WILDLIFE EXPEDITION/ PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR IN THE TRANS-HIMALAYAS

OVERVIEW


DATES:

CLASSIC PACKAGE : 17th Feb – 26th Feb 2020 (10 days),

HANLE EXTENSION PACKAGE : 17th Feb – 1st March 2020 (14 days)

GROUP SIZE:
Minimum of 2 with a group limit of 4

COST:
INR 97,000 (USD 1,340) per person for 10-day classic package,
INR 121,000 (USD 1,750) per person for 14 -day classic package


3

OVERVIEW


DATES:

CLASSIC PACKAGE : 17th Feb – 26th Feb 2020 (10 days),
HANLE EXTENSION PACKAGE : 17th Feb – 1st March 2020 (14 days)

GROUP SIZE:
Minimum of 2 with a group limit of 4

COST:
INR 97,000 (USD 1,340) per person for 10-day Classic package,
INR 121,000 (USD 1,750) per person for 14 -day Hanle extension package

3

The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is called the ghost cat, and for good reason. While most of us know about the elusive cat, very few would have ever had the chance to see one. The snow leopard is native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia, and the Hemis National Park is believed to have the highest density of snow leopards in any protected area around the world.

The Tibetan gazelle is just as shy and as majestic as the snow leopard. Once common in Changthang region of Ladakh, the Tibetan gazelle has since been wiped out completely from most of its range and is now categorized as ‘near threatened’ in the IUCNa Red List of Threatened Species. Their estimated population in the Ladakh region is a mere 70-80 adults, and witnessing these mammals is still a prized opportunity. Today, in India, the Tibetan gazelle can be sighted in and around the Kalak-Tartar plains, south of Hanle valley.

SHUTTER is a unique expert-led expedition service focussed purely on delivering a sterling experience of the wildlife in Ladakh. You will have the special opportunity to work alongside a selection of the region’s leading conservationists & spotters, who will help you explore the rarest and the most magnificent wildlife in the Trans-Himalayan region.

Our adventure begins at Leh, where we gradually acclimatise to high altitude conditions for two full days. Post acclimatization, we head off to Hemis National Park for seven days and explore the wilderness to spot the ghost cat. Thereafter, we return to Leh for a breather and subsequently travel to Hanleb to explore the wildlife of Kalak-Tartar.

The Hemis National Park is a high-altitude national park in eastern Ladakh (J&K state). With an elevation of 3,000 – 6,000 metres and an area of approximately 4,400 km2, it is the only national park in India that is situated in the Trans-Himalayan region. The park is home to several mammalian species, including the apex predator of the region, the snow leopard.

The snow leopard’s prey includes the Argali (great Tibetan sheep), the Bharal (Blue sheep) and the Shapu (Ladakhi urial), and you’ll have a chance to spot them. There are several other species that you’ll be spotting; these include the Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear (endangered), the red fox, and several birds of prey such as the Golden eagle, the Lammergeier vulture, and the Himalayan Griffon vulture. You can obtain more information about the wildlife at Hemis National Park here .

Hanle is a breathtakingly beautiful, dreamlike village nestled in the Hanle valley of Changthang region. Situated approximately 270 km southeast of Leh, the village is named after the 17th century Hanle Monastery (gompa). Our stay in the traditional village homes at Hanle will keep us comfortable during the cold February nights. The Kalak-Tartar plains south of Hanle valley are home to one of the most exquisite antelope species – the Tibetan gazelle or the ‘Goa’ (local name). Our safari will take you to over 5000 metres altitude to sight these shy, elusive antelopes, along with the not-so-shy Kiangs (Tibetan wild ass). The high altitude, open plains and cloudless night skies make Hanle the ultimate place for star gazing; a good reason why Hanle is host to India’s highest astronomical observatory.

SHORT ITINERARY

Day Destination
Day 1 Fly to Leh – Acclimatisation
Day 2 Acclimatisation and sight seeing in Leh
Day 3 Travel to Hemis National Park, one-hour journey from Leh
Days 4-8 Stay put at Hemis National Park for sighting the ghost cat
Day 9 Return to Leh for a break
Day 10 Fly out from Leh / Travel to Hanleb; 270 km from Leh. Enjoy the vast scale of Ladakh on the way to Hanle
Days 11-12 Stay put at Hanle; Explore Kalak-Tartar for the Tibetan gazelle, witness the beautiful sunsets, and the starry nights
Day 13 Return to Leh. Free day to explore locally
Day 14 Fly out from Leh

WEATHER CONDITIONS & ALTITUDE

When in Leh

  • Expect avg. temp. between -11 °C and 1.5 °C
  • Located at around 3,500 metres
  • Limited winds

When in Hemis

  • Expect peak (average) temperatures around -30 °C
  • Trekking altitudes between 3,000 to 4,000 metres
  • Occasional strong winds

When in Hanle

  • Expect peak (average) temperatures around -30 °C
  • Approximate altitude of 4,300 metres
  • Average wind speeds ~ 6 kmph

The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is called the ghost cat, and for good reason. While most of us know about the elusive cat, very few would have ever had the chance to see one. The snow leopard is native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia, and the Hemis National Park is believed to have the highest density of snow leopards in any protected area around the world.

The Tibetan gazelle is just as shy and as majestic as the snow leopard. Once common in Changthang region of Ladakh, the Tibetan gazelle has since been wiped out completely from most of its range and is now categorized as ‘near threatened’ in the IUCNa Red List of Threatened Species. Their estimated population in the Ladakh region is a mere 70-80 adults, and witnessing these mammals is still a prized opportunity. Today, in India, the Tibetan gazelle can be sighted in and around the Kalak-Tartar plains, south of Hanle valley.

SHUTTER is a unique expert-led expedition service focussed purely on delivering a sterling experience of the wildlife in Ladakh. You will have the special opportunity to work alongside a selection of the region’s leading conservationists & spotters, who will help you explore the rarest and the most magnificent wildlife in the Trans-Himalayan region.

Our adventure begins at Leh, where we gradually acclimatise to high altitude conditions for two full days. Post acclimatization, we head off to Hemis National Park for seven days and explore the wilderness to spot the ghost cat. Thereafter, we return to Leh for a breather and subsequently travel to Hanleb to explore the wildlife of Kalak-Tartar.

The Hemis National Park is a high-altitude national park in eastern Ladakh (J&K state). With an elevation of 3,000 – 6,000 metres and an area of approximately 4,400 km2, it is the only national park in India that is situated in the Trans-Himalayan region. The park is home to several mammalian species, including the apex predator of the region, the snow leopard.

The snow leopard’s prey includes the Argali (great Tibetan sheep), the Bharal (Blue sheep) and the Shapu (Ladakhi urial), and you’ll have a chance to spot them. There are several other species that you’ll be spotting; these include the Tibetan wolf, the Eurasian brown bear (endangered), the red fox, and several birds of prey such as the Golden eagle, the Lammergeier vulture, and the Himalayan Griffon vulture. You can obtain more information about the wildlife at Hemis National Park here .

Hanle is a breathtakingly beautiful, dreamlike village nestled in the Hanle valley of Changthang region. Situated approximately 270 km southeast of Leh, the village is named after the 17th century Hanle Monastery (gompa). Our stay in the traditional village homes at Hanle will keep us comfortable during the cold February nights. The Kalak-Tartar plains south of Hanle valley are home to one of the most exquisite antelope species – the Tibetan gazelle or the ‘Goa’ (local name). Our safari will take you to over 5000 metres altitude to sight these shy, elusive antelopes, along with the not-so-shy Kiangs (Tibetan wild ass). The high altitude, open plains and cloudless night skies make Hanle the ultimate place for star gazing; a good reason why Hanle is host to India’s highest astronomical observatory.

SHORT ITINERARY

Day Destination
Day 1 Fly to Leh – Acclimatisation
Day 2 Acclimatisation and sight seeing in Leh
Day 3 Travel to Hemis National Park, one-hour journey from Leh
Days
4-8
Stay put at Hemis National Park for sighting the ghost cat
Day 9 Return to Leh for a break
Day 10 Fly out from Leh / Travel to Hanleb; 270 km from Leh. Enjoy the vast scale of Ladakh on the way to Hanle
Days
11-12
Stay put at Hanle; Explore Kalak-Tartar for the Tibetan gazelle, witness the beautiful sunsets, and the starry nights
Day 13 Return to Leh. Free day to explore locally
Day 14 Fly out from Leh

