Snow Leopard Expedition
An extraordinary opportunity to meet Asia's "Mountain Ghost" while traveling to a selection of India's most iconic destinations.
India: Drink It In
Truly a once-in-a-lifetime photographic and wildlife experience, this Snow Leopard Journey offers an unmissable opportunity to meet Asia’s “mountain ghost” whilst travelling to a selection of India’s most iconic destinations. The Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh, known as ‘Little Tibet’, has been hailed as one of the last frontiers for wildlife tourism. This incredible 12-day winter expedition meets the elements head-on, in an awe-inspiring landscape in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, in search of the elusive snow leopard and other incredible Himalayan wildlife.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
- • Set out in search of the elusive snow leopard, and explore three valleys, which are also home to other unique wildlife including ibex, Tibetan antelope, blue sheep, shapo, marmot, pika and the Tibetan hare.
• Spend seven nights living with a Ladakhi family, understanding their unique lifestyle.
• Travel with this wildlife and conservation-passionate operator to see this elusive species in its true habitat.
Trip Sustainability Awards
740,000 plastic water bottles saved from use per year.
Has won multiple awards for conservation efforts, and partners with 7+ organizations globally.
Partnership with local foundations to facilitate positive empowerment and development of local inhabitants.
Day 1: Delhi
Upon your arrival in bustling Delhi, you will be warmly welcomed by a representative who will personally assist you through customs and immigration and the baggage collection process. Afterwards, you will be chauffeured to the Trident Hotel Gurgaon. If time allows, enjoy some of the sites and sounds of bustling Delhi.
Accommodation: Trident Hotel Gurgaon
Trident Hotel Gurgaon: Where luxury and convenience converge, blending the natural elements and luxury of space, water and light into its design. Located just 30 minutes from Delhi international airport, Trident Hotel Gurgaon is conveniently close to magnificent attractions.'
Days 2-4: Leh
Leh sits at 11400 feet and the flight up from the plains means that you have to acclimatize gently without pushing yourself. Spending 2 ½ days here is a minimum requirement as you will be going to a higher altitude and will be doing a fair amount of walking. Meet with staff from the Snow Leopard Conservancy for a briefing on the history of snow leopard conservation in Ladakh. Gain insight into the current threats that snow leopards face and the strategies adopted to combat these threats.
Explore Leh, a fascinating labyrinth of winding streets and quaint bazaars. Enjoy the unique culture – Leh is very Tibetan; the national dress, ‘stove-pipe’ hats and felt boots with turned-up toes are evident wherever you look. Visit the Royal Palace, which dominates the town, and is very reminiscent of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Visit the Thiksey monastery, the most beautifully situated monastery in Ladakh, perched high on a hill above the Indus.
Set out for an extraordinary drive eastwards towards the local villages. The scenery is dramatic 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 partridge and the more common Chukor partridge.
Accommodation: The Grand Dragon
The Grand Dragon: Situated in the heart of the ancient city of Leh, The Grand Dragon combines traditional hospitality with contemporary comfort. Large picture windows open up onto scenic views of some of the city’s most notable buildings nestled against a backdrop of the magnificent Himalaya Mountains, from the snow-capped Stok Kangri Range to the Khardung La Pass.
Day 4-11: Ulley
Enjoy another beautiful scenic drive through local villages and visit one of Ladakh’s famous Buddhist monasteries. This is snow leopard country. Smaller valleys intersect this area and your guides will have their heads craned at all times, scanning the hillsides and skyline for any predatory silhouettes.This is also excellent ibex country and there are few more evocative sights than a magnificently horned male ibex standing vigil on an impossibly narrow outcropping, a few thousand feet over a plunging cliff.Ulley village, west of Leh, is an area that is only recently being developed for snow leopard viewing.
Here, you will be staying at the enchanting Snow Leopard Lodge where you will live with a Ladakhi family for seven nights, in the depths of winter, understanding their lifestyle, sharing the large, warm kitchens that are the heart of a Ladkahi home.Ulley is relatively free of tourism and the chaos that has enveloped the first snow leopard destination of Rumbak.
Explore three valleys, which, apart from snow leopards, are great for finding urial, ibex, wolf and Himalayan fox. Venture into the area on foot and by 4×4 vehicle, with your expert guide. Your guide will interact closely with the local people and use his network of local intelligence to narrow down the likely sites.
Accommodation: Snow Leopard Lodge
Snow Leopard Lodge: Located in the remote highland village of Ulley in West Ladakh, is the perfect and exclusive snow leopard destination of Snow Leopard Lodge. This rustic and comfortable stone lodge consists of 4 king size suites, 3 with their own separate lounge areas. These are built separately from the main house where a Ladakhi family live. You will have your own cook and camp staff, together with luxuries like extra gas heaters, a warm shower and bathroom, portable toilet, comfortable mattresses, linen, and an assortment of warm drinks and snacks that will go a long way to alleviate the cold and the altitude. You will also have the enriching cultural experience of sharing the large and snuggy kitchen that is the heart of a Ladakhi home in winter.
Day 11-12: Leh
Head back to Leh and explore an ancient Tibetan monastery called Alchi, situated on the south bank of the Indus River. Established in 1000 AD by Rinchen Zangpo, the monastery is rumoured to have taken 33 sculptors and wood carvers from Kashmir to complete. After your tour, you will continue onwards to Leh and spend one night at The Grand Dragon before waving a fond farewell to the rest of the group and heading home.
Accommodation: The Grand Dragon
Please Note: The rate is based on a minimum of 4 guests travelling and a maximum of 8 guests. Should the number of guests be less than 4, we would need to re-quote.This offer only applies to the hotels specifically mentioned in the itinerary. Rates are subject to change
Vehicles: Transport in Delhi and Leh will be in Toyota Innova car.
Air: Air fare for internal flights is based on present schedule fare in economy class and is subject to increase.
Donation: Includes a USD 200 donation per guest to the Snow Leopard Conservancy in Leh.
If you've just added this once in a lifetime experience of seeing a snow leopard to your bucket list, you can rest assured this operator will offer you an unparalleled adventure!
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: