The quest of the Snow Leopards and the wildlife of Ladakh

November 2022 to April 2023

12 days / 10 nights – from £ 5,890 per person

Specialist safari

Live the exceptional experience of looking for one of the most mythical cats on the planet, the snow leopard, who lives at an altitude of more than 4,000 metres in Hemis National Park, in Ladakh, India.

Immerse yourself in an environment that is accessible only to a very limited number of travellers each year, and which not only allows you to (hopefully) observe the snow leopard, but also to photograph the wildlife of this region – which includes lynxes, Tibetan wolves, and Asian ibex, plus birds such as the Himalayan vultures, sacred hawks, etc.

For this extraordinary and physical experience, join a team of local experts, specialists of the Ladakh region, with a long experience of the search of snow leopards.

The highlights of the trip are:

– to immerse yourself in Ladakh’s environment at the time of the year that offers the best chances to observe the snow leopard and wildlife, supported by a team of local specialist guides who scan multiple valleys,

– to enjoy warm and comfortable accommodation in a specialized lodge affording the best conditions to hike, locate and photograph animals without the downside of camping in tents in the snow

– to live an incredible real experience and discover a fascinating culture in addition to the chance of making an unforgettable encounter.

An extraordinary experience in search of a mythical cat!

Day 1: Departure to India

Departure from Europe in the evening and night flight to New Delhi (India) direct.

Day 2: New Delhi

Landing in New Delhi International Airport. Clearing immigration formalities and transfer to your hotel for a day of rest and relaxation or of visit to the town (optional).

Night at Radisson Blu Plaza. Bed and Breakfast.

Day 3 : From New Delhi to Leh

After a good night’s rest and early breakfast, transfer to the airport for a flight to Ladakh and, more specifically, to the city of Leh (1h30). On arrival you will be met by the driver of your private transfer and taken to your hotel in the little town where you will arrive in time for lunch. The rest of the day will be at your leisure to rest, relax or visit the town at a leisurely pace in order to acclimatize to the high altitude.

Night at The Grand Dragon Hotel. Full board.

Day 4 : Leh

This is the second day of acclimatization to ensure that the higher altitude of the rest of the trip does not prevent the participants from enjoying their stay in Ladakh and their activities. It is very important to move at a slower pace and to drink lots of water or tea, without putting too much stress on the body.

If interested in walking, it should be kept to a minimum. A visit to one of the several monuments and monasteries of Leh will be proposed, e.g. Sankar Gompa, Shanti Stupa and Leh Palace.

At the end of the afternoon, excursion to Leh Palace in order to photograph Shanti Stupa from a distance in the light of the sunset.

Night at The Grand Dragon Hotel. Full board.

Day 5 : From Leh to Ulley

After breakfast, departure from Leh for a 2 to 3 hour drive to the west to reach the village of Ulley.

The road follows the famous Indus River and passes by the cities of Kargil, Srinagar and the small town of Nimmu – one of the most important in Ladakh, where the Zanskar River meets the Indus.

The road then heads north to Likir, the place of one of Ladakh’s famous Buddhist monasteries and the entry into snow leopard county. The landscape appears even more expansive, and a dirt road winds up a narrow valley, following a stream called the Ulley Chhu, to arrive to Ulley – which will be the base camp for the days dedicated to searching for snow leopards.

Night at the Snow Leopard Lodge. Full board and activities included.

Day 6 to day 10 : Ulley and Snow Leopard country

These five days are entirely devoted to immersion in the ecosystem of Ulley and its surrounding valleys, with the main objective of observing and photographing the snow leopards that live in this environment while also discovering the broad fauna of the Ladakh.

Nights at the Snow Leopard Lodge. Full board and activities included.

Day 11: From Ulley to Leh

After breakfast, return by the road to Leh.

Afternoon spent at leisure in the town or visiting its surroundings (optional).

Night at The Grand Dragon Hotel. Full board.

Day 12: From Leh to Delhi and departure

After breakfast, transfer to Leh airport for an end of the morning flight to New Delhi (1 h 30).

Arrival at New Delhi where you will be transferred to a dayroom at the Radisson Blu Plazza to relax, freshen up and have dinner before your return to the airport for the flight to your next destination.

Indicative price:

On the basis of 2 participants sharing one double or twin room: £ 5,890 per person

Subject to availability at the time of booking. GBP/USD rate used for this indication: 1.24

The final budget will be communicated after establishing a personalised quotation that will depend on the exchange rates at the time.

 

Important notices

Nature of the trip:

Please bear in mind that, due to the nature of this trip, the area visited and the weather, there might be the possibility of schedule, itinerary and activity changes.

Wildlife viewing:

Please note that seeing snow leopards is not guaranteed. In fact, it should be regarded as a privilege if they are seen as these creatures are wild, very elusive and they do not follow a fixed routine. Spotting them requires not only the skill and patience of the trackers/guides but also some luck.

Conservation Commitment:

Our local partners for this trip work closely with an organization called Snow Leopard Conservancy who work with communities in the Himalayas to secure snow leopard habitat. A contribution of USD 200 per person to this initiative is included in the price of this trip and will allow witnessing their work first hand in Ladakh.

If you object to this contribution, please let us know at the time of confirming your participation to this trip.

Altitude and physical condition:

This trip takes place at high altitude with accommodation at 3,000m and almost 4,000 m. The trip is organised to allow time to acclimatize and advice will be given to allow participants to adapt in the most efficient way to altitude.

In case someone could not acclimatize to altitude or shows signs that it is becoming uncomfortable or unsafe for the person to stay at a high altitude, immediate transportation to a lower altitude location will be organised to ensure optimal security and safety.

During the stay in Ulley, excursions on foot will be organised – participants to the trip will be invited to join these treks though should be mindful that they take place on paths on hills that can be steep and covered in snow. It is recommended that participants have a regular physical activity and are in good physical condition when taking part in this trip in order to comfortably enjoy all of these activities.

– The transfers and transportation in New Delhi in a minibus with air conditioning and in small MPVs (3 people per vehicle, each traveller has a window) in Ladakh

– The domestic scheduled flights Delhi to Leh and return in economy class (luggage max 25 kg)

– In all the major cities assistance at airports and at hotels at the time of check in/out

– Activities, excursions, activities described in the programme and all trekking excursions with a local expert naturalist and wildlife experts

– The services of a local tour leader in Ladakh

– 1 night and 1 dayroom in New Delhi at the Radisson Blu Plaza in a twin or double superior room with en-suite bathroom and toilets. Bed and breakfast

– 2 nights in Leh at the Grand Dragon Hotel in a twin or double room with en-suite bathroom and toilets. Full board

– 6 nights in Ulley at the Snow Leopard Lodge in a twin or double room with shared bathrooms and toilets. Full board

– Ladakh Environment entry fee, Ladakh hill counsel fees, Conservation and Hemis National Park fees, monuments and monastery fees as well as Government Service Tax (subject to change)

– International flights to New Delhi and return

– Travel or Insurances (cancellation, repatriation, luggage, other risks and any additional insurance)

– Meals not mentioned or mentioned as “free” or “on own account” in the itinerary

– Drinks other than the ones mentioned

– Any extras of personal nature, tips, laundry and drinks not mentioned in the program, etc.

Please consult us.

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