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Snow Leopard Expedition

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Snow Leopard (Scientific name : Panthera uncia) is the king of Snow capped Mountains in Himalayas. It is listed as endangered by IUCN. It is one of the most solitary, elusive, rare and endangered predator in the world and few resorts say that only a few hundred are left in wild. This spirit of mountains has adapted himself to survive in the harsh climate of Himalayas and hence casual sightings are extremely rare.

 

Snow leopards in heavy snowfall tends to move downwards where it can prey on local animals and hence chances of sighting one becomes more in month of Feb to April. Later in summers you will find them at the highest peaks in the snows, and hence tracking becomes difficult. We at Mumbai Travellers will be exploring Snow Leopard territory with the local experts who help in tracking down the snow leopards for various video documentaries that we see on Television and internet. The group will also be escorted by a resource person from our wildlife division, so that sighting this solitary animal becomes easier.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT SNOW LEOPARDS :

 

Snow leopards are slightly smaller than the other big cats but, like them, exhibit a range of sizes,generally weighing between 27 and 55 kg (60 and 121 lb), with an occasional large male reaching 75 kg (165 lb) and small female of under 25 kg (55 lb).They have a relatively short body, measuring in length from the head to the base of the tail 75 to 130 cm (30 to 50 in). However, the tail is quite long, at 80 to 100 cm (31 to 39 in), with only the domestic-cat-sized marbled cat being relatively longer-tailed. They are stocky and short-legged big cats, standing about 60 cm (24 in) at the shoulder.

 

Snow leopards have long, thick fur, and their base color varies from smoky gray to yellowish tan, with whitish underparts. They have dark grey to black open rosettes on their bodies, with small spots of the same color on their heads and larger spots on their legs and tails. Unusually among cats, their eyes are pale green or grey in color.

 

Snow leopards show several adaptations for living in a cold, mountainous environment. Their bodies are stocky, their fur is thick, and their ears are small and rounded, all of which help to minimize heat loss. Their paws are wide, which distributes their weight better for walking on snow, and have fur on their undersides to increase their grip on steep and unstable surfaces; it also helps to minimize heat loss. Snow leopards’ tails are long and flexible, helping them to maintain their balance, which is very important in the rocky terrain they inhabit. Their tails are also very thick due to storage of fat and are very thickly covered with fur which allows them to be used like a blanket to protect their faces when asleep. ( Info source: Wikipedia )

 

Flight Suggestions :

 

Date From To Airline Arriv Dep
26 Feb’19 Mumbai Leh Airindia 05.55 AM 10.20 AM
Date From To Airline Dep Arriv
07 Mar’19 Leh Mumbai GoAir 11.30 AM 16.15 PM
 

 

Day 1 - Reaching Leh
 

You will board your flight to Leh. You will be met upon arrival in Leh and then get transferred to your hotel. The rest of day can be spent at leisure for acclimatization. In the evening, spend some time in the Leh bazaar. Overnight stay will be at the hotel in Leh. Acclimatization is compulsory in order to get used to the High altitude and low oxygen level condition.

 

Day 2 -  Leh to Ule village. Exploring Icy Zanskar River
 

A winter trek over a frozen river! Early morning we will drive down to Ule and will experience the walk on the frozen river. Will reach Ule by lunch time and overnight stay will be at the hotel in Ule. Stay will be in homestay. In the evening, we can explore the Life at Leh on our own and meet up again for the yummy dinner. Day ends with some more fun and games with new friends.

 

Day 3 – Exploring Ule valley
 

The day to explore the beauty of Ule landscape and is also known for the elusive snow leopard sightings. Keep your observation skill on point as you can see different kinds of wild species like Urial, Agrali and Tibetian Antelope.

 

Day 4 – Half day Leopard Tracking. Back to Leh
 

You will explore Ule till afternoon in search of the elusive cat and post lunch after resting will be heading towards Leh. Will enjoy the bonfire with some information sharing session followed by dinner. Overnight stay will be at the hotel in Leh.

 

Day 5 – From Leh to Zinchen and Trek to Rumbak Village (Trekking time: 5-6 hours)
 

After breakfast at Leh, we proceed to Hemis National Park. We hike alongside Indus towards the Zingchen Gorge from Phey Bridge. After reaching a height, we can see the awesome habitat of Hemis National Park where snow leopard resides. Be alert, as it is difficult to spot them. We will be scanning all part of the cliffs and below the rocks where they normally rest, it is a tough task to spot them and this is where the experience of our seasoned spotters comes in to the picture. Stay alert and enjoy the view of the wildlife. Overnight at Rumbak homestay.

 

Day 6 – Rumbak Valley Exploration
 

The next three days are dedicated to trekking around Hemis National Park in Quest of snow leopard. Besides, Snow Leopard you can also spot Blue sheep, Argali, various migratory birds and also Tibetan Wolf. Snow Leopards are usually easy to sight in winters compared to other months, as they descend to lower elevations. But all depends on your luck and tracking skills! Later, after returning to the camp, hot tea will be served with some great experience of the day to share and cherish. Overnight at home stay at Rumbak.

 

Day 7 –  Turhan Valley (Depending upon the sighting reports)
 

Turhan Valley is yet another place to spot the snow leopard and again we spend our day trekking in search of the elusive cat. Overnight at home stay at Rumbak.

 

Day 8 - Rumbak- Urutse (Depending upon the sighting reports)
 

Today will be exploring Yurutse and Gondala Pass Base, which is also known for its Ibex sightings. Overnight at home stay at Rumbak

 

Day 9 – Urutse to Zinchen and back to Leh
 

Trek down the valley to reach Zinchen. It will take about 5 hours. We will be trekking slowly scanning and exploring past familiar Snow Leopard territories. After that we return back to Leh. Take some rest and spend the rest of the time at leisure.
Overnight stay at Leh.

 

Day 10 – Arrival at Delhi/Mumbai
 

Depart early morning for Delhi/Mumbai and tour concludes with some great photographs and memories to cherish.

Cost per person (INR)
Rs.84000
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Date Selected Dates
Where Leh, Himachal Pradesh, India
Duration 10 Days / 9 Nights
Difficulty Moderate
Capacity 10 Seats
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7838984471, 8368292699, 01142156013
in collaboration with
Mumbai Travellers
26th Feb, 2019
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