India - Snow Leopard Expedition
|Tour Dates||21 Oct 2013 - 01 Nov 2013 (12 days)|
|Tour Price (Per Person)||US$2,975 * £1,910 * €2,390 * ZAR24,300|
“Please note these costs are subject to exchange rate fluctuations.
“Enigmatic”, “magnificent” and “rare”! Many words have been used to describe the Snow Leopard - all of them ring true, but none are perhaps as appropriate as “elusive”. The spectacular and rugged terrain that the Snow Leopard calls home plays a large role in making this “Ghost of the Himalayas” so exceptionally hard to find. Fortunately, however, we now have a much greater understanding of their behaviour and ecology, and our chances for locating this magnificent feline have therefore much improved over the last few years.
Our exciting Snow Leopard expedition takes us on a tour through the unequalled scenery that forms the backdrop of Hemis National Park in northwest India. Situated in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, in the fabled kingdom of Ladakh, Hemis National Park is a high altitude reserve that holds claim to being the largest National Park in all of South Asia, and is home to many special Himalayan mammals, including the impressive Blue Sheep (or Bharal). Not only is this cliff dwelling sheep a common and wonderful sight in the park, but it is also the Snow Leopard’s principle prey species in the area.
From the first major snow falls in late Autumn, right through the bitterly cold winter months, Blue Sheep descend from the higher altitudes to the more sheltered valley slopes and floors, drawing with them the ever-watchful Snow Leopards. Our expedition is especially timed for this period and combines up-to-date information from locals and experienced local trackers to hunt down views of the “grey ghost”.
Whilst the main focus of our tour is to experience the utter thrill of seeing a Snow Leopard in its spectacular natural surroundings, we also stand a chance for encounters with a selection of highly sought-after inhabitants of the Himalayas such as Eurasian Lynx, Ibex, Argali and Ladakh Urial.
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrival in Leh
Day 2: Leh - Excursion to Shey and Tikse
Day 3: Leh to Hemis National Park, via Zingchen
Day 4: Hemis National Park (Rumbak Valley)
Day 5: Hemis National Park (Rumbak Valley)
Day 6: Hemis National Park (Rumbak Valley)
Day 7: Hemis National Park (Rumbak Valley)
Day 8: Hemis National Park (Rumbak Valley)
Day 9: Hemis National Park (Rumbak Valley)
Day 10: Hemis National Park (Rumbak Valley)
Day 11: Hemis National Park to Leh, via Zingchen
Day 12: Leh and depart
|Tour Fact Sheet|
|Top Mammals||Snow Leopard, Ladakh Urial (wild sheep), Blue Sheep, Tibetan Red Fox, Large-eared Pikas, Eurasian Lynx, Ibex, Woolly Hare and Argali|
|Top Birds||Golden Eagle, Lammergeier, Yellow-billed and Red-billed Chough, Robin Accentors and Himalayan Snowcock|
|Reserves Visited||Hemis National Park|
|Habitats Covered||Rocky scree slopes, pine forests, dry alpine shrublands, meadows and alpine tundra|
|Expected Climate||Climatic conditions vary from Arctic to Sub-arctic. Temperatures throughout the tour, but particularly in Hemis National Park, will be well below zero. This is a low rainfall area, with snow being the main form of precipitation|
|Tour Pace & Walking||Challenging trekking at high altitudes which is strenuous due to the low oxygen content in the air. Scree slopes, rock slides and rocky embankments can make walking arduous and difficult. A good level of fitness is required|
|Accommodation||Basic tented camping in Hemis National Park and comfortable hotel accommodation in Leh|
|Ease of Mammal Watching||Challenging|
|Other Attractions||Exploring the ancient Himalayan city of Leh, monasteries of Shey and Tikse|