Arrive in New Delhi where you will be met by your tour leader, who will take you to your hotel, Shanti Home, where you will stay overnight. You can relax in the afternoon and there will be a tour briefing by the leader, which will include information on the terrain, the temperatures to expect and what to wear. The leader will also tell you what time you will be at the airport on the following day for the early morning flight to Leh.
You will be driven to the airport very early for your flight to Leh where you will be met by your drivers at the airport and taken to your hotel (Hotel Omasila or the Mahe Retreat). After a rest and some refreshment you will walk up to the Shanti Stupa – this will help with acclimatization. However, if you feel you cannot do this walk, you are quite free to stay in your room and rest, but you are advised to drink plenty of water and eat some simple food. Overnight in Leh.
You will spend another day in Leh to help with acclimatization, and you will take a trip to Leh Palace and Leh Monastery, walk around the town where you will see many things of interest and where you will collect items for the trip. Overnight in Leh.
The last day of acclimatization will be spent in Leh and the surrounding area – including the Shey and Spituk areas – where you may see birds such as the Ibisbill, Rosefinches, White Browed Tit Warbler and Solitary Snipe. You may also see Pikas, Woolly Hare and Mountain Weasel. Overnight in Leh.
After breakfast, you will drive to the entrance of Hemis NP which is the largest National Park in India at 4,400 sq km and the only park north of the Himalaya. From here you will undertake an hour’s trek to your base camp. You may spot snow leopards on the way! Once base camp is reached, you will have lunch and then spend the afternoon looking for snow leopards. Overnight camping in Hemis National Park.
Days 6 – 13
Today and for the next 7 days you will begin the search for snow leopards. Your leader and his team will decide on a daily basis which is the best area to search for these elusive cats. You may go to the Ulley area, which is about 3 hours away, and which is a good place to spot the leopards, or stay in Hemis. You could also see Siberian Ibex, Tibetan Wolf, Red Fox and the highly endangered Ladakh Urial. These days are very dependent on the weather and the animals’ movements. The team may also move the group to a higher camp at Rumbak in Hemis National Park. Overnight camping.
Your last morning opportunity to spend time in Ulley or Hemis National Park before being driven back to Leh. The rest of the day is free to relax or walk around Leh. You may like to do an OPTIONAL walk to do some birdwatching. Overnight in the Hotel Omasila or the Mahe Retreat.
You will return to Delhi where you will be met by your driver and taken to the Shanti Home. The afternoon will be free to relax and recover from what is quite a demanding tour.
A day of sightseeing in Delhi with a local guide. You can visit the Qtub Minar – the second tallest minar in India and part of a UNESCO Heritage Site, Hamayun’ s Tomb, the Mosque in Old Delhi and Mahatma Gandhi’s crematorium. After sightseeing you will have lunch in a local restaurant, a chance for some shopping and then go back to the hotel.
Tour ends – transfer to airport – return home or onward travel.