Day 01 Arrive Delhi
Arrive in India. A
representative of Adventure Travel Vacations, holding a
sign in your name, will meet you in the arrivals area
upon exiting baggage claim and escort you to your hotel.
Delhi is one of India’s most
vibrant cities today. It is not only a city that has
played capital to various dynasties, but is also one of
the most beautiful cities in the world. Today, apart
from being at the political forefront, it also leads the
country in terms of art, culture, culinary experiences,
shopping, entertainment and overall standard of living.
The city, like other ancient cities, is a beautiful
homogeneous mix of the old and the contemporary. One of
the most beautiful cities in the world, Delhi is a
microcosm of all that is India.
Day 02 Delhi – Leh
This morning after breakfast
you will be transferred to the Indira Gandhi Airport for
your flight to Leh.
Upon Arrival at Leh Airport
you are met and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the
day is at leisure to acclimatize to the high altitude
and rarefied air. Leh is at 11400 feet and the flight up
from the plains means that you have to acclimatize
gently without pushing yourself. The 2 ½ days scheduled
here is the minimum required as you will be going to a
higher altitude and will be doing a fair amount of
walking. At some point over the next few days in Leh,
meet with staff from the Snow Leopard Conservancy for a
briefing on the history of snow leopard conservation in
Ladakh with insight given into the current threats to
snow leopards and the strategy adopted to combat these
threats. (B, L, D)
Day 03 In Leh
Leh is a fascinating
labyrinth of winding streets and quaint bazaars. The
main street is open and airy, with rows of shops on
either side. Leh is very Tibetan; the national dress,
'stove-pipe' hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are
much in evidence. The Royal Palace, which dominates the
town, is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and
Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer
flags and mud brick houses with flat roofs are a
dramatic culture change from the hot, teeming frenetic
rush of Delhi. This morning you will visit the Snow
Leopard Conservancy; here you will see the efforts made
by the authority with the help of the local community to
conserve the endanger snow leopard.
In the afternoon, you
visit the Thiksey monastery. Thiksey Gompa is the most
picturesquely situated monastery in Ladakh, perched high
on a hill above the Indus. Its buildings are arranged at
various levels, leading up to the private apartments of
the incarnate lamas on the summit. From here one
commands a magnificent view of the valley. The Gompa
possesses a rich and beautiful collection of hundreds of
hand-written or painted prayer books. A new temple
contains a 15-meter tall Buddha statue, constructed in
1970 to commemorate a visit to Thiksey by the Dalai
Lama. The statue, made of clay and covered with gold
paint, is the largest Buddha figure in Ladakh and took
four years to construct. Inside, the statue is filled
with the Kandshur and the Tandshur - volumes of Buddhist
canonical texts. The statue was made entirely by local
craftsmen and represents Maitreya, ("compassion" in
Sanskrit) the Buddha of the Future. The prophecy made of
the Future Buddha is that the world will be undergoing
such chaos that He will teach compassion to the people.
(B, L, D)
Day 04 In Leh
Today you set out for an
extraordinary drive East heading towards Taglang La and
the villages of Gya, Lhato and Meru. It’s a fantastic
drive taking you away from the valley of the Indus up a
subsidiary valley to an extraordinary area even by
Ladakhi standards that marks the line where the Indian
mainland collided with and drove under Asian land mass.
There is some dramatic scenery here and you have a
chance of sighting wildlife including Blue sheep, Golden
eagles and Bearded vultures. Rafts of Red-billed Choughs
perform synchronized aerobatics and in the fallow fields
you have the chance of seeing the very beautiful Tibetan
Partidge and the more common Chukor partridge.
Day 05 Leh –
Ulley (by surface) (Snow Leopard Lodge)
Drive west today on the road
to Kargil and Srinagar, generally following the Indus
River. You pass through the small town of Nimmu – one of
the most important in Ladakh, where the Zanskar river
meets the Indus. After a little over an hour you head
north on a road marked to Likir – one of Ladakh’s famous
Buddhist monasteries. This is all snow leopard country.
