Snow Leopard Expedition – Ladakh

AN UNMISSABLE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET ASIA’S “MOUNTAIN GHOST

Day 1: Arrive in Delhi
Day 2: Sightseeing in Delhi
Day 3: Fly from Delhi to Leh
Day 4: Leh
After breakfast, you set out for an extraordinary drive East heading towards Taglang La and the villages of Gya, Lhato and Meru. It’s a fantastic drive taking you away from the valley of the
Indus up a subsidiary valley to an extraordinary area even by Ladakhi’s standards that marks the line where the Indian mainland collided with and drove under Asian land mass. There is some dramatic scenery here and you have a chance of sighting wildlife including 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 Partridge and the more common Chukor partridge.
Post visit drive back to hotel and lunch will be at hotel.

Day 5: Leh – Ulley
Drive west today on the road to Kargil and Srinagar, generally following the Indus River. 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.

Days 6-10: Ulley
You will be staying at the Snow Leopard Lodge in Ulley – The home stay consists of 6 bedrooms, built separately from the main house with a dining room and kitchen – all in the same low stone-built building. Add to this the interest of living with a Ladakhi family in the depths of winter and understanding their life-style and you have a very special experience in store – especially sharing the large and warm kitchens that are the heart of a Ladkahi home in winter and resplendent with brass, copper and silver ornaments.

Settle in on arrival and acclimatize to the higher altitude of Ulley.

You will be based here over 6 nights. You will explore 3 valleys, which, apart from snow leopards, are great for finding urial, Ibex, wolf and Himalayan fox. Over the next few days, you
explore the area on foot and SUVs with your expert guide. You will be amazed at the sheer dedication and commitment he brings to his trade and the effort he makes to ensure that his guests leave happy. Your guide will interact closely with the local people and use the network of local intelligence to narrow down the likely sites. In the process there will also be plenty of opportunity for you to get insights into local folklore, as well as learn about local customs and traditions.

Day 11: Ulley – Leh
This morning, after breakfast, we say our goodbyes to our host and drive back to Leh town. En- route we visit the Alchi monastery. Alchi Gompa is located near the small village of Saspol. It is one of the earliest monasteries built in Ladakh, dating from the 11th century. Because it was built before the invading wars began in the 15th century, Alchi was built on lowlands, rather than on a hilltop as others were, in order to protect them from marauding armies. After the visit, we carry on our journey to Leh.

Day 12: Fly from Leh to Delhi

Day 13: Depart from Delhi

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