Uitgebreide reisroute van de Internationale groepsreis Search for Snow Leopards with Valerie Parkinson
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  • Walking & Trekking
  • Wildlife Walks
  • Festival Holidays
  • Point-to-Point
  • Food

    • Chance to see the rare and elusive Snow leopard. Wonderful winter walking in mountainous Ladakh - when it is cut off from the rest of the world. Visit ancient monasteries and attend a colourful monastic festival with masked dancers. Enjoy a homestay night and traditional meal with a friendly Ladakhi family. Look out for Blue sheep, wolves, lammergeyers, Red fox, Himalayan Griffin Vultures and Golden Eagles
  • 1

    Start Delhi.

    On arrival those on the group flight will be transferred to our Delhi hotel. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel during the day. You are free today to explore Delhi or rest after your flight; rooms may not be available until noon but it is often earlier than this. There is usually a welcome briefing in the hotel lobby this evening.Standard Hotel

  • 2

    Fly across the Himalaya to Leh (3500m).

    Usually we have a very early start today for the flight to Leh. We may have to leave the hotel at around 2am and drive to the airport for the very early morning but highly spectacular flight over the Himalaya to Leh. Incredibly beautiful in winter we fly over the huge expanse of snow-capped peaks. Landing in Leh the temperature will drop dramatically and we will need our down jackets at the airport. If the weather is good and the flight goes on time we should be in Leh for breakfast. The rest of the day is free to relax and acclimatise to the altitude (3,500m). In the morning we rest and catch up on some sleep and in the afternoon there will be a gentle orientation walk of Leh and its bazaars.Standard Hotel

  • 3

    Full day at a monastic festival or visit Shey, Thikse & Stakna Monasteries

    The activities for this day will depend on your departure date. Each year the timing of the monastic festivals change and so the itinerary is flexible to ensure you can attend this time honoured tradition. You will either attend the festival or visit the monasteries on day 3 or day 11. Please note the arrangements below for 2023 departures. Once a year every monastery in Ladakh has a festival where the monks dress in elaborate brocade and silk costumes and re-enact century old stories of the Tibetan Buddhist religion. People come from all over Ladakh to the festivals and these are a great social as well as religious occasion. The whole day will be spent at the festival and in the evening we return to our hotel in Leh. If not attending a festival on this day we visit the most important monasteries in the Indus Valley. First we drive just over half an hour to Shey, once the residence of the Ladakhi royal family. Below the old palace ruins is a small temple containing a two-storey gilded statue of Buddha. From Shey we walk across the fields to Tikse, spotting for birds en route. Set on a hill it is one of the most impressive gompas in Ladakh, it has several temples, one of which contains a superb statue of the Future Buddha. We then drive on to Stakna, a small but friendly monastery perched atop a huge rock. In the late afternoon we return to Leh.Festival attendance – land only start dates19 February 2023 – Stok Festival on day 114 March 2023 – Matho Festival on day 3Standard Hotel

  • 4

    Drive to Jinchen; trek to Rumbak Sumdo (3800m)

    Today we leave Leh and we drive across the Indus towards Jinchen. We follow the road past Phe to the entrance of the impressive Rumbak Gorge. We leave the cars near a bridge and our trail takes us up into the narrow gorge and we start our search for evidence of Snow leopard and Blue Sheep. We camp tonight at our base camp at Rumbak Sumdo (3,800m)Full-service Camping

  • 5

     Five days wildlife spotting in and around the Rumbak, Yurutse, Husing and Tarbuns Valleys in the Hemis National Park searching for Snow leopards and other mammals and birds.

    The next five days will usually be spent in and around the Rumbak, Yurutse, Husing and Tarbuns Valleys in the Hemis National Park. There will be no fixed itinerary and our days will be decided on by our expert wildlife guides - this is to maximise the chances of seeing a Snow leopard. Our days will be spent searching for Snow leopard and other animals which inhabit this area. The extreme cold of winter forces the Snow leopard and other animals down from the high altitudes they normally inhabit. Ladakh is situated at an altitude range of 3,300m - 6,000m and hosts an incredible amount of wildlife. It is full of endangered species including Snow leopard, Tibetan Ibex, Bharal (Blue Sheep), Wolf, Red Fox, Ladakhi Urial and Lynx. We usually spend most of the time at our base camp at Rumbak Sumdo, and day walks will take us into the Rumbak Valley and further towards Yurutse and the Ganda La. We can also explore the Husing and Tarbuns Valleys, all well-known haunts of the Snow leopard. In 2018 the group had five good sightings of Snow leopards in this area and in 2019 the group saw 2 Snow Leopards together from the camp at Rumbak Sumdo. A good pair of binoculars is recommended to scan the slopes in and around camp. We have experienced wildlife spotters (1 per 5 clients), who will carry spotting scopes, which they will set up at camp and on ridges on the day walks. They will also go out in the early mornings and late evenings to search for evidence of any animal movement.Overnight we will use a mixture of camping and home stays. Five nights will be spent camping. We will have a full trekking crew with us including guides, assistant guides, cook, kitchen assistants and porters. At our base camp we have two person tents with foam mattress, dining tent with tables and chairs, solar lights and gas heaters. There are local long drop toilet facilities. At night hot water bottles are provided. You just need to carry your daypack whilst out spotting. Lunch and hot drinks will be brought to us by our camp crew. If you have a heavy camera bag it is possible to hire a private porter to carry this for you. One night will be spent in Rumbak village, where we will stay in a Ladakhi home stays. These are basic but comfortable local houses. The bedrooms have thick mattresses and you can take your sleeping bag from the camp. The dining room and bedrooms have small wood burning stoves. The houses have a local long drop toilet. Food at the home stay will be traditional local food and you will get chance to interact with the villagers in their day to day life.Our guides will be in touch with other guides and if Snow leopards have been spotted in other areas of Ladakh we will need to be flexible and move the camp.Full-service Camping

  • 10

    Return to Leh

    Today we trek back to Jinchen, where we will meet our transport and drive back to the relative comforts of our hotel in Leh.Standard Hotel

  • 11

    Full day at a monastic festival or Visit Shey, Thikse & Stakna Monasteries

    See day 3 for full details of activities and festival dates. This information includes which day your departure attends the monastic festival. Standard Hotel

  • 12

    Fly to Delhi.

    An early start for the flight back to Delhi. The rest of the day is free in Delhi for individual shopping or sightseeing.Standard Hotel

  • 13

    Free day in Delhi for individual sightseeing.

    A free day in Delhi in case of any delays in the flight from Leh. If we fly to Delhi on schedule then today is free for individual sightseeing. You may want to visit Old Delhi with the magnificent Red Fort and Jami Masjid. Humayun's Tomb (a forerunner to the Taj Mahal) is worth a visit. In New Delhi there is India Gate and Parliament House to see; and of course Delhi has a wealth of interesting shops and markets.  An optional day trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal can be arranged by your leader who will provide details and prices. (not available on Fridays as the Taj Mahal is closed)Standard Hotel

  • 14

    End Delhi.

    The tour ends after breakfast today. Those travelling on the group flight will be transferred to the airport for the flight back to London. 

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