Snow Leopard Quest

Snow Leopard Quest

Snow leopards are so elusive that they are called ‘Ghosts of the Mountains’. For a long time, sighting one was the privilege of those embarking on serious mountain expeditions. During winter, Snow Leopards and their prey base descend from the high Himalayas to altitudes that are more accessible to keen wildlife enthusiasts. Our Snow Leopard Quest endeavours to spot these elusive big cats in their remote rocky abodes, along with other rare high-altitude wildlife species.

This tour requires a good level of physical fitness. Time needs to be spent to acclimatise to high altitudes. Winters in Ladakh are harsh, with temperatures well below freezing point. While out looking for Snow Leopards, we will have the help of professional wildlife spotters to guide us to the right places. The daily walking/trekking distances are moderate, but in tough weather conditions.

The focus of this tour is to maximize our Snow Leopard and other wildlife sightings, rather than luxury. Our accommodation in Hemis National Park will be a simple, clean and warm home stay. Home cooked, simple food will be served. During our time at the home stay, if our expert naturalists and spotters feel that we need to move closer to an area where they’ve observed snow leopard activity, a full-service camp will be erected by the staff for us to spend the night there.

It is important to understand that flights to Leh can suffer occasional delays and cancellations due to adverse winter weather. It is therefore highly recommended to book flexible international flights.

For those looking for a real adventure and a very special wildlife experience, this is an excellent tour.

12 DAYS
FROM £2395
Group Tour
Themes:
Activity Levels
Mildly Challenging
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • Entrance fees/tickets for the above
  • In-destination transfers & transport
  • Accommodation & Meals as specified
  • English speaking guides
  • 24/7 support while you travel

Explore this itinerary

Day 1: Delhi

You’ll be met at Delhi’s International Airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

The rest of the day is at leisure.

None
Day 2: Delhi - Leh

Your early morning flight from Delhi to Leh departs around 8am.

On a clear morning, this is a spectacular flight with majestic Himalayan views.  Sharp snowy peaks punctuate the dramatic views of this high-altitude desert. At the airport, you’ll be met by your English speaking guide who’ll stay with you till your departure from Leh.

Upon arrival at your hotel (Mahey Retreat or similar), you’ll receive a warm welcome and tea. Leh’s high altitude (~3,500 metres) means it is essential to acclimatise. Relaxing at the hotel for the rest of the day, admire the Himalayan views. If feeling up to it, you may choose to take a short local walk in the evening, taking care to keep hydrated.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Leh
Depending on how well you are acclimatising, you may choose to rest at the hotel today, or take a guided walking tour of Leh town, including a visit to the 17th century Leh Palace, Victory Peak, and Leh’s old quarter and main market.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Leh - Rumbak

After a healthy breakfast, drive to Rumbak via Spituk, Zingchen.

Continuing on foot up the gorge from the road-head, you’ll have a dramatic entry to the Snow Leopard’s high-altitude home at the Hemis National Park. Your trekking time is approximately 3-4 hrs.

En-route, we keep a lookout for signs of local wildlife.

Check in to your basic but warm and comfortable home stay.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 5-9: Wildlife Viewing

Your Snow Leopard quest starts in earnest with five full days of tracking Snow Leopard and its prey base. Hemis National Park is home to blue sheep, argali (a large horned sheep), numerous mountain and migratory birds, as well as an occasional Tibetan wolf.  The snow leopards and prey descend to lower altitudes in winter and if you’re lucky, you’ll actually see snow leopards either perched high in the rocks or balanced on a near vertical ridge.

Our expert local guides help maximise our chances of finding Snow Leopards.

There are also good chances of spotting the prey species including Blue Sheep, Ibex, Urial, Woolly Hares and Pikas. Other smaller predators such as Mountain Weasels, Stone Martens are also present. Tibetan Wolves and Eurasian Lynx are extremely elusive but are occasionally spotted. Lammergeiers, Himalayan Griffons and Golden Eagles can often be spotted soaring above the grey craggs.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Return to Leh

Today is the final day of your trekking, say goodbye to your hosts and hike down-valley past familiar Snow Leopard haunts and piles of carved Tibetan prayer stones to the road head at Zingchen; trekking time is about 2-3 hrs.

