Snow Leopard Trek in Dolpo

Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia), a giant cat native to the mountainous part of South Asia is a very rare species of a leopard which is in the verge of extinction and listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In 1973 a travel writer, Peter Matthiessen published a book ‘The Snow Leopard’ after traveling to one of the remotest and least accessible districts of Dolpa. The trek is based on the writer’s experience of getting to see the snow leopard.

In Nepal, 300-500 snow leopard lives in an area of about 30,000 sq. km. They are mostly found in the Himalayan region of central Asia and protected in 8 conservation areas: Annapurna Conservation area, Shey Phuksundo National Park, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Manaslu Conservation Area, Makalu Barun National Park, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Sagarmatha National Park, and Langtang National Park.

Dolpo, which is located in western Nepal, provide an opportunity to travel the ancient village Dho Tarap, where people practice centuries-old traditions and customs, trail meander around the woods of pine, oak and juniper which homes the endangered animals like Himalayan musk deer, blue sheep and snow leopard.
Trip Code: SLTID51
Starts: Juphal
Finishes: Juphal
Duration: 20 Days
Difficulty: Moderate
Group Size: 2 - 14
Age: Minimum 16
Seasons: Mar-May
Elevation: 5221m/ 17129.3ft
Trip Views: 1071
Activities: Trekking
Trip popularity:
Travel Style: Budget Comfortablecheck Luxury


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Yes (Included)
Yes (Included)
Yes (Included)
Breakfast: 19
Lunch: 17
Dinner: 18
Car
Flight
Jeep
Hotel: 3 Night(s)
Camping(Tent): 16 Night(s)
Yes (Included)

Trip Facts

  • The scientific name of Snow Leopard is Panthera uncial
  • Nepal is home to 300-500 snow leopards
  • In Nepal, snow leopards are distributed along its northern frontier

Why this Trip

  • Trek based on the book ‘The Snow Leopard’ takes you to the remotest part of Nepal, Dolpo, towards the altitude of 2500 to 5190m. Snow Leopard is a very rare and beautiful species which you can see exclusively in Dolpa.

speaker_notes Trip Notes

  • • We reserve the right to change and that the program may be reversed. Things can happen that make it impossible to meet them as planned. If any meeting or plan would not be feasible, we always try to find an equivalent alternative. In Nepal, you always have a plan B and C!
  • • What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible
  • • A trekking permit is a must to travel to controlled areas. Permit, however, is issued only to groups. Individual trekkers will not be issued trekking permit.

Location

Gallery

Brief Itinerary

  • placeDAY 1 : ARRIVAL
    You will be surprised to see our little airport but what matters is affection and benevolence and that’s what you will get from our hospitality. We will be eagerly waiting for your arrival and soon we will be escorting you to our office for the briefing of the trekking. Then you will check-in at the hotel and after short rest we will gather for a fine dining.

    Meal:

    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Hotel

    Activities:

    • Airport Pick up- hotel
    • guided Thamel tour
  • placeDAY 2 : DRIVE TO NEPALGUNJ
    Nepalgunj is a town in the western Terai, very close to the Indian border. It is a major trade hub for western regions of Nepal. On this day you will hop on a deluxe bus to Nepalgunj which is approximately 12 hrs long drive. Overnight stay at Nepalgunj.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast

    Accomodation:

    • Hotel

    Activities:

    • Deluxe bus to Nepalgunj
  • placeDAY 3 : FLIGHT TO JUPHAL, TREK TO RUPGHAT(2070M), 3HRS
    Today we take a brief 35 minutes flight to Juphal. Juphal is starting point for our trek, from Juphal we hit the road and commence the trekking. The trail descends and skirts through local villages. To reach Rupghat we walk around 3 hrs then finally we reach our today destination.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 4 : TREK TO CHHEPKA (2678M), 6-7HRS
    Today after breakfast we will move towards the Chhepka village where we can found only few houses and lodges in the surrounding. On the way, enjoying the bird watching we will go to visit the Shey Phoksundo National Park.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 5 : TREK TO POLAM (3130),6-7HRS
    Like in Every day today we move towards the Polam by crossing the big cedars forest and Boarding School “Tapariza”. Ringmo village people used to stay in Polam as a winter settlement.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 6 : TREK TO PHOKSUNDO(3641), 3-4HRS
    Continuing the trek today we move towards the Phoksundo by viewing the highest waterfall in Nepal (200m). Also during the trek today we go through the Ringmo village where we can see the flat-roofed stone houses with lots of Mani walls. At night, we will do camping in the national park camping ground.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 7 : ACCLIMATIZATION
    For 2 days, we take rest in Phoksundo to visit around the national park and look forwards the natural beauty of this place. Also, in this days if we are lucky then we can see the endangered species Snow Leopard here.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 8 : ACCLIMATIZATION

