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Rare and elusive snow leopard on mountain top lookout, Ladakh, India

On the Trail of Snow Leopards

  • EXPERT-LED GROUP TOUR
Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
02/19/21 03/03/2113 days $7,360 ex. flights $2,477Jennifer Nandi10 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place
02/14/22 02/26/2213 days $7,995 ex. flights $2,731Jennifer Nandi10 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Orjan Johansson Image, Collared snow leopard, Altai Mountains, Mongolia 1

Snow Leopards

All of our clients travelling in 2019 had sightings of snow leopard.

Snow Leopard Lodge 2

Specialist trackers

Join Jennifer Nandi and trackers on the hunt for the snow leopard in the Himalayan region of Ladakh.

Two Siberian Ibex on the crest of a hillside in Ikh Nart in Mongolia. 3

Himalayan Wildlife

Track snow leopards, blue sheep, ibex and Ladakhi urial by 2WD and on foot.

Lounge area 4

Ladakhi culture and homestay

Home cooked meals and a comfortable bed in a Ladakhi homestay.

Why we like it

Ulley village is an area that is only recently being developed for snow leopard watching but is in the centre of three interlocking valleys supporting approximately 12 snow leopards. The big advantage of Ulley is that it is relatively free of tourism and the chaos that has enveloped the first snow leopard destination – Rumbak.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Delhi

  • Day 2

    Delhi - Leh

  • Days 3 - 4

    Leh

  • Days 5 - 10

    Ulley Valley

  • Day 11

    Ulley - Leh

  • Day 12

    Leh - Delhi

  • Day 13

    Delhi

Day 1

Delhi

Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, India

Arrive into Delhi and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore independently.

Day 2

Delhi - Leh

Hemis Monastery, Leh, Ladakh

Fly from Delhi to Leh, once the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh.

Days 3 - 4

Leh

Leh, India

The next two days are at leisure to help you acclimatise, as you will now be at an altitude of 3,500 metres.

Days 5 - 10

Ulley Valley

Snow leopard on cliff side, Ladakh, India

Drive from Leh to the Ulley Valley. The next five days will follow a similar pattern, as you search Ulley and its surrounding mountains for Snow Leopards accompanied by expert trackers.

Day 11

Ulley - Leh

Alchi Monastery, Ladakh, India

Return to Leh via Alchi monastery.

Day 12

Leh - Delhi

Red Fort, Old Delhi, India

Depart Leh and fly back to Delhi. The remainder of the day at leisure to explore this bustling city or rest after your Snow Leopard adventure.

Day 13

Delhi

Jama Masjid Mosque, Old Delhi, India

Depart Delhi for your onwards travel.

Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Active
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.

Flexibility

To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • All meals in Leh and Ulley
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Delhi
  • Donation of $200pp USD to Snow Leopard Conservancy
  • Gratuities for local guide, driver and porters
  • Internal flights from Delhi to Leh in economy class
  • Local guide and trackers in Leh and Ulley
  • Six nights accommodation at Snow Leopard Lodge
  • Transportation (as indicated)

What is excluded

  • India Visa
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals in Delhi (excluding breakfast)
  • Travel insurance
Snow Leopard Lodge
India
Twin room, Snow Leopard Lodge
India
Snow Leopard Lodge
India
Lounge area
India

Snow Leopard Annex

The snow leopard lodge and annex is the only dedicated wildlife lodge in Ladakh. It began originally as a homestay owned by one of Ladakh’s top snow leopard trackers – Tchewang Norbu – under the auspices of a program initiated by the Snow Leopard Conservancy designed to use tourism as a conservation tool for the preservation of snow leopards and their ecosystem by putting tourism revenue directly into the local community.

Accommodation is fairly basic but comfortable and warm. Three twin bedrooms are en suite, while a further eight rooms share bathrooms. The lodge provides warm showers and also stores extra gas heaters on site. Hot water bottles are provided at night when the heaters are turned off. An assortment of Ladakhi, Indian and Continental cuisine is served in the communal dining room in the main house.

