Snow Leopards and Snowcocks in Ladakh 15 Days

  Destinations

Delhi
Rumbak
Ulley
Saspoche
Zingchen
Leh

  Highlights

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
Hemis National Park

  Prices From

£1975.00

per person

  Accommodation

Hotel Lohmod
Hotel Mahey Retreat
Camping in fully serviced camps – see inclusions for details
Village Homestay
Email: [email protected] Telephone: 01792 539447
Day 1
Delhi

Your flight arrives in Delhi.  Here you will be met outside the airport by our representative and taken to check in at Hotel Lohmod (room available from 12 noon). Flights arriving mid/late morning would allow time to visit Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary with your guide in the afternoon, leaving your hotel by 1330 hours at the latest.  For later arrivals you can relax at the hotel.  

Accomodation:
Overnight stay at Hotel Lohmod.

Day 2
Leh

It won’t be possible to have breakfast this morning as you’ll need to meet your fellow travellers at 0400 hours at the hotel reception. You will need to transfer together to the airport in time to check in for your flight (booked by you) with Jet Airways (no. 9W2368) departing at 0630 hours arriving in Leh at 0755 hours. This must be one of the most sensational flights in the world, so book a window seat if possible! On a clear day the peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum can be seen in the distance on one side of the aircraft and on the other side is the Nun Kun Massif. Upon arrival in Leh you will be transferred to the hotel. You must take a little time to settle in and acclimatise since your journey will have brought you to an altitude of about 3,500m, so complete rest in your hotel is recommended. Later today we will take you to visit the office of Snow Leopard Conservancy in Leh where you can hear about the work of this worthwhile NGO and you can purchase souvenirs, though there is no pressure to do so.  Agree a time to meet with your guide the next morning.

Meals:
Lunch and evening meal.
Accomodation:
Overnight at Hotel Mahey Retreat.

Day 3
Leh

Another full day of taking it easy to acclimatise to the rarefied air is very wise, although it will be possible to do some birding to look for Ibisbill, Solitary Snipe, Horned Lark, Guldenstadt‟s (White-winged) Redstart and a few other species local to Leh. For those who wish, we can include a visit to Thiksey Monastery where you can enjoy commanding views across the Indus Valley. Your guide will confirm the times to meet up tomorrow morning for the drive to Hemis.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.
Accomodation:
Overnight Hotel Mahey Retreat.

Day 4
Leh – Zingchen – Husing (Hemis National Park)

Drive to Zingchen and Hemis National Park – the home of the Snow Leopard. From here we will walk approx. 1½ hrs to the campsite at Husing located at approximately 3700 m. The actual walk is not far and the track isn’t steep, but for some, it will take a bit of effort at this altitude! Husing is a perfect location in a corridor, linking three valleys where there is much evidence of Snow Leopard. Your guide will point out scrapes, spray sites and of course the ultimate would be a sighting of this fine cat! After lunch at the camp, spend the afternoon looking for Snow Leopards in the Tarbung area, returning to Husing tented camp for the night. This afternoon and the rest of the time in Hemis will remain flexible depending on the sightings of Snow Leopard, so you may move camp or have a night or two at a local homestay in Rumbak or Yurutse (a wonderful experience) when required, but expect most of the time to be in tents.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.

Day 5
Zingchen area Husing Valley and local area at approx 3,700m) trekking at times up to approx 4,600m

The junction of Husing Nala and Tarbung Nala and local high ridges will be scanned. There will be a hike to a vantage point at Rumbak Sumdo and the area of the parachute café to scan for sightings. During this time you should see Chukar, White-winged Redstart, Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Fire-fronted Serin (depending on dates), Himalayan Snowcock, Yellow-billed and Red-billed Choughs, Robin Accentor, Horned Lark, Tibetan Snowfinch, perhaps Eurasian Eagle Owl and a few other species. Look out for groups of Blue Sheep (Bharal), Mountain Weasel, Red Fox, Stone Marten and among the boulders on warmer days Royle’s Pika often venture out. Overnight at Husing tented camp. Note - depending on the tracks and signs of the Snow Leopard you might change camping site – there are up to three likely camping locations. The camp staff will arrange everything for you and your main bags will be transported by pony/mule so you just have to carry your optics and day bag.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.

Day 6
Zingchen area Husing Valley and local area at approx 3,700m) trekking at times up to approx 4,600m

The junction of Husing Nala and Tarbung Nala and local high ridges will be scanned. There will be a hike to a vantage point at Rumbak Sumdo and the area of the parachute café to scan for sightings. During this time you should see Chukar, White-winged Redstart, Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Fire-fronted Serin (depending on dates), Himalayan Snowcock, Yellow-billed and Red-billed Choughs, Robin Accentor, Horned Lark, Tibetan Snowfinch, perhaps Eurasian Eagle Owl and a few other species. Look out for groups of Blue Sheep (Bharal), Mountain Weasel, Red Fox, Stone Marten and among the boulders on warmer days Royle’s Pika often venture out. Overnight at Husing tented camp. Note - depending on the tracks and signs of the Snow Leopard you might change camping site – there are up to three likely camping locations. The camp staff will arrange everything for you and your main bags will be transported by pony/mule so you just have to carry your optics and day bag.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.

Day 7
Husing Valley - Rumbak

Depending on sightings and the weather we may move location today to focus on the Rumbak area. The mountains around Rumbak are home to Asiatic Ibex, Ladakh Urial and Tibetan Argali, though these species can prove difficult here and are potentially easier to see at other locations outside of Hemis National Park which will be visited later in the tour. After breakfast, the trek to Rumbak village (again not that far) will take approximately 2 to 3 hours where we may camp or stay in a homestay for the night, or just return to the original camp. Further exploration today may take us to 4600m up towards Yurutse where it is possible to see Tibetan Argali.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.