WEATHER CONDITIONS & ALTITUDE

When in Leh

-Expect avg. temp. between -11 °C and 1.5 °C
-Located at around 3,500 meters
-Limited winds

When in Hemis

-Expect peak (average) temperatures around -30 °C
-Trekking altitudes between 3,000 to 4,000 meters
-Occasional strong winds

When in Hanle

-Expect peak (average) temperatures around -30 °C
-Approximate altitude of 4,300 meters
-Average wind speeds ~ 6 kmph

OUR TEAM

DSC_0197

Pranit Sai

Photography, & Expedition Lead
PRANIT specialises in natural light photography with a keen interest in the Himalayan landscape. Among other things, Pranit is an avid mountaineer, and has been on multiple treks around the Zanskar, Annapurna, and the Sagarmatha regions. He has also been a part of several wildlife & travel expeditions and has spent the last decade travelling across the vast swathes of Ladakh documenting the natural and cultural splendour of the region. This experience has equipped him with a deep and thorough knowledge of the region, making him a reliable choice for the overall planning and execution of your expedition. Professionally, he works as an environmental consultant and combines his job with his passion for photography, travelling to remote regions to capture natural landscapes.
DSC_0193

Mohd. Juma

Planning, Logistics Lead, & Region Expert

JUMA is a mountaineer, an exceptional wildlife tracker and a proud Ladakhi who can speak multiple local dialects. Originally from the Nubra valley, Juma has an immense appetite for adventure. He began his career as a professional biker in Europe until his love for Ladakh brought him back 15 years ago. He has since made a career in the travel and expedition business and is now settled in Leh with his family. He has led multiple expeditions for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers across the Himalayas. Juma will be your region expert and is responsible for planning logistics and  navigating the difficult terrain for suitable wildlife sightings. You will soon realise that Juma is essentially your lifeline when in Ladakh. As a bonus, you’ll get to hear a lot of interesting survival stories and local folklore on your trip.

Our Associates (Local conservationists & snow leopard specialists):

Our associates include snow leopard conservationists with close to two decades of wildlife conservation experience at Hemis National Park. Their experience includes tracking and rescuing snow leopards along with contributing to key research studies on wildlife conservation in Hemis National Park. Our associates work closely with us to plan our tours in order to optimize the chances of wildlife sightings. You will have a unique opportunity to learn from our associates who have been instrumental in behind-the-scenes support for BBC and National Geographic documentaries, and for several wildlife photographers, conservationists and biologists.

WHY US?

YOU EXPERIENCE LADAKH THE WAY IT’S MEANT TO BE:

Our expedition is uniquely crafted to suit the needs of nature and photography enthusiasts. Ladakh is home to most of our team, and decades-worth of our experts’ professional experience in the region ensures an invaluable travelling experience. Our team’s professional, and cultural understanding of the regional eco-sensitivities helps us in limiting our expedition’s impacts on the environment.While we help you explore and experience the wilderness, and landscape of the Trans-Himalayan region in the quintessential Ladakhi way, we also ensure that you are provided with the practical necessities, that create a conducive environment for you to meet the physical demands of the expedition.

OUR TEAM

DSC_0197

Pranit Sai

Photography, & Expedition Lead
PRANIT specialises in natural light photography with a keen interest in the Himalayan landscape. Among other things, Pranit is an avid mountaineer, and has been on multiple treks around the Zanskar, Annapurna, and the Sagarmatha regions. He has also been a part of several wildlife & travel expeditions and has spent the last decade travelling across the vast swathes of Ladakh documenting the natural and cultural splendour of the region. This experience has equipped him with a deep and thorough knowledge of the region, making him a reliable choice for the overall planning and execution of your expedition. Professionally, he works as an environmental consultant and combines his job with his passion for photography, travelling to remote regions to capture natural landscapes.
DSC_0193

Mohd. Juma

Planning, Logistics Lead, & Region Expert

JUMA is a mountaineer, an exceptional wildlife tracker and a proud Ladakhi who can speak multiple local dialects. Originally from the Nubra valley, Juma has an immense appetite for adventure. He began his career as a professional biker in Europe until his love for Ladakh brought him back 15 years ago. He has since made a career in the travel and expedition business and is now settled in Leh with his family. He has led multiple expeditions for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers across the Himalayas. Juma will be your region expert and is responsible for planning logistics and  navigating the difficult terrain for suitable wildlife sightings. You will soon realise that Juma is essentially your lifeline when in Ladakh. As a bonus, you’ll get to hear a lot of interesting survival stories and local folklore on your trip.