Group Tour FAQs

Why travel with Steppes Travel to track Snow Leopards in India?

Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust (SLC-IT) rackers have an intimate knowledge of Ulley Valley and the movements of its snow leopard inhabitants.

While a comprehensive understanding of snow leopard behaviour is critical, a good relationship with the local community is equally important. Local shepherds and farmers will know where snow leopards have been most recently spotted and so the chief tracker has developed a strong bond with the community of Ulley, taking full advantage of hundreds of local pairs of eyes and ears on the ground.

What happens on a typical day?

A typical day will start with hot tea/coffee, followed by a bowl of hot water for a refreshing wash. Our expert guides will already be on the search for snow leopards, either from the homestay or from a close-by lookout. Trackers may have gone out into the valley and are in constant communication with the team from the Snow Leopard Conservancy. After breakfast, the group will set out and drive into the valley before hiking on foot to search for snow leopards.

The trackers will be in constant communication with one another and keep the group informed of any information along the way. In the evenings, there will be opportunities to hear from the leaders during post-dinner presentations.

When is the best time to see Snow Leopards?

From the end of January to March, as the snow on the mountains starts to melt, this drives the snow leopards, and their prey (the blue sheep) to lower, almost snow-free elevations, this allows the guides and trackers much better access to look for them, and concentrating them in a smaller area.

How likely am I to see Snow Leopard?

To see a snow leopard requires luck but as with any safari, to some extent luck can be improved by patience, planning and professional guiding. It is no coincidence that the best guides are also the luckiest guides and on the most recent safaris clients have been rewarded by excellent snow leopard sightings. All our clients travelling in 2019 had sightings of snow leopard.

Do I need to be physically fit to enjoy this tour?

Whilst in the Ulley Valley out searching for snow leopards there will be some small hikes on rough terrain so it is vital that you have adequate hiking boots. However, the amount of hiking you choose to do is up to you. It is our aim to hike a few miles every day, with the uphill sections being at a slow pace due to the altitude. Due to the small group size, there will be several guides with us on all the hikes that will happily stay with members of the group that may get tired or just want to rest.

What will the weather in Ladakh be like in March?

From January to March in Ladakh, the days will be cool, and the nights can get below -25. This tour departure is out of the main tourist season for the region, so it makes it a lot quieter.

It is vital that you have the correct clothing for this tour. Our travel specialists can advise you on clothing and packing lists to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

What is the standard of accommodation on this tour?

On this tour, accommodation is a homestay style lodge, hosted by a local Ladakhi family known to Steppes personally. Lodgings are basic but far more comfortable than camping and to enhance your stay, we bring in our own cook and camp staff along with gas heaters, a warm shower, comfortable mattresses, and bed linen. The homestay has undergone some upgrading to offer higher comfort.

Whilst in Leh, the hotel is the best available, offering comfortable rooms, stunning views of the Stok Range, great hospitality and in-house dining.

Is this tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of our tour experts.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply. For this tour, it is capped to two people due to the size of the property in Ulley.

Can I extend my time in India?

Absolutely. India is a vast country with vibrant cities, fabulous beaches and iconic wildlife. Please speak to one of our India specialists for further information.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?


VISIT OUR FAQ PAGE

Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience Matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Size Matters

Our average group size is typically eight to ten people, smaller than other group tours typically offered – a factor which many of our clients appreciate. Travelling as part of a smaller group provides a more intimate, personalised and relaxed atmosphere.

4.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

3.Like-Minded People

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people – interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

5.Value for money

Our tours are well-priced to ensure you get real value for money. We include gratuities on the majority of our tours and do not pass on currency surcharges. We strive to look after single travellers as well as we can, keeping single supplements to a minimum.

6.Peace of Mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

Our future tour dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 1 855 2037885

Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
02/19/21 03/03/2113 days $7,360 ex. flights $2,477Jennifer Nandi10 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place
02/14/22 02/26/2213 days $7,995 ex. flights $2,731Jennifer Nandi10 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 601 784

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