Price

$7277 AUD per person twin share

$1547 AUD single supplement

Inclusions

  • Meet and greet service on arrival at Delhi International Airport
  • Transfers as per the itinerary
  • 15 nights accommodation (7 hotels, 8 camping)
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days except arrival and departure days
  • English speaking local guides
  • Professional and experienced wildlife Guide whilst in Hemis National Park
  • Entrance fees, park fees and trekking permits as per itinerary
  • Transportation in an air conditioned vehicle
  • Economy flight ticket Delhi/Leh/Delhi
  • Scrubba Wash Bag
  • Crooked Compass will provide a 5% donation to the Snow Leopard Conservancy which goes directly to support snow leopard conservation in Ladakh and the ecotourism development programs that benefit and inspire the Ladakhi people to protect it.

The below trekking equipment is also included:

  • High altitude two person trekking tents
  • Dining tents with folding chairs
  • Toilet tents
  • Staff tent
  • Camp furniture
  • Sleeping mattresses
  • Camping charges
  • Kitchen equipment like cooking utensils, camp crockery, tableware, lamps, wash bowls and cloth linens
  • Trek support team including 01 cook & 01 helper, pony owner with enough ponies to carry the provisions and client luggage during trekking
  • Separate vehicle to carry the trekking equipment and support team to / from trek starting and ending point

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • All services, meals other than those indicated above
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc
  • Personal trekking / camping equipment not mentioned above and clothing of personal nature like trek shoes, kit bags, day packs, sleeping bags, down jackets and other special clothing items

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Snow Leopard Tracking

$7,277.00

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This epic adventure takes you to Hemis National Park, Ladakh - India's most protected Snow Leopard area - with adventure travel photographer and expedition doctor, Andrew Peacock. With Andrew sharing his expert knowledge on wildlife photography in conjunction with expert trackers on hand to trace the cats’ scents, trails and markings, this journey will keep the pulse racing as you follow every sign of their movements whilst exploring some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. This snow leopard trek offers you the chance to track these ‘ghosts of the mountains’ and their prey through the snow, with the ability to witness these sadly diminishing but stunning creatures in their natural environment - and to capture all this through your camera lens.

Since Snow Leopards are generally found at elevations between 3000-4500m, this trek takes you through stunning Himalayan alpine and sub-alpine zones where vegetation is sparse and temperatures are extreme. Snow Leopards are most active at dawn and dusk and show a strong preference for cliffy habitat with moderately to very broken terrain, rocky outcrops and ravines. They are opportunistic predators and are known to take prey up to three times their own weight, though a large part of their diet comprises of small prey like marmots, pika, hare, birds and domestic livestock.

Andrew will run several workshops throughout the itinerary educating you on how to capture moving wildlife, shoot in snow as well as improve your camera skills with your own equipment.

Andrew first began to explore the world around him through a camera lens while working as a doctor on voluntary assignments in the mountains of Nepal and India. Now he uses his medical and outdoor adventure skills to find ways to explore new corners of the globe and tell those stories through photography.
As an adventure travel photographer, his intent is to create images that tell stories of human exploration and adventure in areas of natural beauty and wonder. Andrew's
 inspiration comes from the activities, landscapes, wildlife and people of the outdoor world.

Andrew's work has appeared in the Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Outer Edge Magazine, Outdoor Australia, Virtuoso Traveler and Zenfolio Pro Team to name a few. In 2016, Andrew was also a finalist in Australian Geographic's ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year and is also a Ted's Camera's Australia Master. Andrew's wonderful adventure travel photography can be found at http://www.footloosefotography.com/

Andrew Peacock Crooked Compass

Day 1 - Arrive Delhi

Namaste! Welcome to the fascinating country that is India! You will be met upon arrival at New Delhi’s International Airport and transferred to your hotel for check in.

India’s capital, Delhi, is a contemporary, bustling metropolis successfully combining its ancients folds with the modern world. Beneath its spiraling skyscrapers are the remnants of a bygone time with many monuments standing as silent reminders of the regions ancient legacy.  The hustle and bustle of Delhi takes a little getting used to, so allow yourself to be swept up in the mayhem and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this fascinating city.

Upon arrival at your hotel, you will be welcomed with traditional warm Indian hospitality. Your forehead will be anointed with the traditional red ‘tikka’ (vermillion) which is considered good fortune. Welcoming guests in India is an age old tradition where the belief is ‘Atithi Devo bhava’ – treat your guest as if he were God. This evening you will meet your group and discuss your exciting itinerary that awaits you! Andrew will also provide a briefing on his upcoming workshops. (D)

Overnight at Shanti Home – New Delhi or similar

Day 2 - Delhi Sightseeing

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before beginning a busy day of sightseeing, exploring both Old & New Delhi. Starting with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, you will continue on and drive past the magnificent Red Fort overlooking the River Jamuna, built between 1638 and 1648 when the Mughal Empire was at its peak.

You will then make your way to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously, and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet. Walk through the narrow streets of Old Delhi, as the aromas both tempt and assault your senses. This vibrant part of the city is a great way to capture images bursting with local life, and Andrew will be offering tips on capturing mood and the moment.

Experience the delicious street food of Old Delhi as the locals do, and lunch today will be a traditional meal with a local family.

