The Snow Leopard, locally known as Shan, is one of the rarest large cat species found anywhere in the world. It is so difficult to see them due to the tough and rugged terrain. It is a large cat species primarily found in the high mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is an endangered species as listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Hemis National Park and Ule region in Ladakh are 2 of the finest places to see this elusive animal. The timing of this trip is crucial because in the bitter cold months of January, February and March, Blue Sheep, the primary prey of the Snow Leopard, descend down to the lower valleys and the Snow Leopard too follows its prey down. The lower valleys have human inhabitants as well and livestock is also easy prey for Snow Leopard at this time. Apart from this rare animal, Ladakh is also home to other lesser-known species like the Red Fox, the Tibetan Wolf, the Eurasian Lynx, the Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), the Bharal (Blue Sheep), the Shapu (Ladakhi Urial), the Ibex and several others that with a bit of luck could be seen on this trip.
Spiti Valley is a cold desert mountain valley located high in the Himalayan mountains in the northeastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, i.e. the land between Tibet and India. The local population follow Vajrayana Buddhism similar to that found in the nearby Tibet Autonomous Region and the Ladakh region of India. The valley and surrounding region are one of the least populated regions in India and are the gateway to the northernmost reaches of the nation. Along the northern route from Manali, Himachal Pradesh or Keylong via the Rohtang Pass or Kunzum Pass respectively, the valley lies in the North East of the Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh and forms part of the Lahaul and Spiti district. The subdivisional headquarters (capital) is Kaza, Himachal Pradesh which is situated along the Spiti River at an elevation of about 12,500 feet (3,800 m) above mean sea level. A world within a world as Rudyard Kipling described it, Spiti Valley is known to be one of the most beautiful and picturesque locations in the world. During winters, the valley gets cut off from the rest of the world. Due to the thick snow-covered road to Spiti, winters are known to be among the most treacherous roads in the world. Spiti’s border starts at Samdo [74 km from Kaza] which is quite near to India-China border. In summer it can be reached via Manali through Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass. Manali is 201 km away from the Kaza headquarters of the Spiti subdivision. Due to high elevation, one is likely to feel altitude sickness in Spiti. The upper reaches of the Spiti mountains are home to the most elusive big cat in the world - the snow leopard. The beautiful, regal animal, identifiable by its thick fur and long, fluffy tail lives in solitude in caves and dens for the majority of the year. Lucky for us, this endangered feline can be spotted in the Kibber National Park during the winter months, when they come out of their habitat for the warmth of the sunlight.
Expedition Summary -
Duration – 11 days (From Chandigarh to Chandigarh)
Places of stay – Rampur, Kaza, Kibber.
Snow Leopard Spiti Expedition 2023
Day 1 - 27th Feb - Arrive in Rampur
Day 2 - 28th Feb - Depart from Rampur
Start from Chandigarh in the morning, departure for Rampur (250 Kms - 7 Hrs). Rampur is a night halt station, accommodation at Luxurious Resort/Hotel. Dinner at the Resort. Overnight at Rampur. Departure from Chandigarh will be at 7.00 AM. We highly recommend that guests come in one day prior and stay in the same hotel as suggested by Jehan Numa Expeditions. If guests choose not to stay at this hotel, they must arrive at the departure point on time. In the case of late arrival that exceeds 30 minutes, guests will be considered a no-show and the tour will continue as scheduled.
Day 3 - 1st March - Rampur to Kaza
Rampur to Kaza (300 Kms - 12 Hrs); Early morning departure for Kaza at 4.00 AM. You will only get 3 stops on this journey as it’s a really long and scenic journey you might feel tempted to stop at various corners to click photos but reaching on time will be a priority. Arrive at Kaza. Check in to Comfortable homestay rooms with Heaters. Dinner and Overnight at Kaza. We might stay at Tabo instead of Kaza as per the availability of suitable homestays and rooms.
Day 4 - 2nd March - Kaza to Kibber
Have a relaxed morning in Kaza, After breakfast, walk through the market, and then depart for Kibber. On the way to Kibber, you will see the Ki- Monastery. We will go further up the road to reach our destination Kibber Village. In Kibber you will be assigned to your rooms, and given a brief orientation of the team who would be with you, on-field and in the hotel. The Red Fox will be your home for the next few days. On this day you would be requested to take complete rest as the coming days would involve extreme trekking in snow and at a high altitude.