Our Associates (Local conservationists & snow leopard specialists):

Our associates include snow leopard conservationists with close to two decades of wildlife conservation experience at Hemis National Park. Their experience includes tracking and rescuing snow leopards along with contributing to key research studies on wildlife conservation in Hemis National Park. Our associates work closely with us to plan our tours in order to optimize the chances of wildlife sightings. You will have a unique opportunity to learn from our associates who have been instrumental in behind-the-scenes support for BBC and National Geographic documentaries, and for several wildlife photographers, conservationists and biologists.

WHY US?

YOU EXPERIENCE LADAKH THE WAY IT’S MEANT TO BE:

Our expedition is uniquely crafted to suit the needs of nature and photography enthusiasts. Ladakh is home to most of our team, and decades-worth of our experts’ professional experience in the region ensures an invaluable travelling experience. Our team’s professional, and cultural understanding of the regional eco-sensitivities helps us in limiting our expedition’s impacts on the environment.While we help you explore and experience the wilderness, and landscape of the Trans-Himalayan region in the quintessential Ladakhi way, we also ensure that you are provided with the practical necessities, that create a conducive environment for you to meet the physical demands of the expedition.

CLASSIC PACKAGE

DAY   CLASSIC PACKAGE
17th FEB
  • DAY 1 – Flight to Leh – Be sure to get a window seat to enjoy an aerial view of the Zanskar range. Carry your lens hood to click a few frames of the amber on Zanskar. After your pickup and a short drive from the airport,  you’ll be received by our team at the hotel for your check in (by 11:00 AM). Breakfast included
18th FEB
  • DAY 2 – After a good fist night sleep on day 1, we take a stroll around Leh bazaar on day 2 to assimilate environmental conditions. First two days will primarily be for acclimatisation. Breakfast included.
19th FEB
  • DAY 3 – We depart for Hemis by 8:00 AM (shared transfer). After being dropped off at Zingchen village, we trek for about an hour to reach our accommodation (homestay) at Rumbak village. After a short rest, we head out to explore the wilderness in search of the ghost cat. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

20th FEB

to

24th FEB

 

  • DAY 4 to DAY 8 – A typical day during days 4 through 8 entails an early start with slow treks covering around 5 to 8 km a day to spot the snow leopard and other wildlife including the Tibetan wolf, blue sheep, argali and urial. At the homestay in Rumbak village you will experience the local culture, cuisine and hospitality of the Ladakhis. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
  • Trekking difficulty will be easy to moderate, and our safety briefings will hep you navigate the Himalayan terrain better.
  • Our spotters will be equipped with Swarovski Optik spotting scopes, which you will have free access to. Additionally, we highly recommend bringing a pair of your own binoculars/ telephoto lens (mi of 400 mm & upwards) to maximize your sighting opportunities.
25th FEB

 

  • DAY 9 – We trek down to Zingchen village and drive back to Leh (shared transfer) to rest the remainder of the day at the Ladakh house (home stay). Breakfast included.
26th FEB
  • DAY 10 – Until next time! Fly out from Leh with bags full of souvenirs, photographs, memories and stories. Breakfast included.

HANLE EXTENSION PACKAGE (ONLY AVAILABLE FOR INDIAN CITIZENS)

DAY   HANLE EXTENSION PACKAGE

 

17th FEB

to

24th FEB

  • DAY 1 through Day 8 – The Hanle extension package will include the same itinerary items as with Classic package. The accommodation, travel, food, and activities will remain the same for both packages (Classic package and Hanle extension package) from Day 1 through Day 8. Wherever itinerary changes are applicable, we have presented the same separately.
25th FEB

  • DAY 9 – We trek down to Zingchen village and drive back to Leh (shared transfer) and check into the Ladakh House to rest and recuperate for the next leg of the expedition. Breakfast included.
26th FEB
  • DAY 10 – Get ready to explore more wilderness at Hanle. We start early from Leh for a 6-hour journey to Hanle (shared transfer). On the way, we cross Karu, Upshi, Kumdok, Kere, Chumathang, Mahe, Nyoma and Loma villages. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

