This 16 day tour takes us to Ladakh (which means land of high passes). Ladakh is in the indian state of Jammu & Kashmir and extends from the Kunlun mountains range to the main Great Himalayas in the south. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the sate of Jammu & Kashmir, and its culture and history are closely tied to Tibet. It offers a great chance to see Snow Leopards in their natural habitat.
- 15 nights accommodation
- Meals as itinerary (check PDF itinerary)
- Airport transfers for duration of tour
- Transport including fuel
- Guide services of the tour leader
- Site fees & entry fees
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- Visa fees and entry clearing fees
- Flights (Domestic or International)
- Drinks & Snacks
- Items of a personal nature
Day 1 - Arrive New Dehli
On arrival at the New Delhi airport you will meet your driver and then head out to bird in the Delhi outskirts. Your main targets is Spanish Sparrowand for this you will be driven towards Basai and Sultanpur forest and fringe villages. You may also find several other species likeSind Sparrow, Rufous-fronted Prinia, Spotted Crake, Baillon’s Crake, Black-necked Stork, Sarus Crane, Eurasian Wryneck, Isabelline Shrike and several other species. After birding you will be driven to your simple but functional hotel.
Day 2 - Fly to Leh & acclimatise
Early today you will be driven to the airport to board your flight to Leh. Depending on cloud cover you may with some luck see the spectacular range of western Himalayas. On arrival – after collecting your baggage meet your Ladakh representative and be driven to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Please ensure that you drink plenty of water- 2.5 litres is recommend, and get a good amount of sleep. This is essential for acclimatisation.
Day 3 - Acclimatise with easy birding
After an easy relaxed morning and rest till early lunch you can head out around 1400 hours, and be driven to the near and surrounds for some easy birding from the car and some moderate walking.
Day 4 - Looking for local wildlife
After breakfast (you should be well acclimatised by now) you will be driven to Stakna, Stok or some other area for your first look out for birds and mammals; You will return to your hotel for lunch and a bit of rest and then again head out in the afternoon.
Day 5- First chance at Snow Leopard
After breakfast you will be driven to Jingchan (1 hour’s drive) and then you will gently walk to your first base – Husing River Front. Your guide and crew will already be ready to receive you and then you will settle in to your first day inside the Hemis National Park. On arrival enjoy some hot snacks and a drink and then get everything set up. Once done we will walk the surrounds looking for Snow Leopards and other wildlife and birds.
Day 6 - Rumbak Village & looking for Snow Leopards
Your guide and local team will be out early looking for birds and Snow Leopards and they will wake you up if there is any news of locations or sightings of birds that you wish to find. Breakfast will follow soon and then you will start your walk towards Rumbak. In case there are Snow Leopards being sighted somewhere else then you will first check that area (decide on that after checking with the team how long a walk it mean for you and if you can do it). Once you have reached the half-way point you will be parking here for the day scanning from here looking for birds and waiting for Snow Leopard movements and news. If that happens then you will need to walk to the location or skip the sighting if it is not worth the effort. Around 1700 hours or slightly later you will head to Rumbak Village.
Inside the homestay – meet the family and get acquainted with the surroundings. You may consider carrying your own top sheet if you are anxious about cleanliness. The homestays are run really well by the local families who look after you well in an otherwise dry and arid country. They do provide hot water if you want to have a shower.
Day 7 & 8 - Look for Snow Leopards & Tibetan Wolves
After breakfast we will wait for a while for news on leopards and other mammals. You can come out and bird in the surrounds. Then you will start your walk for the Snow Leopards. This area can be very windy and if it is – the temperature can drop real fast. You will be out all day and you will have packed picnic lunch (hot lunch) that your crew will bring to you.
Post lunch and more explorations you will return to your lodge. In the evenings keep an eye out and be attentive – Tibetan Wolves and even Snow Leopards regularly come inside the village.
Day 9 - Yurutse monastery & look for birds & wildlife
After early breakfast you will walk towards Yuruche – you will walk downhill first and cross the frozen river. After that you will be walking uphill gently towards the Yurutse monastery. On arriving at the monastery – take a break and enjoy a cup of local tea. This area is good for Tibetan Partridge and the rare and elusive Eurasian Lynx. Occasionally one finds the Tibetan Argali in this area.
Day 10 - Tibetan Argali, Eurasian Lynx & Snow Leopards
After early breakfast you will walk up the ridge and look for the Tibetan Argali that inhabits this area. Later you will explore this area looking for the Eurasian Lynx and other mammals that inhabit this area. You may walk back to Rumabk or even further towards Ganda la to look for Snow Leopards.
Day 11 - Local birding & wildlife
After breakfast you will head out to the nearby fields looking for the Tibetan Partridge and also the Himalayan Snowcock. Early morning there is Blue Sheep and sometimes Tibetan Argali that comes into the village. After the morning here – you will be walking back to Zingchan. On arrival – transfer to your car and be driven to Leh. After settling in – this afternoon head to the Indus river looking for Ibisbills and other birds.
Day 12 - Drive to Hemissukpachan while watching for mammals
After breakfast you will be driven to Hemissukpachan, stopping, scanning and driving. On arrival you will be walking in the area looking for the Ladakh Urial, Tibetan Wolf, Red Fox and the Snow Leopards. There will be common birds like the Black-billed Magpie, Chukars, soaring Golden Eagles, White-winged or Guldenstadt’s Redstart and some other species. You may see Woolly Hares today.
Day 13 - Drive to Wuleh for birding
After breakfast you will be driven up to Wuleh where you will look for the Himalayan Ibex and some good high altitude birds, plus Tibetan Wolf, Red Fox etc. You will spend the day here and then be driven around to other areas for birding. If there are Snow Leopards that have been sighted and you cannot find them today, you may overnight here.
Day 14 - Chance for Tibetan Wild Dog today
After breakfast you will be driven to the nearby areas looking for one of the rarer mammal – Tibetan Wild Dog– if you have sighted Snow Leopards already then you will look for this almost all of the day today – of course you will find other mammals and birds. The Tibetan Wild Dog has not been sighted for a long time and a sighting and/or an image will be a prize catch for anyone. The area that you may explore today is Likir and its surroundings where there had been older reports of sightings.
Later you will be driven to Leh.
Day 15 - Fly from Leh to Delhi
After breakfast you will be driven to the airport to fly back to Delhi. On arrival at New Delhi you will be driven to the Colonel’s Retreat.
Day 16 - Take onward flights
After a relaxed breakfast you wil be driven to the international airport to connect to your flight back home.