The landscape here is even bigger, more expansive and
open, until you turn off onto a dirt road, winding up a
narrow valley, following a stream called the Ulley Chhu.
Smaller valleys intersect and the guides have their
heads craned all the time, scanning the hill sides and
the skyline for any silhouette. This is excellent Ibex
country and there are few more evocative sights than a
magnificently horned male Ibex standing vigil on some
impossibly narrow outcropping, a few thousand feet over
a plunging cliff. You will be based here over 7
nights. (B, L, D)
Day 06 To Day 12 Leh
to Ulley (by surface) (Snow Leopard Lodge)
Settle in on arrival and
acclimatize to the higher altitude of Ulley. The
advantage of Ulley is that it is relatively free of
tourism and the chaos that has enveloped the first snow
leopard destination - Rumbak. The other advantage is
that from here you explore 3 valleys, which, apart from
snow leopards, are great for finding urial, Ibex, wolf
and Himalayan fox. Norbu is an exceptional tracker and
spotter whose entire being seems to be narrowed down to
the field of vision of his binoculars.
Over the next few days you
explore the area on foot and SUV’s with Norbu tracking
the snow leopard. You will be amazed at the sheer
dedication and commitment he brings to his trade and the
effort he makes to ensure that his guests leave happy.
Norbu interacts closely with the local people and uses
the network of local intelligence to narrow down the
likely sites. In the process, there will also be plenty
of opportunity for you to get insights into local
folklore, as well as learn about local customs and
traditions. (B, L, D)
Day 12 Ulley - Leh
After another morning out,
after lunch you will be driven back to Leh town.
En-route we visit the Alchi monastery if time permits
(the morning can drag longer if there is good wildlife
movement). Alchi Gompa is one of the oldest monasteries
dating back to the 11th century. It is the only low land
monastery in the region as it was built in a time of
peace, before the marauding armies forced the
monasteries to take shelter amongst the slopes and
gorges. (B, L, D)
Day 13 Leh – Delhi
This morning after breakfast
you will be transferred to the airport to connect your
flight to Delhi. On your arrival in Delhi you will be
met by a representative of Adventure Travel Vacations
holding a sign in your name once you exit Baggage claim.
Thereafter you will be transferred to an airport hotel.
Day 14 Depart Delhi
This morning after breakfast
you will be transferred to the International airport to
connect your flight back home. (B)
Cost inclusions for Snow Leopard Trek
• Accommodation on Twin
• All 03 major meals in Leh and Ulley,
except in Delhi for both visits where it is based on bed
and breakfast basis only
• Tea / Coffee all day.
Return airport transfers in Delhi.
at the lodge for wildlife spotting.
• Transfers to
and from the lodge from Leh.
• All activities.
Spotter / Trackers.
• Resident Naturalist at the
for Snow Leopard Trek
• Personal Tour Leader /
• Any Alcohol / Beverages.
Travel / Medical Insurance.
• Personal Tour Leader.
• Anything not mentioned in the inclusions above.
• Check-in time is 1400 hrs
and check-out 12 noon.
• Hotels offered may change at
the time of actual booking and if so a similar hotel in
the same category will be offered.
• Twin room are
subject to availability at the time of check in at
The Snow Leopard Lodge, Ulley
Open: November – September
Best Time For:
Snow Leopard: November – May
(sightings possible at other times as well)
year. Denning: April – July
Himalayan Fox: All year
Golden Eagles & Lammergeiers: All year. Courtship
Ibex: November – June (sightings
possible at other times as well).
Nayan: All year
Marmot: May – October
Wild flowers: End May – early
July. Accessed on foot.
Bird watching: Throughout the
year. Seasonally arranged list available.
Wildlife Viewing: By vehicle
and on foot depending on location of wildlife.
Reasonable fitness required. All excursions guided by
naturalists and expert spotters/trackers.
