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Ladakh - Quest for Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard and the fauna of Trans-Himalayan region
Duration: 13 nights & 14 days
Best Season: August to October
Tour Code: HIM06

ITINERARY
Day 01: Delhi to Leh
Day 02: Leh
Day 03: Leh to Zingchan
Day 04: Zingchan to Rumbak (Trek)
Day 5 - 12 : Rumbak Valley
Day 13: Rumbak to Zingchan (Trek)
Day 14: Leh to Delhi

Highlights

One of the very few tours to offer a realistic chance of seeing Snow Leopard
Awe inspiring Himalayan scenery
Ancient kingdom of Ladakh, Buddhist monasteries and mud palaces
Unique flora and fauna or the Trans-Himalayan region
Spectacular trans-Himalayan flights to and from Leh
Enjoy traditional Ladakhi culture and hospitality

Description
Ladakh at the northern boundary of India, is a once in a lifetime, must visit destination. The stark natural beauty is awe-inspiring as is the elusive and enigmatic snow leopard that is found amid the mountains of Hemis National Park. While most people only see footprints of this mythical mammal, our guides and local trackers will try their best to ensure a glimpse of this high altitude predator as it comes down to more accessible altitude following the Blue Sheep or Bharal.
This trek is regarded as the most rewarding and complete circular trek in the entire Himalayan region. The programme is blended with great range of flora and fauna, Himalayan nomads, spectacular panoramic views, high passes, open skies, villages and Buddhist monasteries.
We start this tour with one of the most sensational flights in the world. Flying from Delhi to Leh, in the distance you can see the peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum and Nun Kun Massif. Situated at a height of 11,000 ft, you will need to rest for 24-36 hours when you get to Leh to acclimatize yourself to the high altitude.
The first two days are at leisure to acclimatize to the rarefied air and explore Leh. You may choose to stroll along the main bazaar - observing the varied crowds. Looking into curio shops is an engaging experience. A particularly attractive sight is the line of women from nearby villages sitting along the edge of the footpath with baskets of fresh vegetables brought for sale. Behind the main bazaar, Chang Gali is less bustling but has interesting little shops selling curios and jewellery. Further on are the labyrinthine alleyways and piled-up houses of the old town, clustering around the foot of the Palace Hill. In the other direction, down the bazaar, are the Tibetan markets where one can bargain for pearls, turquoise, coral, lapis lazuli and many other kinds of semi-precious stones and jewellery, as well as carved yak-horn boxes, quaint brass locks, china or metal bowls, or any of a whole array of curios. When tired of strolling, one can step into any of the several restaurants; some of them located in gardens or on the sidewalks and serve local Tibetan, Indian and Continental cuisine.
Also walk to the Leh Palace & Shankar Gompa, which belongs to Gelukspa school of Tibetan Buddhism. This small Gompa is a branch of Spituk Gompa, founded by the first incarnation of Skyabje Bakula (head monk of Spituk monastery) The third day is when we begin the real trek by driving to Zingchan which is the entry point to Rumbak Valley - the home of the Snow Leopard. You will get the opportunity to interact with the locals of the area and get enthralling insights into local folklore, as well as learn about their customs and traditions.
Staying in tented camps, you will now trek into the mountain sides, valleys and gorges and interiors of Snow Leopard country for the next nine days.
Hemis National Park has an incredibly scenic landscape. You might sight raptors such as Lammergeier and Himalayan Griffon Vulture and maybe other birds like Brown and Robin Accentors, and Himalayan & Tibetan Snowcock. The area is home to Red Fox, Pika and Woolly Hares. You might be lucky enough to spot rare mammals including Tibetan Wolf, Lynx and Tibetan Argali, though these are rarely seen.
This tour does require a high level of fitness. You may need to be prepared to trek through light to medium snowfalls for up to several hours a day. If you are lucky, whether at a kill of the blue sheep or making its solitary way up a remote mountain pass, there is no greater wildlife thrill than seeing a Snow Leopard blending into its natural habitat which to us seems so inhospitable.Choosing the best time of year for sightings, this thrilling and challenging tour rewards you with an opportunity of one of the rarest and awe-inspiring wildlife sightings ever.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Delhi - Leh (3,500 m)
Meals: Lunch and Dinner
You will be met and transferred to the Delhi airport in the morning to fly to Leh. This must be one of the most sensational flights in the world. On a clear day from one side of the aircraft can be seen in the distance the peaks of K2, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum and on the other side of the aircraft, so close that you feel you could reach out and touch it, is the Nun Kun massif. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel. You would take a little time to settle in and acclimatize since you have gone from a relatively low elevation in New Delhi to over 11,000 feet! During the afternoon, you can walk through the old town, beneath the Leh Palace, to allow you to get oriented to this fascinating city. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 2: Leh
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Another full day to rest and acclimatize to the rarefied air. You may choose to stroll along the main bazaar. Overnight stay.

Day 3: Leh - Zingchan - By Surface / Approx 1.5 hr
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Drive to Zingchan in the afternoon. This is the entry point to Rumbak Valley - the home of the Snow Leopard. You will have the opportunity to be interacting with the locals of the area and gain a good insight into their culture. Overnight in a fully serviced tented camp.

Day 4: Zingchan - Rumbak (12,540 ft) - Trek / Approx 5 hrs
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Today you trek into the interiors of Snow Leopard country. Overnight in a fully serviced tented camp.

Day 5 - 12: Rumbak Valley
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Explore the area on foot with your guide to try and spot the Snow Leopard and other fauna. In the process there will also be plenty of opportunity for you to get enthralling insights into local folklore, as well as learn about their customs and traditions.

Day 13: Rumbak - Zingchan - Trek / Approx 3 ½ hrs - Leh - By Surface / Approx 1 hr
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Today you trek back to Zingchan and drive onward to Leh for an overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 14: Leh - Delhi
Meals: Breakfast
Today you will be transferred to Leh airport to fly back to Delhi in the morning. Tour ends.

Note:
1. Dhikala closes opens on November 16 every year and closes on June 15. The tours outside these dates will be modified and the safaris will be arranged in the other parts of Corbett National Park.
2. This itinerary may be reversed if the booking in Dhikala is not available over the weekend. This will not impact the quality of the tour and experience thereof.

Services included:
-Accommodation on twin triple sharing basis in the lodges and fully serviced and hotels camps
-Three meals a day (starting with lunch on Day 01 and ending with breakfast on Day 14)
-Snow Leopard tracking and wildlife viewing with trained guides
-Permits and entry fee
-All surface transfers by a private vehicle

Services not included:
-Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
-Tips, laundry, phone calls, alcohol, camera fee etc.
-International and domestic air fare, visa, insurance.
-Elephant rides in Corbett National Park

Please ask for Terms and Conditions

Write to us: wildindiatours@vsnl.com  info@asianadventures.in

Ladakh Travelling tips:
YOU MUST BRING:
* Good U/V protected sun goggles.
* Sun Cap
* Sun cream lotions
* Personal Flash torch
* Comfortable clothing / no formals
* At least one warm Jacket & a sweater
* Personal medicines
* Binocular for wildlife viewing
* Prefarbly ankle length trekking shoes
* Personal sleeping bags



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