Embark on an extraordinary 13-day odyssey to Hemis National Park, where the enigmatic Snow Leopards reign supreme. This elite expedition begins in New Delhi, whisking you away to the captivating capital of Ladakh, Leh, nestled amidst the stunning high-altitude desert. As a select group, you’ll indulge in guided walking tours of Leh town, and then the adventure reaches new heights with a thrilling trek to Zingchen Gorge, the gateway to the Snow Leopard’s exclusive territory.
For five exclusive days, immerse yourself in the rare privilege of searching for these elusive big cats, guided by seasoned experts and surrounded by breathtaking, untouched landscapes. Experience a once-in-a-lifetime homestay in the remote village of Rumbak, where conservation efforts come alive. This extraordinary journey culminates with a return to New Delhi, leaving you with cherished memories of an elite encounter with the regal Snow Leopards of Hemis—a true testament to the artistry of time and travel.
DAY 1: Arrive New Delhi.
On arrival at the New Delhi airport you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to the hotel. He will explain and handover all the travel related documents and further assist you in check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY 2: New Delhi – Leh (Flight).
Early morning transfer to airport to board a flight to Leh at 05:55 am. Leh, the capital of Ladakh at 11,500 ft. The dramatic views of this high altitude desert are punctuated by sharp snowy peaks. Reach Leh at 07:15 am & transfer to your hotel where you’ll receive welcome a 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 during the first couple of days at high altitude. Welcome dinner with the Conservancy staff. Overnight in the hotel.
DAY 3: 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 stay at the hotel.
DAY 4: Zingchen 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: 4000m
DAY 5 to 9: Searching for Snow Leopard.
Stay at the base camp and go trekking and looking for the snow leopard. We will leave early morning post breakfast and start walking towards vantage points in different directions from the camps. The guides there will be on the lookout for the big cat, and if any movement or sighting happens, they will inform all of us who are in close proximity and point out the snow leopard’s whereabouts. In case we end up spending a lot of time in a particular region during the day, our cooks and porters will get us our breakfast/lunch and tea to the vantage point that we are at. During these treks, you will come across the other fauna of the region: Blue Sheep, Chukar, Red Fox, Great Tit, Magpie, Robin Accentor and Golden Eagle to name a few.
DAY 10: Wildlife Viewing and then trek to a Home Stay for the Night.
Trek to nearby sites where Snow Leopard may have been sighted recently. Visit and stay overnight in a neighboring village, Rumbak and experience a home stay. Home stay 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 their winter pastimes (spinning, weaving and turning a tale). Spend the days tracking Snow Leopard and other wildlife. Overnight in homestead. Elevation 4200m.
DAY 11: Rumbak Valley – 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 approximately 5 hrs. Drive to Leh, and check into your hotel for your first real bed in a week!
DAY 12: Leh – New Delhi.
Morning transfer to Leh airport to board a Flight to New Delhi at 11:00 am to arrive Delhi at 12:35 pm. On arrival check into hotel. Overnight stay in New Delhi.
DAY 13: Next Destination. End.