No. of rooms: Lodge: 5
Double with 3 common Toilets + 1 Single with attached
Annexe: 3 Double rooms with attached Toilets +
2 Double rooms with 01 shared Toilet
Power: Regular power supply
with generator back up for charging purposes
Food: Mix of Indian /
Continental / Ladakhi Set Menus
• Library of reference books
• Binoculars available on request.
• Tea / Coffee & cookies available all
day in the dining / lounge area.
• All water freshly
filtered in RO / UV.
• Packed lunches / tea coffee
provided when in the field.
• No credit card facility
– nearest ATM in Leh.
• Vehicles / guides / spotters
• Rooms are heated with Gas / electric
• Hot Water Bottles.
• No running water
in winter. Toilets are flushed with buckets.
water for bathing is available in buckets at your
• Projection system for screening films
in the Main Lodge.
• First Aid Kit.
• Nearest Hospital in Leh (approx. 2
LEOPARD TREK – Important Points To Remember
TREK – HEMIS NATIONAL PARK, LADAKH, INDIA
Snow Leopard Tour, Ladakh –
November to March
• Accompanied by one of the
best Snow Leopard guide in Ladakh and an experienced
trek and camping back-up team you will explore some of
the best habitats in the Rumbak region of Hemis High
Altitude National Park, known as the Snow Leopard
capital of the world. In spectacular scenery with
panoramic views of high passes, open skies and beautiful
valleys mammal sightings will include Blue Sheep
(Bharal), the primary prey species of Snow Leopard,
Pika, Woolly Hare and perhaps Mountain Weasel, Northern
Lynx, Ladakh Urial, Tibetan Argali, Asiatic or Tibetan
Wolf if you are lucky. Expect regular sightings of
Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Red-billed and Alpine Coughs,
Robin and Brown Accentors, White-browed Tit Warbler,
Fire-fronted Serin, Robin Accentor, Brown Accentor and
Brown Dippers. Eurasian Eagle Owl, Himalayan Snowcock,
Tibetan Partridge, White-fronted Tit Warbler,
Wallcreeper, Tibetan Snowfinch and Himalayan Griffon are
all possible with a Rosefinch or two! Our experienced
guide, along with other members of the team, will be
looking for tracks and signs left by this elusive and
endangered big cat, with the added benefit of up-to-date
knowledge of recent sightings and often being in contact
with others by radio. Everyone will scan the
mountain-scape on a regular basis for the ultimate
sighting of a Snow Leopard.
• Accommodation will be
in hotels (Leh), well equipped tented camps and village
Homestays, subject to weather and where our quest for
Snow Leopard and other wildlife takes us.
• Grade is
moderate to challenging at times, especially for the
first few days as your body is getting used to the
rarified air. If you have struggled at high altitude
before, then this tour is not the tour for you! You
should take it easy, not rush and most importantly go at
your own pace. You need to be physically fit (but not
ultra-fit) with experience of hill walking and the
ability to deal with some challenging terrain including
rocks, scree slopes, steep slopes, narrow paths and
• Most of the trekking is on
well-trodden trails Depending on sightings it is likely
that on several mornings and evenings you may well walk
up to one of three vantage points in the Husing Valley
which offer excellent views across extensive valleys and
long ridge-lines; a popular place to scan for Snow
What to expect while
The camp team is there to
set up camp, cook and help to make your stay as
comfortable as possible. The camp is well equipped and
the tents and sleeping mats etc. are excellent. You can
expect three course dinners on the table with table
cloth in the dining tent and often hot meals are carried
up the mountain and served with hot drinks! However, it
is a basic rural camp, so do not expect hot showers,
although you will be delivered a bowl of hot water for a
wash/strip wash and hot water bottles are also provided.
Packed lunches (often hot) are normally delivered to you
by the camp team while you are out and about, so there
is no need to carry your own packed lunch each day. Tea
and biscuits may be delivered on some days too! You do
however need to take a 30 – 50L day sack as you must
carry plenty of water to drink and have room for extra
layers of clothing that you may well take off while
trekking and put on while sitting for long periods.
