Snow Leopard Trials

Tour Route

Leh/Hemis National park/ Leh

Tour Program

Day 01 Fly to Leh (11,500)
Explore Leh and acclimatize: Rise early andtransfer to the Delhi domestic airport for a spectacular flight to Leh, capital of Ladakh (11,500 ft). The dramatic views of this high altitude desert are punctuated by sharp snowy peaks. Transfer to your hotel where you’ll receive welcome tea. Rest till noon. After lunch, join our local crew and the Snow Leopard Conservancy staff for a briefing, then free time to explore Leh on your own. It is important to rest on these first few days at high altitude. Welcome dinner with the Conservancy. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 02 Full day at your leisure to explore Leh Market:
Leh is full of small lanes with hidden treasures – take the time to explore, or rest up as you are still acclimatizing to the elevation. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 03 Walking Tour of Leh:
Take a guided walking tour of Leh town, including a visit to Leh Palace, Victory Peak, and the old quarter. Visit the gift shop and headquarters of LEDeG, a conservation organization working to preserve the environment and Ladakhi traditional ways of life. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 04 Leh to Phey, Trek to Camp:
After a hearty pre-trek breakfast, drive to Phey bridge, and start walking along the Indus River towards Zingchen Gorge. Continue up the gorge, a dramatic entry to the snow leopard’s high altitude home in Hemis National Park. Enroute, watch amidst the cliffs and at the base of rocks where they mark their turf for sign of snow leopard, and other wildlife. Camp at wildlife study camp. Trekking time: approx 5-6 hrs. Elevation: 12,400’


Day 05 Wildlife Viewing
Proceed for full day of tracking snow leopard and its wildlife prey. 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. You are likely to see sign of snow leopard as winter is the time that they descend to lower elevations. If lucky, you’ll actually see one perched high in the rocks or balanced on a near vertical ridge. Return to camp for some warming tea and share tales of the day. Camp.

Day 06 Wildlife Viewing
Spend another day with Dr. Jackson and trained naturalists on the look-out for snow leopard and its prey. The views of this stark landscape, the sky pierced by upward tilted strata and – on snow-free days -- the ground adorned with hardy alpine plants, provides constant fascination. Camp.

Day 07-09 Wildlife Viewing, Visit Villages and Homestays:
Trek to nearby sites where snow leopard may have been sighted recently. Visit and overnight in a neighboring village, Rumbak, and experience a homestay. Homestay hosts have been trained in hospitality and are members of a community conservation effort to conserve the endangered snow leopard. Learn about their livestock herding practices and try your hand at winter pastimes (spinning, weaving, and turning a tale). Spend the days tracking snow leopard and wildlife, and overnight in a homestay or camp. Elevation 13,500’

Day 10 Trek to Zingchen, and Return to Leh:
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; 5 hrs. Drive to Leh, and check into a hotel for your first real bed in a week! Overnight in a hotel.

Day 11 Leh to Delhi:
Early morning transfer to Leh airport and fly to Delhi. Transfer to your hotel.