27th FEB

28th FEB



  • DAY 11 and DAY 12 – We graduate from trekking to taking a safari to sight wildlife (shared transfer). We drive to Kalak-Tartar plains at an altitude of over 5,000 metres to look for the Tibetan gazelle/ goa, and kiang (Tibetan wild ass). We visit the Hanle Monastery en route and to understand its cultural and historical significance. And witness the humbling sunset at Hanle. Watch the light fade behind the Hanle Monastery, and the umber spread over the never-ending terrain of Hanle. The sunsets at Hanle present a frame from the great Himalayan mysteries and are a dream for photographers and nature lovers alike.
  • Star gaze in the open plains under the cloudless night skies of Hanle. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

29th FEB

1st MAR


  • DAY 13 – Drive back to Leh, while taking in the scale of Ladakh one last time before you say a short goodbye to this landscape (until your next expedition, of course!). Reach Leh, check into Ladakh House (homestay) and do some final souvenir shopping at the bazaar. Our last night’s stay will be at Ladakh House (homestay). Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • DAY 14 – Until next time! Fly out from Leh with bags full of souvenirs, photographs, memories and stories. Breakfast included

CLASSIC PACKAGE

DAY   CLASSIC PACKAGE
17th FEB
  • DAY 1 – Flight to Leh – Be sure to get a window seat to enjoy an aerial view of the Zanskar range. Carry your lens hood to click a few frames of the amber on Zanskar. After your pickup and a short drive from the airport,  you’ll be received by our team at the hotel for your check in (by 11:00 AM). Breakfast included
18th FEB
  • DAY 2 – After a good fist night sleep on day 1, we take a stroll around Leh bazaar on day 2 to assimilate environmental conditions. First two days will primarily be for acclimatisation. Breakfast included.
19th FEB
  • DAY 3 – We depart for Hemis by 8:00 AM (shared transfer). After being dropped off at Zingchen village, we trek for about an hour to reach our accommodation (homestay) at Rumbak village. After a short rest, we head out to explore the wilderness in search of the ghost cat. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

20th FEB

to

24th FEB

 

  • DAY 4 to DAY 8 – A typical day during days 4 through 8 entails an early start with slow treks covering around 5 to 8 km a day to spot the snow leopard and other wildlife including the Tibetan wolf, blue sheep, argali and urial. At the homestay in Rumbak village you will experience the local culture, cuisine and hospitality of the Ladakhis. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
  • Trekking difficulty will be easy to moderate, and our safety briefings will hep you navigate the Himalayan terrain better.
  • Our spotters will be equipped with Swarovski Optik spotting scopes, which you will have free access to. Additionally, we highly recommend bringing a pair of your own binoculars/ telephoto lens (mi of 400 mm & upwards) to maximize your sighting opportunities.
25th FEB

  • DAY 9 – We trek down to Zingchen village and drive back to Leh (shared transfer) to rest the remainder of the day at the Ladakh house (home stay). Breakfast included.
26th FEB
  • DAY 10 – Until next time! Fly out from Leh with bags full of souvenirs, photographs, memories and stories. Breakfast included.

HANLE EXTENSION PACKAGE
(ONLY AVAILABLE FOR INDIAN CITIZENS)

DAY   HANLE EXTENSION PACKAGE

 

17th FEB

to

24th FEB

  • DAY 1 through Day 8 – The Hanle extension package will include the same itinerary items as with Classic package. The accommodation, travel, food, and activities will remain the same for both packages (Classic package and Hanle extension package) from Day 1 through Day 8. Wherever itinerary changes are applicable, we have presented the same separately.
25th FEB

  • DAY 9 – We trek down to Zingchen village and drive back to Leh (shared transfer) and check into the Ladakh House to rest and recuperate for the next leg of the expedition. Breakfast included.
26th FEB
  • DAY 10 – Get ready to explore more wilderness at Hanle. We start early from Leh for a 6-hour journey to Hanle (shared transfer). On the way, we cross Karu, Upshi, Kumdok, Kere, Chumathang, Mahe, Nyoma and Loma villages. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