You’ll need the extra layers on very cold days and
especially if it is windy (as temperatures can drop
dramatically with the wind chill) and towards the end of
the day when you lose the warmth of the sun as it
disappears behind the mountains. Ponies are employed for
transport of camp equipment and some of your extras. Try
not to over pack, but do be aware that it is very
difficult to wash clothes while you are camping and get
them dry. They are strict on the internal baggage
allowance on the flights these days, but you can usually
pay more per kg of extra weight and it isn’t too
expensive. However taking the appropriate kit is doable
within the weight allowance.
• Binoculars and ideally a
telescope with tripod (as lightweight as possible) if
you have one to scan for Snow Leopard.
• A 30 - 50
litre day backpack (with cover to keep off the snow if
encountered) large enough to carry water bottles, camera
and extra clothing needed to combat wind chill and
change in temperatures
• 1 large duffle
bag/holdall/rucksack (with cover to keep off snow if
required) for all your main luggage with 2 large plastic
bin bags or dry-sacks for keeping gear dry. Note: It is
a very dry environment. You can expect snow, but even
the snow is dry snow, but better to be on the safe side
and ensure your belongings are protected from the damp
• A thermarest to place on the ground to sit on is
essential. Expect quite a lot of sitting and scanning.
• 1 litre water bottles with a wide mouth
(preferably not metal as they are cold to hold) but
something that can withstand warm water. You may wish to
consider bringing a small thermos for tea or coffee if
you are not keen on drinking cold water, as it is
essential you keep your fluid intake high to help avoid
• Clothing suitable for snow (rain less
likely), but hopefully it will be dry – so a light
weight waterproof jacket to go over a down jacket,
waterproof trousers and ensure your boots are
• Good quality sun goggles with 100% U/V
• Sun hat
• Sun cream
lotions (remember to protect your ears!) SPF50+ for your
face. You can purchase tins which don‟t freeze!
good moisturizer essential for face, hands and lips as
the air is very dry
• Head torch and spare batteries
(worth taking with you on each trek as we often headed
back at dusk)
• Comfortable clothing / no formals
• Thermals (at least two sets and you may
wear both if the climate is extra cold) and plenty of
layers. Note: Checkout pure merino wool thermals as
these come highly recommended.
• At least one pair
of padded (not just lined) trousers and two pairs if you
know you feel the cold. Or you could go with lined
trousers and carry larger padded trousers to add an
extra layer while scanning for long periods at the end
of the day
• Pair of water proof trousers
Decent mittens (like Montane Prism Winter Mitts) or
gloves and consider a larger size so you are able to
wear glove liners (silk or merino wool liners ideal),
scarf and balaclava or buff (the buff recommended over
the balaclava) in case of very cold weather so you can
cover nose and ears. Consider the movement of your
fingers required to focus your telescope or press a
camera button. Take a spare pair just in case you lose
one, or get a pair wet.
• Warm wool or fleece hat
• A warm jacket (a decent down jacket is
preferable or more layers) to wear over other layers.
For your upper body over the top of thermals you may
consider a base layer, micro fleece, a second zip fleece
jacket (this can be invaluable to unzip when trekking
and feeling hotter, then zip up and have pockets where
you can store your batteries to keep them warm). Some
may prefer to bring a wool sweater. If you feel the cold
you may wish to bring a down waistcoat/gillet. What you
ultimately wear will depend on the temperature at the
time, what you are doing (walking/sitting) and your own
tolerance to the cold. Issue is to have sufficient
layers to cover every eventuality and room in your day
sack to strip off!
• Personal medicines – even if
you are not prone to getting headaches do bring some
Paracetamol as the altitude can bring on niggling and
sometimes severe headaches, especially if you become
dehydrated. If you feel at all ill then you must tell
your guide how you are feeling and others in the group.