Day 8
Rumbak (4050 – 4450m)

Today, we’lll continue our quest, starting with more trekking, looking for tracks and signs, scanning the ridges and mountain-sides with telescopes and binoculars. Tibetan Wolf tracks and signs are likely with sightings possible, but more difficult. We will visit Husing Pass (4450 m) and scan from excellent vantage points on the pass. On another day we may hike for 3 – 4 hours towards Gangala base to look for Tibetan Argali in an area where the habitat is also good for Eurasian Lynx, Tibetan Wolf and Tibetan Partridge. Nights will either be in homestays or tented camps.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.

Day 9
Rumbak (4050 – 4450m)

Today, we’lll continue our quest, starting with more trekking, looking for tracks and signs, scanning the ridges and mountain-sides with telescopes and binoculars. Tibetan Wolf tracks and signs are likely with sightings possible, but more difficult. We will visit Husing Pass (4450 m) and scan from excellent vantage points on the pass. On another day we may hike for 3 – 4 hours towards Gangala base to look for Tibetan Argali in an area where the habitat is also good for Eurasian Lynx, Tibetan Wolf and Tibetan Partridge. Nights will either be in homestays or tented camps.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.

Day 10
Rumbak - Husing

This morning could be spent around Stok La base and in the afternoon/evening we would move to Kharlung, returning to Husing camp. As previously mentioned, this is subject to sightings and weather, so the programme needs to remain flexible.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.

Day 11
Husing Camp – Zingchen - Ulley

After seven nights in Hemis National Park we’ll walk for about an hour down to Zingchen where the vehicles will be waiting to take us to a different location, the area of Ulley or Saspoche, depending on Snow Leopard sightings. The drive will take us back along the Indus River. On the journey look out for Brown Dipper on the steams and the handsome Asiatic Ibex, endemic Ladakh Urial and Tibetan Wolf in the valleys and on the mountain slopes.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.
Accomodation:
Overnight in a local homestay at Saspoche or Ulley.

Day 12
Saspoche/Ulley

Our search for the elusive Snow Leopard will continue around Saspoche/Ulley where the Snow Leopard Conservation estimates there are around 8 to 10 of these cats; you’ll have a good chance of seeing Asiatic Ibex here, too. Birds locally may include Great Rosefinch, Brown Dipper and White-winged Redstart.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.
Accomodation:
Overnight at homestay in Saspoche or Ulley.

Day 13
Saspoche/Ulley - Leh

This morning we’ll trek down to a location where Ibex are found in large numbers. After a packed, or hot lunch, we will drive back to Leh.

Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and evening meal.
Accomodation:
Overnight at Hotel Mahey Retreat in Leh.

Day 14
Leh - Delhi

You are likely to have an early start this morning. A transfer is included to the airport for your early morning flight to Delhi (booked by you). Your return flight would be with Jet Airways or Air India – flight number and times to be confirmed. A bird guide will be at Delhi airport to welcome you and take you to Sultanpur National Park to enjoy birdwatching. Your driver will look after your luggage and the guide will accompany you around Sultanpur (his services and entrance fees are included in the price). The guide should be able to take you somewhere locally for lunch (payable directly) or you can pick up snacks on the way. You will depart Sultanpur at 1600 hours to check-in at Hotel Lohmod.  Both lunch and dinner are payable directly by you today.

Meals:
Breakfast.
Accomodation:
Overnight at Hotel Lohmod.

Day 15
Delhi

This morning you can take advantage of a gentle morning get up and have a later breakfast (included in the price and available from 0700 hours) at Hotel Lohmod. Today a transfer is included in your price based on you all taking the same flight and the same transfer together. Tour ends. Tour extensions available. Please contact us for details


No. of travellers
Price (£)

Price is based on the following hotels:

City
Hotel
Room
Nights
Delhi
Hotel Lohmod
Executive Room
2
Leh
Hotel Mahey Retreat
Standard Room
3
Hemis N.P
Camping in fully serviced camps – see inclusions for details
7
Ulley or Saspoche
Village Homestay
2

Price Includes:

  • A donation to the Snow Leopard Conservancy
  • Accommodation in the above mentioned hotels, homestays or tents with meals as listed
  • All mentioned transfers by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Birdwatching on Day 02 and Day 15 at Sultanpur, near Delhi, with a guide
  • An English speaking guide to meet you at Leh Airport, for local excursions in and around Leh, throughout the trek and time around Ulley/Saspoche till you are dropped back at Leh Airport on Day 15
  • Camping around Rumbak and Hemis or with a night at a homestay locally here if weather or Snow Leopard sightings dictate – full details explained below
  • Wildlife entrance fee in Hemis National Park
  • Filtered/pressure-boiled water while camping, tea/coffee.  Note - this water is safe to drink, but if you would prefer bottled water this is excluded and would need to be purchased in advance in Leh
  • All currently applicable taxes

Price Does Not Include:

  • Any international airfare to/from India including
  • International airport tax
  • Any internal flights
  • Meals not specified
  • Tourist visa and travel insurance
  • Camera fee where levied
  • Any additional taxes levied by the Government of India on the tourism sector in future
  • Any expenses of personal nature such as hard/soft drinks, laundry, phone/fax calls, tips etc.
  • Any item not mentioned in the price includes section.
  • Any increase in the entrance fee to National Parks or Sanctuaries in the future. The price is based on the current entrance fee
  • Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
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