Highlights

This epic adventure takes you to the Ulley Valley, Ladakh – one of India's most protected Snow Leopard areas 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.

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. Enjoy exploring winter wildlife, birdlife and being further educated on all things conservation and the natural world by your expert guides.

Day 1 - Arrive Leh

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

Overnight at The Grand Dragon or similar

Day 2 - Leh

We have allowed two more days in Leh to acclimatise before starting your trek.

If you are feeling up to it, over these two days, 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 panoramic 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.

In the evening, we have planned an interaction at the hotel with the Snow Leopard Conservancy, where you will be able to learn about the big cats and other wildlife of the region, the landscape, people that inhabit the landscape and the various challenges faced by wildlife in the region along with the conservation work that is taking place in the region to protect the wildlife and educate locals on the longevity of conservation. (B,L,D)

Overnight at The Grand Dragon or similar

Day 3 - Leh to Ulley Valley

Awake feeling acclimatized and refreshed as you make your way to Ulley Valley to commence your search for the elusive snow leopard. Ulley is actually not even a village, it is a cluster of 5-7 families that live amongst Himalayan wilderness. A few years ago, one of the families realized the importance of the wildlife that was all around them and started promoting wildlife travel to the region to showcase the elusive grey ghost to raise awareness around conservation and the need to educate people around the importance of protecting the snow leopard. The drive to Ulley is about 2.5hrs, however quite scenic. Arriving around noon, enjoy lunch on arrival before setting off to explore the surrounding area in search of the snow leopard. The region is also home to Wolf, Himalayan Fox, Ibex, Ladakh Uriel, Golden Eagle and Lammergeiers. (B,L,D) 

Overnight Snow Leopard Lodge or similar

Day 4 - Ulley

Continue exploring the valleys and mountains around Ulley in search of wildlife. Please note this is not hard core trekking – this is all about searching for wildlife and will take place a comfortable pace for the group accompanied with expert trackers and naturalists.

Distances covered and the level of activity will depend on wildlife sightings and how strenuous you wish to make the journey. 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.

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.

All meals will be at the lodge unless you decide to trek the whole day – in which case a packed meal can be carried with the team. (B,L,D)

Overnight Snow Leopard Lodge or similar

Day 5 & 6 - Ulley

Our explorations continue for three more days. In the evenings, enjoy interactions with the naturalists and trackers or enjoy a wildlife documentary on the wildlife diversity of the Indian Subcontinent. (B,L,D)

Overnight Snow Leopard Lodge or similar

Day 7- Ulley to Leh

After spending the morning searching for the snow leopard, enjoy a restful lunch before you return to Leh. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure. (B,L,D)

Overnight at The Grand Dragon or similar

Day 8 - Departure

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

What's Included

  • Return airport transfers
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days except arrival and departure days
  • English speaking local guides
  • Naturalists and trackers whilst in the National Park
  • Entrance fees, park fees and trekking permits as per itinerary
  • Transportation in an air conditioned vehicle

Exclusions

  • International and domestic 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 equipment and other special clothing items

**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures for travel between January and March.

* Pricing is subject to change at any time until full payment has been received.

* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.

**Snow Leopard sightings cannot be guaranteed.

A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.

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Availability

Start Date End Date Duration Availability Price
17th Jan 2021 24th Jan 2021 8 Days Available $4,897 AUD Book Now