Snow Leopard Tour Itinerary
Arrive in Delhi (very early am). You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel.
Fly from Delhi to Leh. If the weather is clear, this is a spectacular flight which takes us over the Himalayan range to Leh. We leave the hot and humid monsoon plains for the arid rocky mountains of trans Himalayan Ladakh. Leh is situated at 3,500m. Acclimatization is essential in order for you to enjoy your trip to the fullest. We will take things easy at first, spending two full days near to Leh in order to adjust to the altitude. We will spend the rest of this day relaxing and acclimatizing in our hotel.
Sightseeing in Leh. Monastic tours of Shey, Thikey and Hemis. Lodging: Hotel
We will spend a whole day acclimatizing and exploring the area. First, we will visit Shey, which was once the residence of the royal family. The monastery here is famous for its large gilded statue of the Buddha. Twelve miles from Leh, and spectacularly situated, is one of the finest examples of Ladakhi architecture – Thiksey. This is one of the largest and most impressive Gompas in the area and has several temples containing images, stupas and exquisite wall paintings. Thiksey monastery has an outstanding collection of art in its chambers and there wonderful views of the valleys from the roof. We will also visit Hemis Gompa, one of the richest, largest and most famous Ladakhi Gompas, built during the 1630s.
Drive from Leh to Husing (approx. 3 hrs). Lodging: Tented Camp
Husing is the epicenter of three prominent valleys known globally as “the world capital of the snow leopard”. We will make our base camp in the area as we venture out for the next 5 days towards the many valleys that branch out of the Husing pastureland.
Today our local expert will take us on a early morning excursion to the trails frequented by the elusive snow leopard. We will learn tracking techniques such as smelling rock sand (to detect leopard urine), pug mark readings, and scat identification. We will also learn local traditional knowledge on how to identify the hunting patterns and kill spots of the snow leopard. We will overnight in our tent camp.
Today will will identify snow leopard “hot spots” (machans) through mapping and tracking. We will also connect with the local villagers so that they can alert and relay instant information of any signs and sightings of the snow leopard. We will overnight in our tent camp.
We will continue along our snow leopard mapping grid, keeping our ears and eyes open. We will search within the valley of Ranjon, which lies behind Husing and Rumbak. Tarbung and Kharlung are the other two prominent valleys where snow leopard sightings are frequent. We will make day excursions to these zones to check out their habitats and trails. We will overnight in tent camps.
We will travel back to Leh and overnight in a hotel.
Fly from Leh to Delhi. This morning we will fly from Leh back to Delhi . Upon arrival in Delhi, we will be met and transferred to a hotel.
Sightseeing in Delhi. Today we will visit some of Delhi’s historical sights. Old Delhi pulses with energy and color – the hustle and bustle of bazaars thronging with people invigorate the senses and narrow lanes twist and turn between tall leaning houses, from which the sounds and aromas of the Indian subcontinent emanate. The Jama Masjid Mosque with its tapering minarets and wonderful marble domes is a sight to behold. Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi’s business center), provides a chaotic but fascinating snapshot of commercial life with a noisy backdrop of traffic and the cacophony of crowds. We will overnight in a hotel.
Early morning transfer to the international airport for flights home.