27th FEB

28th FEB



  • DAY 11 and DAY 12 – We graduate from trekking to taking a safari to sight wildlife (shared transfer). We drive to Kalak-Tartar plains at an altitude of over 5,000 metres to look for the Tibetan gazelle/ goa, and kiang (Tibetan wild ass). We visit the Hanle Monastery en route and to understand its cultural and historical significance. And witness the humbling sunset at Hanle. Watch the light fade behind the Hanle Monastery, and the umber spread over the never-ending terrain of Hanle. The sunsets at Hanle present a frame from the great Himalayan mysteries and are a dream for photographers and nature lovers alike.
  • Star gaze in the open plains under the cloudless night skies of Hanle. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

29th FEB

1st MAR


  • DAY 13 – Drive back to Leh, while taking in the scale of Ladakh one last time before you say a short goodbye to this landscape (until your next expedition, of course!). Reach Leh, check into Ladakh House (homestay) and do some final souvenir shopping at the bazaar. Our last night’s stay will be at Ladakh House (homestay). Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • DAY 14 – Until next time! Fly out from Leh with bags full of souvenirs, photographs, memories and stories. Breakfast included

CLASSIC PACKAGE

PRACTICAL NECESSITIES FOR THE EXPEDITION CLASSIC PACKAGE HANLE EXT. PACKAGE
  • Accommodation on a twin sharing basis at hotel (centrally heated), and at the Ladakh House (homestay) during your stay in Leh
  • Accommodation in homestay at Hemis National Park
  • Accommodation in homestay at Hanle
NA
  • Road travel from Leh to Hemis and back (drop from/ to airport)
  • Road travel from Leh to Hanle and back (drop from/ to airport)
NA
  • Medical kit / First aid kit and oxygen cylinders for the group and safety briefings prior to commencement of each leg (Any additional medical expenses in case of emergencies shall be borne individually. Hospital facility is available at Leh within 2 hours travel distance from Hemis National Park)
  • Special permits for Hemis national park entry, and all other permits required for movement of porters, assistants, and equipment into Hemis
  • Special Inner Line Permit (ILP) for entry into Hanle area. This permit is mandatory for all the citizens who do not belong to Jammu and Kashmir State.
  • Full-down sleeping bags (rated to -40 °C) along with hot water bottles
  • Access to charging points to charge mobile phones, camera batteries etc. at homestays
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner during expedition at Hemis National Park/ Hanle. Options for both Veg, and Non-veg available
  • Breakfast in Leh during stay at Ladakh House hotel and Ladakh house
  • Free access to 1 Swarovski Optik spotting scope at Hemis National park. Porter facility will be available to carry camera equipment for an additional cost of  Rs 1,000 / day.
  • Lunch and dinner in Leh during stay at hotel (centrally heated) and Ladakh house
  • Flights to and from Leh

CLASSIC PACKAGE

PRACTICAL NECESSITIES FOR THE EXPEDITION CLASSIC PACKAGE HANLE EXT. PACKAGE
  • Accommodation on a twin sharing basis at hotel (centrally heated), and at the Ladakh House (homestay) during your stay in Leh
  • Accommodation in homestay at Hemis National Park
  • Accommodation in homestay at Hanle
NA
  • Road travel from Leh to Hemis and back (drop from/ to airport)
  • Road travel from Leh to Hanle and back (drop from/ to airport)
NA
  • Medical kit / First aid kit and oxygen cylinders for the group and safety briefings prior to commencement of each leg (Any additional medical expenses in case of emergencies shall be borne individually. Hospital facility is available at Leh within 2 hours travel distance from Hemis National Park)
  • Special permits for Hemis national park entry, and all other permits required for movement of porters, assistants, and equipment into Hemis
  • Special Inner Line Permit (ILP) for entry into Hanle area. This permit is mandatory for all the citizens who do not belong to Jammu and Kashmir State.
  • Full-down sleeping bags (rated to -40 °C) along with hot water bottles
  • Access to charging points to charge mobile phones, camera batteries etc. at homestays
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner during expedition at Hemis National Park/ Hanle. Options for both Veg, and Non-veg available
  • Breakfast in Leh during stay at Ladakh House hotel and Ladakh house
  • Free access to 1 Swarovski Optik spotting scope at Hemis National park. Porter facility will be available to carry camera equipment for an additional cost of  Rs 1,000 / day.
  • Lunch and dinner in Leh during stay at hotel (centrally heated) and Ladakh house.
  • Flights to and from Leh

ACCOMMODATION

The Ladakh House, Leh (homestay)
The Ladakh House is a comfortable homestay located approximately 2km from the Leh main market. This is a great place to stay. All rooms are furnished with luxurious 10-inch mattresses, fine linens, carpets on floors, provision of hot water, and a great view. Have a look at the accommodation here  > The Ladakh House .

