Snow Leopard Expedition

14 days
FROM £ 4142
Countries Visited: India

Snow Leopard Expedition

Ladakh is widely regarded as the best place to see snow leopards in the world. Explore the winter wilderness of Ladakh, between November and May, guided by expert trackers.

Incredible scenery and a chance to see a host of Himalayan wildlife including ibex, wolf, Himalayan fox, griffon vultures, golden eagles and perhaps even snow leopard are the reward for venturing to this spectacular and remote corner of the world.

Tracking the snow leopard is the primary focus during your stay at the only dedicated wildlife lodge in Ladakh. You'll be joining a programme which supports the Snow Leopard Conservancy. You'll spend time exploring the mountains on foot and in vehicles while enjoying an insight into the conservation of this enigmatic endangered big cat and the impact of snow leopard eco-tourism on the community here.

Explorers Against Extinction works to raise awareness as well as funds for specific conservation projects. By enquiring and booking through this site you will be supporting conservation. On behalf of all confirmed clients, Explorers Against Extinction receives a donation.

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Holiday Itinerary


You'll be met by a representative on arival in Delhi and transferred to your hotel, the Novotel New Delhi Aerocity, for the night. Depending on your time of arrival you may like to tour the city in the afternoon. Delhi, the capital and the third largest city of India, is a fusion of ancient and modern. It comprises two contrasting areas: Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Muslim India from the 12th to the 19th centuries, while New Delhi was created by the British Raj and replaced Calcutta as the capital in 1931.

DAY 2-4

Take the early morning flight from Delhi to Leh. At 11,400 feet, Leh is wedged between Tibet and Central Asia. Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Karakoram in the north and the Great Himalaya in the south, it is traversed by two other parallel chains, the Ladakh Range and the Zanskar Range. Once a powerful independent kingdom encompassing much of present-day Western Tibet, Ladakh lay on one of the many important subsidiary routes of the Silk Road connecting the important Central Asian trading posts of Kashgar and Yarkhand with Northern India. The capital Leh was itself a substantial trading town, where silks and brocades, tea, salt, fine wool and other items were bought and sold. Despite the advent of the globalised age and the presence of an enormous military base, the Leh bazaar – dominated by the enormous old palace – retains a flavour of its old trading roots. You have a couple of days here to acclimatise gently, wander the fascinating labyrinth of winding streets and quaint bazaars, and to meet staff from the Snow Leopard Conservancy for a briefing on the history of snow leopard conservation in Ladakh. You'll also visit the Thiksey monastery and take a spectacular drive eastwards to Taglang La and the villages of Gya, Lhato and Meru. Keep your eyes peeled for Blue sheep, Golden eagles and Bearded vultures. Rafts of Red-billed Choughs perform synchronized aerobatics and in the fallow fields you have the chance of seeing the very beautiful Tibetan Partidge and the more common Chukor partridge.

DAY 5-11

Drive west, following the Indus River, on the road to Kargil and Srinagar. You pass through the small town of Nimmu – one of the most important in Ladakh, where the Zanskar river meets the Indus. After a little over an hour you head north on a road marked to Likir – one of Ladakh’s famous Buddhist monasteries. This is all snow leopard country. The landscape here is even bigger, more expansive and open, until you turn off onto a dirt road, winding up a narrow valley, following a stream called the Ulley Chhu. Smaller valleys intersect and the guides have their heads craned all the time, scanning the hill sides and the skyline for any silhouette. This is excellent Ibex country and there are few more evocative sights than a magnificently horned male Ibex standing vigil on some impossibly narrow outcropping, a few thousand feet over a plunging cliff. Ulley village, west of Leh is an area that is only recently being developed for Snow Leopard watching. You'll be spending the week at the only wildlife lodge in Ladakh: the Snow Leopard Lodge, under the auspices of a programme initiated by the Snow Leopard Conservancy designed to use tourism as a conservation tool for the preservation of snow leopards and their ecosystem by putting tourism revenue directly into local community. During the week you explore the area on foot and in SUV’s with expert trackers in search of snow leopards and other wildlife.

DAY 12

Return to Leh
You will begin the 3 hour drive back to Leh late morning, stopping at the Alchi monastery if time permits (departure is sometimes delayed if there is good wildlife movement). Alchi Gompa is one of the oldest monasteries dating back to the 11th century. It is the only lowland monastery in the region as it was built in a time of peace, before the marauding armies forced the monasteries to take shelter amongst the slopes and gorges. Check-in at your hotel, The Grand Dragon, in Leh.

DAY 13

The lunchtime flight from Leh to Delhi gets you back in the city in time for a leisurely afternoon.

DAY 14

Return Home
Your adventure draws to a close. You will transferred to the airport at an appropriate time.
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  • Non AC Room with attached private facilities
  • Full Board Basis except in Delhi (Bed & Breakfast Basis)
  • Transportation by Non-AC vehicle in Leh/Ulley (Mahindra Xylo / Mahindra Scorpio / Toyota Innova) for transfers and sightseeing
  • Transportation by AC Vehicle in Delhi by AC Toyota Innova
  • Representative assistance during arrival and departure at airport
  • Entrances to Monuments, Monasteries, Ladakh Royalty Fee
  • Local English-Speaking guide for Leh sightseeing for 3 days
  • English Speaking Inhouse Naturalist for Snow Leopard Programme for 6 days
  • Inner-Line Permits
  • Traditional welcome ceremony upon arrival in Leh
  • Non-alcoholic welcome drink on arrival in Leh hotel
  • Domestic Airfare for Delhi / Leh / Delhi in Economy Class
  • Current applicable taxes
Not Included: Flights to/from Asia, entry visas, international airport departure taxes, any meals not listed in the itinerary, personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tips etc.), travel insurance and any medical expenses, all other services not listed in 'inclusive', Any Covid testing or certification required for travel and/or quarantine costs.

Price Guide

Price per person from £4,142 based on two people sharing (travelling November - March).

This is PRICE GUIDE only,  based on the accommodation and tour as listed. Prices depend on the season of travel and availability at the time of booking. For an exact quotation and tailormade itinerary for the dates you require, please do get in touch. 

International Flights   We can easily arrange international flights for you as required. Please contact us so we can provide an accurate tailor-made costing based on your travel dates, availability, cabin/route/airline preferences and special offers.

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