequate binoculars, Cameras and Telescopes
- Spare fully charged batteries
- Medication as required or prescribed by your doctor