Summertime Quest for the Snow Leopard: Land of the Snow Leopard and Traditional Life in an Ancient Buddhist Culture
Trip Dates: August-September 2023 (TBD)

A Urial, snow leopard prey

Trekking to Rumbak village

Ladakhi hospitality

Conservation Donation: A tax-deductible donation to the Snow Leopard Conservancy helps support snow leopard conservation, research, and ecotourism development programs in Ladakh.

Airport transfers in Delhi and Leh, onenight hotel in Delhi on twin sharing bed and breakfast plan, hotel accommodations in Leh on twin-sharing bed and breakfast plan, overnight in Ulleytopko with all meals, all transportation by Jeep in Ladakh, welcome and farewell dinners, guided sightseeing services throughout the tour in Ladakh, National Park entrance fees, ponies for luggage, homestay accommodations and meals, English speaking trekking guide, support staff and full camping services on trek, and donation to the Snow Leopard Conservancy.

Not Included:
International flights (US-Delhi-US),Flight Delhi-Leh-Delhi, any expenses of personal nature, personal clothing during the trek, optional tips to tour and trekking staff, emergency evacuation and medical insurance (required), and personal medical kit. Details provided upon booking.

For more information and a detailed itinerary... please contact

KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel
Tel: (650) 560-0101/
Fax: 712-8164
699 Spindrift Way, Half Moon Bay,
California 94019 USA

The Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh lies in northwest India. Guarded by the Himalaya and Karakoram mountains -- rising dramatically into vertical peaks of striated pastel colors -- this barren yet stunningly beautiful high-altitude desert is home to the colorful cultural traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, and the magnificent and elusive snow leopard.

Imagine hiking through the Himalaya in the tracks of a wild snow leopard, knowing that your being there will help save the snow leopard from retaliatory killing and will help local families send their children to better schools.

Imagine staying in a traditional family-run “Himalayan Homestay,” riding camels at 10,000 ft and attending a lively Buddhist ritual dance festival (subject to confirmation) – when a portion of your trip cost will go to the Snow Leopard Conservancy to help raise awareness about the endangered snow leopard.

All of this is possible on our Summertime Quest for the Snow Leopard.

Informed by the Snow Leopard Conservancy’s decades of conservation action in Ladakh, we’ll explore sites within Hemis National Park that are regularly visited by the elusive cats that leave their “sign” (such as tracks, scent, and other markers). Sightings of blue sheep and urial, two of the snow leopard’s prey species, are virtually guaranteed. If we are very lucky we’ll see a snow leopard too, although they normally descend from the ridge-tops only after the first snows.

After the trek, we’ll take the world’s highest motorable road to 18,380’ en route to Nubra Valley, a beautiful landscape and an historic trade post along the ancient silk route. Another day in Leh gives time for souvenir shopping before departing for Delhi.

Day 1 Arrive in Delhi. You’ll be met at the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Delhi.

Day 2 Fly to Leh. Rise early for a scenic flight to Leh, capital city of Ladakh (11,500'). After lunch, join your local crew for a briefing, and then enjoy free time to rest before a traditional Ladakhi welcome dinner. Overnight (O/N) in hotel.

Days 3-4 Walking Tour of Leh Sites. Take a guided walking tour of Leh Palace, Victory Peak and among the small lanes of old Leh. Attend the opening day ceremonies and parade of the annual Ladakh Cultural Festival (subject to confirmation). O/N in the hotel.

Days 5-6 Excursion to Alchi and Ulley. Drive along the Indus River gorge to Alchi monastery, noted for its stunning frescoes some dated to the 10th century. Visit the restored Basgo Palace perched atop a craggy mount, and Liker Monastery with its giant outdoor Buddha. O/N in Ulley (11,480‘). Return to Leh.

Day 7 Drive and trek to Rumbak. After breakfast, drive to Zingchen and enter Hemis National Park, home to the snow leopard. Trek for approx. 2 hours past canyons frequented by the snow leopard during its winter descent from the mountains. Arrive in Rumbak (12,500’) and meet your village homestay family. Dine on Ladakhi traditional fare. O/N in the homestay.

Days 8-9 Rumbak. Experience village life in Rumbak, partaking in home and farming activities such as helping to harvest barley or churn butter; share stories and photos with your host family. Take a day-hike to a nearby village or for a stunning overview of the mountainous terrain.

Day 10 Leh. After lunch, trek back to Zingchen and drive to Leh. O/N in a hotel.

Days 11-13 Nubra Valley. Today you’ll embark on another fascinating excursion: a two night visit to Nubra Valley where you’ll visit a 515 year old Buddhist monastery and take a camel safari through the sand dunes to Deskit. O/N in the a guest house and tented camp.

Day 14 Drive to Leh. In the morning visit Sumur village and drive (75 miles) back to Leh. O/N in a hotel in Leh.

Day 15 Leh. A last chance to shop for locally made handicrafts. Enjoy a farewell dinner of traditional Ladakhi food. O/N in a hotel.

Day 16 Leh to Delhi. Rise early and transfer to the airport for our flight to Delhi. Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the international airport terminal for your flight departure.

Trip Cost:

4-7 persons US $ 3,850

8-9 persons US $3,550

10-12 persons $3,300

Single supplement US $500/person


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