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SNOW LEOPARD LAIR
Travel to the higher reaches of the Himalayas to spot the legendary spirit of the mountains. Nowhere else on earth do you have such a good chance to observe this beautiful big cat in the wild. For adventure seekers and nature lovers this trip will be an unforgettable experience. This trip, which is accompanied by local English speaking guides, can be booked flexibly on request within the dates given.
Delhi – Leh – Ulley – Leh – Delhi
Fligth, drive with private driver
Possible period of travel
November 15 – March 30
Duration of tour
for 2 pers. USD 4270.–* per person
* The prices indicated represent the lowest margin. Final pricing depends on effective travel dates.
1 night in Delhi
2 nights in Leh
7 nights in Ulley
Arrival in Delhi
Individual arrival in Delhi. Pick-up and welcome at the airport by our English speaking representative, who will take you to your hotel, assist you with check-in and hand over the remaining travel documents. Overnight at the hotel.
Delhi – Leh Flight
Early morning transfer to the airport. Flight to Leh at 6.40 am with arrival at 8.05 am. Reception at the airport by our local representative and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your disposal.
Take your time to get used to the altitude: Leh is situated at 3400 m above sea level. Due to the sudden change of altitude in the airplane from the Northern Indian plains to the Himalayas, you will need time to acclimatise. The 2 ½ days here are the required minimum your body needs before going further up.
Within the next 2 days you will meet with staff of the
Snow Leopard Conservancy for a briefing on the history of snow leopards in Ladakh and information on the current situation and strategy for the protection of this legendary big cat. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Leh is a fascinating labyrinth of winding alleys and picturesque bazaars. Stroll through the wide main street with shops on both sides. Leh looks very Tibetan – the royal palace that dominates the city is reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries – a dramatic contrast to the chaotic, furious Delhi. In the morning visit the Snow Leopard Conservancy, where you can see the efforts being made to protect the cat.
In the afternoon you will visit Thiksey Gompa Monastery. Thiksey Gompa is the most picturesquely situated monastery in Ladakh, high up on a hill above the Indus river. The buildings are arranged on different levels, hierarchically ascending to the apartments of the incarnated lamas on the top. From here you have a magnificent view over the valley below.
The Gompa possess a rich collection of handwritten or painted prayer books. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Leh – Ulley 2 hours drive, 76 km
In the morning drive west on the road to Kargil and Srinagar along the Indus. You will pass the small town of Nimmu – one of the most important places in Ladakh, where the rivers Zanskar and Indus converge. After a little more than an hour's stay we continue north towards Likir – one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh.
The landscape is wide and open until you turn into a narrow valley and follow a dirt road along the Ulley Chhu stream. Your guides will raise their necks to look for ibex and other animals. Arrival, check-in and dinner at the Snow Leopard Lodge.
The village of Ulley, west of Leh, has only recently been opened for the observation of snow leopards.
After breakfast daily excursions into the surrounding wilderness tracking down snow leopards and other animals such as the Tibetan wolf, the bhoral or the ibex – by jeep and on foot. Lunch will be served on the way or back at the lodge at your request.
The exceptional skills of the trackers will amaze you – with dedication and commitment they will spare no effort to make your stay an unforgettable experience. In order to locate the movements of the snow leopards, they use a close-knit network of researchers and local inhabitants.
In the winter months the ibex come down to lower altitudes, followed by snow leopards and other predators like the Tibetan wolf. This makes the cold season the ideal period for spotting snow leopards.
Dinner and overnight stay at the lodge.
The Snow Leopard Lodge, run by locals, is simple and cosy, but don't expect luxury (see pictures). Warm showers are a challenge at this altitude, so they are not guaranteed every day. Our local representative will equip you with your own material so that you will have it as comfortable and warm as possible. Enjoy the hospitality of the Ladakhis and get to know their way of life. By staying you directly support the local economy and the protection of the snow leopard.
Ulley – Leh 2 hours drive, 76 km
In the morning last excursion to the snow leopards and lunch, before you say goodbye to your hosts and are brought back to Leh.
Upon arrival at Leh, check in, dinner and overnight at hotel.
Leh – Delhi Flight
After breakfast transfer to the airport and flight to Delhi. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel near Delhi airport.
Delhi & individual home or onward journey
Day at leisure in Delhi or individual onward journey. In the evening transfer to the international airport.
The above prices per person include:
Hotel in Delhi including breakfast
Lodges in Leh and Ulley with full board
Continuous supply of bottled drinking water in hotels, lodges and vehicles
Domestic flights in economy class Delhi – Leh with Jet Airways and Leh – Delhi with Air India
All expeditions, activities and guides in Leh and Ulley
Assistance at the airports and hotels
All land transfers with private driver in air-conditioned car
All currently applicable taxes
The 5% of the travel costs that are donated to a local environmental or social project. You will receive more detailed information about the supported projects at the time of booking.
The following is not included:
Individual travel to Delhi
Visa: all foreign visitors need a valid visa for India: the easiest way is to apply for an e-Tourist-Visa directly online: indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa. The e-Visa can be applied for up to 120 days in advance and is valid from the day of entry. For a regular visa you must send your passport to an Indian representation in your home country. More information can be found on the website of the Indian representations in the US indianembassyusa.gov.in, in Australia cgisydney.gov.in, in the UK hcilondon.gov.in and in Switzerland indembassybern.gov.in. The passport should in any case be valid for 6 months beyond the validity period of your visa.
Tips for drivers and guides: Tips are expected when you are satisfied – for exceptional services you may also exceed our recommendations. Calculate with 400-600 INR per guide and 300-500 for the driver per day or half of it for half a day or a single safari.
Tips in hotels/lodges: we recommend not to tip individual staff members such as the concierge as this would be unfair towards others. Instead, at the end of your stay, put something in the most common tip box – the tip will then be evenly distributed among the staff. We recommend about 5 US $ or 350 INR per person and day.
Possible fees for photo and video cameras in the national parks and at monuments
Personal expenses such as smoking, soft drinks, alcohol, laundry and telephone calls.
Anything not mentioned in the inclusions.
Check-in and check-out are always at 12.00 noon.
If the intended hotel or normal room category is sold out, alternative accommodations will be suggested.
Single room surcharges or larger groups on request.
The allocation of the park zone in which the individual safaris take place depends on the forestry authority and can only be influenced to a limited extent, depending on the park.
Entrance costs to national parks or state taxes may change at any time. Such changes will be communicated to you in good time.
Safari permits must be applied in most parks 120 days prior to departure. It is therefore often not possible to book at short notice or to change your name less than 120 days before the start of your trip.
The above travel times from one location to another are based on normal road conditions and may vary. Every break for food, tea, toilets etc. prolongs the travel times.
Travel safety: please refer to the recommendations of the US Department of State Travel Advisory, the Smart Traveller of the Australian Government or the UK Government foreign travel advice respectively for safety and security information on the areas you want to visit.
Vaccinations: please check the current recommendations of your country such as cdc.gov/travel for the US, myvaccination.com.au/travel-vaccinations for Australia or safetravel.ch for Switzerland. In general, standard vaccinations and hepatitis A are recommended. Malaria proyphylaxis or the carrying of standby emergency treatment as well as good mosquito protection and long-sleeved outdoor clothing are recommended at dusk.