Hotel stay whilst at Leh

Your stay will be a comfortable, centrally heated, hotel located a few minutes walk from the main market of Leh. All rooms are furnished with thick mattresses, fine linens, carpets on floors, provision of hot water, and a great view Leh town. The hospitality and traditional Ladakhi friendliness of the staff keep you warm and comfortable in the cold Trans- Himalayan winter.

Homestays at Hemis & Hanle

Our homestay accommodation at Hemis and Hanle is a modest but comfortable setup with cots and warm blankets. We also provide you full down sleeping bags (rated to -40 °C) to ensure you get all the warmth required during your stay in homestays at Hemis and Hanle. The homestay will have a heated common dining area. You will experience the quintessential Ladhaki cuisine and culture during your stay at Hanle.

BOOKINGS AND CANCELLATIONS

A booking will be considered finalised once a 50% advance deposit of the expedition fee has been made. Our bookings close by December 31st, 2019. In case of a cancellation made before booking closes, a cancellation fee of 25% will be charged and the remaining amount refunded. Cancellations made between January 1st, 2019 and January 15th  2019, will incur a 50% cancellation charge, with the remaining amount refunded. There will be no refund for cancellations made after January 15th, 2019.

ACCOMMODATION

The Ladakh House, Leh (homestay)

The Ladakh House is a comfortable homestay located approximately 2km from the Leh main market. This is a great place to stay. All rooms are furnished with luxurious 10-inch mattresses, fine linens, carpets on floors, provision of hot water, and a great view. Have a look at the accommodation here  > The Ladakh House.

Hotel stay whilst at Leh

Your stay will be a comfortable, centrally heated, hotel located a few minutes walk from the main market of Leh. All rooms are furnished with thick mattresses, fine linens, carpets on floors, provision of hot water, and a great view Leh town. The hospitality and traditional Ladakhi friendliness of the staff keep you warm and comfortable in the cold Trans- Himalayan winter.

Homestays at Hemis & Hanle

Our homestay accommodation at Hemis and Hanle is a modest but comfortable setup with cots and warm blankets. We also provide you full down sleeping bags (rated to -40 °C) to ensure you get all the warmth required during your stay in homestays at Hemis and Hanle. The homestay will have a heated common dining area. You will experience the quintessential Ladhaki cuisine and culture during your stay at Hanle.

BOOKINGS AND CANCELLATIONS

A booking will be considered finalised once a 50% advance deposit of the expedition fee has been made. Our bookings close by December 31st, 2019. In case of a cancellation made before booking closes, a cancellation fee of 25% will be charged and the remaining amount refunded. Cancellations made between January 1st, 2019 and January 15th  2019, will incur a 50% cancellation charge, with the remaining amount refunded. There will be no refund for cancellations made after January 15th, 2019.

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In case you are wondering about access to washrooms during the expedition:  Our accommodation at Leh is amongst the best, and your bathroom amenities during your stay at the hotel, and the   Ladakh House home stay will include hot water and wet toilet. At Hanle, and Hemis all members will have shared access to dry pit compost toilets (Indian style toilets).

In case you are wondering about access to washrooms during the expedition:  Our accommodation at Leh is amongst the best, and your bathroom amenities during your stay at the hotel, and the   Ladakh House home stay will include hot water and wet toilet. At Hanle, and Hemis all members will have shared access to dry pit compost toilets (Indian style toilets).