• Ankle length trekking boots (light weight good
quality Gore-Tex preferable with solid soles for both
insulation and grip). You could bring gaiters though
most of the time these are not likely to be required in
Feb or March. Note: Biggest bit of advice is NOT to have
your boots too tight. You will need decent woollen socks
(take at least three pairs and you may wear two pairs)
and a pair of silk socks for extra warmth. So you need
to wear boots at least one size larger than normal, and
some would opt for two sizes larger to accommodate two
pairs of thick woollen socks. Note: If you are
purchasing new boots remember to buy in advance and wear
them in. Extra note: Some may opt for fur-lined boots
(leather and/or rubberized on the outside) if your feet
are prone to feeling cold.
• Trainers for around the
camp (though you may not bother)
• A good quality
four season sleeping bag and you might want to consider
sleeping bag liner (silk ones are good for space-saving
and add an extra season of warmth – some would prefer
the square ended rather than mummy shaped liners). Note:
If space or weight is an issue you can hire (on extra
payment) army issue sleeping bags. Note: If you wish to
hire one please tell us in advance and you then just
need to carry a sleeping bag liner.
deodorant, antiseptic wipes (2 packs of large and 2
packs of small help to make washing and personal hygiene
easier – small ones are good in the day sack), hand
sanitizer, blister treatments, plastic bags for tent
• Camera with lens to cope
with UV filter (especially for more professional
cameras), image stabilising lens worth considering and
cable release. You are not walking all day, but some of
the treks can be long, so you’d need to determine how
long a trek is likely to be and decide how much heavy
equipment to take with you.
• Tripod for telescope
and/or camera, but be prepared to carry it over tricky
terrain OR bean bag to place on rocks and boulders to
help keep camera steady
• Extra Batteries for the
camera OR Solar Backpack Chargers OR Portable Solar
Panels for Backpacks
• Avg. Altitude: 3500 m
Avg. Temp: (Winter) Max 5 / Min –25
Spoken: Ladakhi, Hindi & English
• Regional Capital:
• ATMs available: SBI, J&K, HDFC, AXIS Bank, but
please bring with you enough spending money for the
duration Credit Cards are NOT accepted by most of the
shops, restaurants or hotels.
• Mobile: POSTPAID
BSNL, Airtel mainly. Prepaid SIMs will not work in Leh.
Travel to any part of the
Himalayas deserves a little more respect than many other
destinations because the whole region lies over 2600
meters (8500 ft). People in good health should not get
alarmed by this but if you have a medical condition such
as high blood pressure, heart or lung disease, you must
take the advice of a doctor who has experience with the
effects of altitude. We do not take heart or lung
patients or pregnant mothers on this expedition. Any
kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip
is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy more.
Most of Ladakh is at an
altitude of more than 3000m so you need to get
acclimatized before you can set out to travel. Your body
needs to adapt to high altitude, as the higher you go,
the air becomes rarified and the oxygen available for
you to breathe becomes lesser. Even though your body is
capable of adapting to 'thin air', you need to give it
time to do so. This is what is called acclimatization.
• Complete rest at the hotel to acclimatize to the
high altitude region of Ladakh
• Take short steps
and stop if you are breathless. You may not be able to
walk here like you do it back home
• Always carry
warm clothes while travelling, because weather in the
mountains can change any minute
• Do not venture out
on the first day
• It is advisable not to take bath
or shower on the first day as you might catch cold due
to the exposure. So, keep warm and cozy on first day and
• Please do not consume alcohol and
cigarettes for the initial 2 days
• Do not spend
more than 10 minutes at high altitudes of Khardungla and
We recommend Diamox medicine to
counter the effects of Acute Mountain Sickness. (PLEASE
CONSULT A DOCTOR) before you start your course.
Please keep your personal items to a minimum (besides
the essentials) so that your bag (No hard shells please)
is light and easy to carry.
Price:- From $3,243 per person sharing. Please contact
us for seasonal rates and availability