Drive to Leh, and check into your hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Leh to Delhi

After breakfast you’ll be dropped at the Leh airport for your flight back home, flight to Delhi. Check into your hotel in Delhi and  spend the rest of the day is at leisure.

In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Departure
Today, you’ll be transferred to Delhi Airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Breakfast
Day 1: Delhi

You’ll be met at Delhi’s International Airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

The rest of the day is at leisure.

None
Day 2: Delhi - Leh

Your early morning flight from Delhi to Leh departs around 8am.

On a clear morning, this is a spectacular flight with majestic Himalayan views.  Sharp snowy peaks punctuate the dramatic views of this high-altitude desert. At the airport, you’ll be met by your English speaking guide who’ll stay with you till your departure from Leh.

Upon arrival at your hotel (Mahey Retreat or similar), you’ll receive a warm welcome and tea. Leh’s high altitude (~3,500 metres) means it is essential to acclimatise. Relaxing at the hotel for the rest of the day, admire the Himalayan views. If feeling up to it, you may choose to take a short local walk in the evening, taking care to keep hydrated.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Leh
Depending on how well you are acclimatising, you may choose to rest at the hotel today, or take a guided walking tour of Leh town, including a visit to the 17th century Leh Palace, Victory Peak, and Leh’s old quarter and main market.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Leh - Rumbak

After a healthy breakfast, drive to Rumbak via Spituk, Zingchen.

Continuing on foot up the gorge from the road-head, you’ll have a dramatic entry to the Snow Leopard’s high-altitude home at the Hemis National Park. Your trekking time is approximately 3-4 hrs.

En-route, we keep a lookout for signs of local wildlife.

Check in to your basic but warm and comfortable home stay.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 5-9: Wildlife Viewing

Your Snow Leopard quest starts in earnest with five full days of tracking Snow Leopard and its prey base. Hemis National Park is home to blue sheep, argali (a large horned sheep), numerous mountain and migratory birds, as well as an occasional Tibetan wolf.  The snow leopards and prey descend to lower altitudes in winter and if you’re lucky, you’ll actually see snow leopards either perched high in the rocks or balanced on a near vertical ridge.

Our expert local guides help maximise our chances of finding Snow Leopards.

There are also good chances of spotting the prey species including Blue Sheep, Ibex, Urial, Woolly Hares and Pikas. Other smaller predators such as Mountain Weasels, Stone Martens are also present. Tibetan Wolves and Eurasian Lynx are extremely elusive but are occasionally spotted. Lammergeiers, Himalayan Griffons and Golden Eagles can often be spotted soaring above the grey craggs.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Return to Leh

Today is the final day of your trekking, say goodbye to your hosts and hike down-valley past familiar Snow Leopard haunts and piles of carved Tibetan prayer stones to the road head at Zingchen; trekking time is about 2-3 hrs.

Drive to Leh, and check into your hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Leh to Delhi

After breakfast you’ll be dropped at the Leh airport for your flight back home, flight to Delhi. Check into your hotel in Delhi and  spend the rest of the day is at leisure.

In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Departure
Today, you’ll be transferred to Delhi Airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Breakfast

Departure Dates & Prices

The prices below are based on two sharing and exclude international flights. A deposit is required to reserve a place.

For further information about this or any of our other tours, please contact us.

04-Jan-2025
£2395
Group Size: 8 Max
Available

Dates don't work? Want to make changes? Don't fancy joining a group?
All our group tours can be tailored as private itineraries.

INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

Price Includes:

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis in hotels and home stays
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All Transportation in Leh & Delhi (for the arrival and departure transfers)
  • An English speaking guide to remain with the group from arrival in Leh on Day 2 to departure from Leh Airport on Day 11.
  • Hemis National Park entrance fees
  • Snow Leopard Foundation Fee
  • Ponies for luggage
  • Full-service Camping – If required
  • Spotting Scope and walkie talkie during the trek.
  • Flight tickets from Delhi-Leh-Delhi

 

Price Excludes:

  • Sleeping Bags, trekking shoes and clothing.
  • Any Kind of Personal Expenses, Personal binocular or Optional Tours / Extra Meals Ordered
  • Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls.
  • Any Kind of Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral Water, Aerated)
  • 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 our control.
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under “Prices Included”.

Our prices do not include international flights unless explicitly stated.

The price shown is per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room, outside peak periods. Prices may vary depending on the time of travel, and single supplements may apply.