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

Braving the harsh cold and snow of Ladakh to successfully spot the extremely elusive and majestic snow leopard could well be the experience of a lifetime. However, there is more to the landscape than just the snow, and often, tracking and spotting involve an average of 4 to 8 km of trekking everyday whilst withstanding the cold. Physical fitness is important, but this isn’t as difficult as you think it may be, and the rewards are many. We have compiled a list of qualifiers to help you decide, as well as understand the physical demands of the expedition.
Is this for me?
  • The snow leopard’s habitat is high, harsh and cold. We expect you to be relatively fit to be able to walk 4 to 8 km/day and sometimes in rough mountainous terrain at altitudes between 3,000 to 4,000 metres (~10,000 to 13,000 ft). Speed is not a matter of concern as we will have ample time to cover such distances. Trekking difficulty will be easy to moderate, and our safety briefings will help you navigate the terrain better.
  • We expect your grit and passion to come through along the laborious treks in the cold winters. This expedition is perfect for wildlife and photography enthusiasts as they would want to go that extra mile to sight the ghost cat.
  • Winters in Ladakh can get cold. Average low temperatures can vary between -5 °C to -20 °C. We will be providing you with sleeping bags (rated to -40°C). We assume that you will come equipped with appropriate winter gear, however, you will still need to be able to cope with the rigours of Ladakh winters while we’re out trekking.

WHAT TO PACK?

Packing requirements
  • Waterproof/ breathable jacket (preferably down jacket that is capable of withstanding temperatures of -20 °C)
  • Inner fleece jackets or wool sweaters
  • Synthetic or soft-shell hiking pants and fleece pants
  • Waterproof hiking boots (preferably insulated) along with woollen, and synthetic socks
  • Other accessories include balaclava, wool/ fleece cap
  • Mid-weight wool or fleece gloves and waterproof cold weather gloves
  • Polarized sunglasses to cut off glare from snow- related albedo
  • Zinc oxide sunscreen with 50+ SPF UVA, and UVB protection to combat the harsh mountain sun
  • Our spotters will be equipped with Swarovski Optik spotting scopes (among the best for wildlife sighting) which can be made available to you for major sightings. However,  we highly recommend bringing a pair of your own binoculars/ spotting scope/ telephoto lens (mi of 400 mm & upwards) to maximize your sighting opportunities.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

Braving the harsh cold and snow of Ladakh to successfully spot the extremely elusive and majestic snow leopard could well be the experience of a lifetime. However, there is more to the landscape than just the snow, and often, tracking and spotting involve an average of 4 to 8 km of trekking everyday whilst withstanding the cold. Physical fitness is important, but this isn’t as difficult as you think it may be, and the rewards are many. We have compiled a list of qualifiers to help you decide, as well as understand the physical demands of the expedition.
Is this for me?
  • The snow leopard’s habitat is high, harsh and cold. We expect you to be relatively fit to be able to walk 4 to 8 km/day and sometimes in rough mountainous terrain at altitudes between 3,000 to 4,000 metres (~10,000 to 13,000 ft). Speed is not a matter of concern as we will have ample time to cover such distances. Trekking difficulty will be easy to moderate, and our safety briefings will help you navigate the terrain better.
  • We expect your grit and passion to come through along the laborious treks in the cold winters. This expedition is perfect for wildlife and photography enthusiasts as they would want to go that extra mile to sight the ghost cat.
  • Winters in Ladakh can get cold. Average low temperatures can vary between -5 °C to -20 °C. We will be providing you with sleeping bags (rated to -40°C). We assume that you will come equipped with appropriate winter gear, however, you will still need to be able to cope with the rigours of Ladakh winters while we’re out trekking.

WHAT TO PACK?

Packing requirements
  • Waterproof/ breathable jacket (preferably down jacket that is capable of withstanding temperatures of -20 °C)
  • Inner fleece jackets or wool sweaters
  • Synthetic or soft-shell hiking pants and fleece pants
  • Waterproof hiking boots (preferably insulated) along with woollen, and synthetic socks
  • Other accessories include balaclava, wool/ fleece cap
  • Mid-weight wool or fleece gloves and waterproof cold weather gloves
  • Polarized sunglasses to cut off glare from snow- related albedo
  • Zinc oxide sunscreen with 50+ SPF UVA, and UVB protection to combat the harsh mountain sun
  • Our spotters will be equipped with Swarovski Optik spotting scopes (among the best for wildlife sighting) which can be made available to you for major sightings. However,  we highly recommend bringing a pair of your own binoculars/ spotting scope/ telephoto lens (mi of 400 mm & upwards) to maximize your sighting opportunities.
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