- All breakfasts are included and in Ladakh all food is included. In Leh the food will be a mix of Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Continental. On trek we provide a full breakfast including porridge, eggs and bread and hot drinks. Lunch on trek will either be packed or hot; dinners will be mostly pasta, rice or potato based and a mixture of Indian, Continental and Chinese style. In winter there are no fresh vegetables in Leh so we will carry vegetables from Delhi to Leh with us.
- Guided Group
- Walking centre-based
- Walking & Trekking
The tour starts at our hotel in Delhi today (the group flights usually arrive in the morning). 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.
Fly across the Himalaya to Leh (3500m); afternoon visit Dosmoche Festival.
Usually we have a very early start today for the flight to Leh (3,500m). 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 morning is free to rest and acclimatise. We spend this afternoon at Dosmoche Festival. 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 Dosmoche Festival is called the ‘Scapegoat’ festival and happens in the New Year to bring good luck for the year ahead.
Visit Shey, Tikse and Stakna monasteries.
Today we visit some of 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 can either drive or walk across the fields to Tikse. 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.
Drive to Jinchen; trek to Husing (3700m).
Today we leave Leh and we drive across the Indus towards Jinchen. We follow the trail from Phe to the entrance of the impressive Rumbak Gorge. The 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 Husing (3,700m).
Five days trekking in and around the Husing, Tarbuns and Rumbak Valleys in Hemis National Park searching for Snow leopards and other mammals and birds. Each day our expert guide will decide on the best route to maximise the chance of seeing a Snow leopard
The next five days will be spent in and around the Husing, Tarbuns and Rumbak 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. The Hemis National Park 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 will spend most of the time at our base camp at Husing (3,700), which is on a major Snow Leopard corridor. Daywalks will take us into both the Husing and Tarbuns Valleys, both well-known haunts of the Snow Leopard. In 2014 the group saw three Snow Leopards in this area and there were also sightings in 2015. A good pair of binoculars is recommended to scan the slopes in and around camp. Our wildlife guides will carry spotting scopes, which they will set up at camp and on ridges on the daywalks. They will also go out in the early mornings and late evenings to search for evidence of any animal movement. We will explore the area around Rumbak Sumdo and Yurutse (4,400m), well known for its sightings of Argali Sheep.
Second day tracking Snow leopard in and around the Rumbak Valley.
See details above.
Third day tracking Snow leopard in and around the Rumbak Valley.
See details above.
Fourth day tracking Snow leopard in and around the Rumbak Valley.
See details above.
Fifth day tracking Snow leopard in and around the Rumbak Valley.
See details above.
Return to Leh.
Today we trek back to Jinchen, where we will meet our transport back to the relative comforts of our hotel in Leh.
A full day at Stok Festival.
Stok Festival features the appearance and performance of oracles who go into trance-like states. These are Lay people, who once a year go into a deep trance and predict the future of Ladakh. The whole day will be spent at the festival and in the evening we return to our hotel in Leh.
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.
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.
It is time to say our farewells today. The tour ends at our Delhi hotel after breakfast.