Ladakh; The land of High Passes stands at a height 4,600 meters in the outer Himalayas with its peaks, ranging from 5,800 to 7,600 meters forming the most striking feature of the area.
The snow leopard, or ounce, is truly a predator of the heights, one can spot snow leopard from November – March at Hemis national Park. Hemis National Park is a high altitude protected area created in year 1981 in the eastern part of the cold desert of Ladakh for the conservation and protection of its unique flora and fauna. It covers an area of 600 sq km in the Markha and Rumbak valleys.
The snow leopard is Ladakh's most rare animal. Another one that is unique is the kyang or the wild horse; while at lower altitudes the musk deer too is a rare sight, precious by virtue of its expensive musk. Visitors are likely to spot many marmots, mouse hares, stone martens, red foxes, wolves, ibex, Bharal and shapu during the course of their journey but the habitat of the nyan (big horned sheep), chim (Tibetan antelope famed for its fleece-Shahtoosh), Goa (Tibetan gazelle), lynx, pallas cat, kyamg (wild horse) and brong dong (wild yak) are still outside the tourists' sphere.
The Park is full of dry forests of Juniper, Birch and Fir is found in the park area. Also present are the alpine grasslands and scrublands. Various rare and endangered animal species found in the cold desert area are also housed in the Hemis National Park. Amongst these are the snow leopard, Tibetan wild or kiang, ibex, serow and Tibetan antelope. Amongst the avi fauna population found in the Hemis national park are the snow, snow partridge and golden oriole.
In the morning catch a flight for Leh. On arrival at Leh met our representative and transfer to hotel for rest. This is necessary for the acclimatisation. In the evening our expert will brief about the whole trip followed by welcome dinner. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Today we will explore the Leh local market. It is full of small lanes with hidden treasures – take the time to explore. Overnight stay in the hotel.
In the morning after breakfast we will take a guided walking tour of Leh Palace, Victory Peak, the old quarter and offices (a local conservation organization). Overnight stay at Hotel.
In the morning after breakfast we will drive to Phey and from here our trek will start along the Indus River gorge, a dramatic entry to Hemis National Park. On arrival set out camp for overnight stay at the park. Dinner & overnight at tent.
In the morning after breakfast we will trek to viewing wildlife with our expert. The Hemis National Park is home to blue sheep, argali (a large horned sheep), numerous mountain and migratory birds, as well as an occasional Tibetan wolf. You are likely to see sign of snow leopard as winter is the time that they descend to lower elevations. Dinner and overnight in tent.
From day 06 to day 11 we will trek to nearby sites where snow leopard may have been sighted recently. Visit neighboring villages, and experience a home-stay. Home stay hosts have been trained in hospitality and are members of a community conservation effort to conserve the endangered snow leopard. At home stay you will feel the culture of the Ladakhi people.
In the morning after breakfast we will trek to Zingchan and from here drive to Leh. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Early in the morning transfer to airport and from here catch a flight for Delhi.