Continuing on, you will pass the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the President’s residence). Visit one of the beautiful monuments of Delhi’s past – Humayun’s Tomb, its design being the inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Later this afternoon you will have the unique opportunity to visit an ancient settlement near Nizamudin – an area rarely seen by the outside world. Starting at a local Trust who works with the street children in Delhi, providing them with a secure environment as well as health and education. It is here that you will meet your guide, a local boy. The Trust has developed a walking tour through the inner city, and your guides are the young people who have been rescued and know the area intimately. While introducing you to the heritage and the life of the backstreets of Delhi, hardly ever seen by visitors, your local guide will also share with you stories of his life journeys.   * Please ask your guide for approval before taking photos in this area. (B,L,D)

Overnight at Shanti Home – New Delhi or similar

Day 3 - Delhi to Leh

This morning following breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Leh, Ladakh. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel where the remainder of the day is yours at leisure to acclimatise.

Framed by the jagged snow-capped Himalayas, the city itself sits on the historic Silk Road. Dotted with humbling monasteries, stupas and crumbling mud houses, this enchanting city is very easy to fall in love with.

Leh is located at just over 3500m, and it is not uncommon to suffer from a little altitude sickness, whether it be a headache, breathlessness or dizziness. Be sure to drink lots of ginger tea, remain well hydrated and remember, no strenuous exercise while acclimatising. (B,L,D)

Overnight at Hotel Singee Palace or similar

Day 4-5 - Leh

We have allowed two more days in Leh to acclimatise before starting your trek. In these two days, Andrew will run a workshop on getting to know your camera gear and how to take the perfect photos in low light, indoors, and of the beautiful monasteries, vibrant village shots as well as character filled people shots.

If you are feeling up to it, you can participate in some conservation work in local schools, supporting the work done by the Snow Leopard Conservancy Trust.  This includes assisting with environmental education, research, campaigns and direct action. This program works in conjunction with a handful of Government schools and was founded on the belief that a country can develop meaningfully only if ecological sustainability and social equity are guaranteed.

Over these two day, you will also be able to visit Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace as well as some of the local monasteries. Shanti Stupa is 5km from town and overlooks Leh city, offering a panaoromic view of the surrounding snow capped mountains. The location of Shanti Stupa is visible from all over Leh city.

Leh Palace, though in a dilapidated condition, is full of old worldly charm, and the adventurous journey one has to undertake to reach the palace makes it even more special. Built in the 17th century by King Singe Namgyal as the royal residence, it was deserted in the mid 19th century after the family shifted to Stok. A visit here for many people feels like a glimpse into the window of Tibet. (B,L,D)

Overnight at Hotel Singee Palace or similar

Day 6 - Leh to Rumbak

This morning after breakfast you will head to Zinchen, where you will commence your trek to reach Rumbak (approx. 4-5 hours). It is here, within the Hemis National Park, that your base camp will be set up for the next few nights. Hemis is home to a number of rare species including the bharal, and of course the snow leopard, and has been identified as a Snow Leopard reserve under a project launched by the Central Government aimed at conserving the species, its prey base and its fragile mountainous home.

Base camp is where you will have your dining, kitchen, toilet, bathing, and sleeping tents (dome tents). Your cook and helpers also stay at base camp and provide you with freshly cooked breakfasts and dinners daily in the dining tent. For breakfast, you can expect an array of food; eggs made to order, pancakes, cereal (corn flakes and porridge), local bread, butter, jam, marmalade, juice, coffee & tea. Lunch is packed every day for you. Dinner is a 4 or 5 course meal every night, made up of a variety of sumptuous Indian, Continential, Chinese, Tibetan, and Ladakhi food.  Accommodation here is rustic and basic. (B,L,D)

Elevation: 3800m

Overnight Base Camp – Hemis National Park

Day 7-13 - Hemis National Park

You will have six full days to trek and explore the National Park. Distances covered and the level of activity will depend on wildlife sightings and how strenuous you wish to make the trek. You are likely to see signs of the snow leopard, as winter is the time that they descend to lower elevations. If you are lucky, you may see one perched high on the rocks or balanced effortlessly on a sheer vertical ridge.

Whilst in the National Park, Andrew will run a workshop on taking shots of landscapes, wildlife, how to shoot in white light, capture wildlife movement and the best way to shoot in low outdoor light.

Snow leopard sightings are a game of patience. Your schedule on these days is subject to previous sightings of the snow leopards, and your guide will collect information from locals and other guides on a daily basis to determine the movement of your day. You will either follow on from the previous day’s route, or trek and explore nearby areas, waiting and watching for the gracious Snow Leopards using a scope.

The moment you witness these beautiful and elegant cats, your breath will be taken away. Everything will seem silent as you watch, captivated by their beauty. Soft padding paws, brush like powerful tails. Every move planned and executed with precision. This will truly be one of the most awe inspiring moments of your journey.

Watch as they scavenge and search for prey. Camouflaged so perfectly into the snow covered rocky terrain. The only sounds to be heard are your gasps of amazement and the click of camera shutters. You will never forget this moment.

Although Snow Leopards are the main attraction, Hemis National Park is also home to blue sheep, argali (a large horned sheep), numerous mountain and migratory birds, as well as an occasional Tibetan wolf.

At the end of each day, you will return to camp for some warm food and hot tea and exchange tales of your sightings. (B,L,D)

Overnight Base Camp – Hemis National Park

Day 14 - Rumbak to Leh

Following breakfast this morning, it is time to leave camp and trek back to Zinchen, where you will be met and transferred back to Leh. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure. (B,L,D)

Overnight at Hotel Singee Palace or similar

Day 15 - Leh to Delhi

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Delhi. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure. This evening you will have a farewell dinner with Andrew and your group at a local restaurant. Why not collate some of your best images and share them on a laptop over your meal to see how far your skills have come? (B,L,D)

Overnight at Shanti Home – New Delhi or similar

Day 16 - Depart Delhi

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before you are met and transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)