Day 5 to 9 - 3rd to 7th March - Trekking to spot the Himalayan Ghost
Start your day early morning, after breakfast you leave the hotel, to explore nearby regions. The entire region surrounding the village is snow leopard territory. In this region, you have high chances of observing and spotting other wildlife such as Bharals, Ibex, Red Fox, Golden Eagle, Himalayan Griffons, and a lot of different bird species. On all of your trekking days, your warm lunch will be brought to the field.
Day 10 - 9th March - Kibber to Rampur
Kibber to Rampur. Start Early Morning from Kibber and reach Rampur by night 8.00 PM. Stay in a Hotel/Resort at Rampur. Dinner at Resort at Rampur.
Day 13 - 10th March - Rampur to Chandigarh
Depart for Chandigarh Reach Chandigarh by evening. Drop at your Hotel/station/airport at Chandigarh. You will be reaching Chandigarh by 4.00 PM. Expedition Concludes. Please ensure your onward connection from Chandigarh is booked after 5.00 PM.
- 7 Paying Pax per pax cost: (Indian) INR 135,000 + 5% GST
- 7 Paying Pax per pax cost: (Foreigner) INR 155,000 + 5% GST
- Rampur to Kaza to Kibber and Kibber to Rampur road transfer – 10/12 seater traveller. (Kaza to Kibber, Sumo or similar 4x4 vehicles if required).
- Twin sharing accommodation at luxurious heritage Hotel at Rampur with dinner.
- Twin sharing accommodation at Kaza and Kibber will be in comfortable homestays with rooms having heaters. All meals in Kaza and Kibber during the stay.
- Exclusive porter per participant to carry camera equipment and bags.
- Exclusive 12 seater tempo traveller/similar for local transfers at Kibber during sightings.
- Expert team of trackers for snow leopard tracking.
- Entry permit for Spiti + village fees/community fees.
- Kibber National Park entry fees for individuals for the duration of the stay in Kibber.
- 4x4 vehicle backup in case of evacuation during an emergency.
- Inner Line permit required for foreigners.
- Oxygen cylinder is available for emergencies.
- Hot water bags in the bed during the night at Kibber.
- Camera fees at Kibber.
- Tips and gratuities.
- Any other extra expenses other than mentioned.
- Extra meals, and beverages other than those mentioned.
- Train/air fares.
- Travel Insurance.
- Any increase in entry fees/ permit fees.
- Any additional services used other than mentioned.
- Overnight stay in Chandigarh.
- Hotel stay in Chandigarh on day 1.
- Chandigarh to Rampur and Rampur to Chandigarh road transfer.
Please note: Hotel at Chandigarh (Park Plaza Chandigarh Zirakpur) can be booked on request on Day of arrival. Please ask for best available rates at the time of booking. Time of departure from Chandigarh will be at 7.00 AM on 28 Feb 2023 at Park Plaza Chandigarh Zirakpur. Each guest will be responsible for arriving at the departure point 30 minutes before time. In case someone is late, the group will wait till 7.30 AM post which the tour will begin
Due to the pandemic, a lot of things changed including Travel. Jehan Numa Expedition has introduced some norms and requirements which will help to conduct such expeditions by following all the health protocols and which will assure the safety of all our participants and our team. We also revised the refund policy in case of expeditions getting cancelled due to the pandemic.
- Participants should be vaccinated for COVID 19 with respective 2 doses. Or should adhere to all medical requirements in place at the time of travel.
- Credit note for the tour cost will be issued for expedition batch cancelled due to any nationwide lockdowns/travel restrictions due to the COVID19 pandemic. Credit notes can be used for rebooking the expedition at later date.
- Travel Insurance is recommended.
- All participants will have to submit a health fitness certificate. Participants having diseases/disorders related to heart, breathing or any other serious illness should avoid such expedition.
Erwin D’rose – 27 February to 9 March 2023
Erwin’s dedication, passion and commitment to all things wild make him one of the better naturalists in Satpura. His knack for sightings especially for big cats makes him an absolute asset to have when on safari. Before joining us at Reni Pani 8 years ago, Erwin has spent have spent 5 Years in Kanha National Park studying and understanding tiger behaviour. His passion for wildlife started early in life as he grew up in Jabalpur which is the entry point to many famous national parks like Kanha and Bandhavgarh. It was his childhood dream to be a naturalist and expedition guide and now he has achieved what he dreamed about as a kid. Erwin spent considerable time in the wilderness ever since he was young, this brought him close to photography as well. His passion for photography enabled him to work with various filming teams in Kanha to make documentaries, this also helped him understand the flora and fauna of Central India better.