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 9 : TREK TO YAK KHARKE (3860M), 4-5HRS
    Enjoying the beautiful views and passing the Maduwa Khola today we come down towards the Yak Kharke. It will take almost 4-5hrs to reach here.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 10 : ACCLIMATIZATION
    Today, we take rest in Yak Kharke to visit surroundings and look forwards the natural beauty. If we are lucky then we can see the Snow Leopard here also.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 11 : TREK TO DANIGAR (4512M), 6-7HRS
    Today we embark on crossing another pass called Baga La Pass. It is strenuous uphill climb to Baga La pass, enjoying the beautiful meadow of Temche(4000m) we reach Danigar.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 12 : TREK TO NUMALA BASE CAMP (4140M), 7-8 HRS
    Today, after we finish breakfast we head toward the Numala Base Camp. During today's trek we can enjoy the scenic beauty of mountains and natural areas. 7-8 hours walk from Danigar we reach the Shering Gompa which is the house of the monks. From there for overnight stay, we go towards the Numala Base Camp, which is nearby the Shering Gompa.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 13 : TREK TO DHO TARAP (3944M), 2-3 HRS
    Dho Tarap is a Highlight of this trek. It is a wonderful settlement that portrays the rustic attributes of Dolpo. Dho Tarap situated above a wide valley and was a famous trading point to the traders of Tibet and Mustang in the ancient days. We trek via traditional Tokyu village (4209m) to reach the magnificent village of Dho Tarap.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 14 : TREK TO SIMARA (3755), 6-7 HRS
    After the stay at the wonderful place, Dho Tarap and finishing the morning breakfast we move our feet for Simara. 6-7 hrs continuous walk through the Mirbubane Khola Dovan we reach our today destination.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 15 : TREK TO LAINI (3370M), 6-7 HRS
    We have our hearty breakfast and head towards Laini. We pass via Nawarpani Dovan (3780m) and Chhyugar (3440m). Laini is a great Campsite which has cascading waterfall nearby.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 16 : TREK TO TARAKOT (2540M), 4-5HRS
    Today we head to Tarakot leaving Laini behind, we cross the latter via a high suspension bridge. We walk high above the river and then descent to Tarakot where we stay overnight. Tarakot has Gompa where we can visit at day.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 17 : TREK TO DUNAI (2140M), 6-7HRS
    Today we complete our circuit following the Barbung Khola to Dunai (2090m). Dunai has a couple of small lodges that allows us to stay overnight or we can stay in Camp.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 18 : TREK TO JUPHAL (2475M), 4 HRS
    We take a walk beside the Bheri river and a last climb to reach the Jhupal (2480m) we spend Overnight.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Camping

    Activities:

  • placeDAY 19 : JUPHAL TO KATHMANDU
    From Juphal we travel to Nepalgunj by air followed by drive to Kathmandu. Stay Overnight at Kathmandu

    Meal:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    Accomodation:

    • Hotel

    Activities:

    • Flight to Nepalgunj
    • Private transportation to Kathmandu
  • placeDAY 20 : DEPARTURE
    It will be your last day in the city and therefore shop and try out the traditional cuisines as much you desire and make the most of the day. According to your schedule we will drop you off at the airport for the flight back home.

    Meal:

    • Breakfast

    Accomodation:

    Activities:

    • Airport drop
  • Detail Inclusions
      • Airport transfers with an escort by Private Vehicle
      • Deluxe/ standard rooms in Kathmandu on twin/double sharing with breakfast and dinner
      • Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu along with entrance fees and a professional guide
      • Accommodation during the trek  (guesthouse/ tented camping)
      • All meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) during the trek
      • Authorized English speaking guide along with Porters (2:1)  for the trek
      • All applicable government tax
      • All expenses for staffs –meals, accommodation, salary, equipment, insurance, transportation
      • All necessary paperwork and Restricted Area Special Trekking Permit, National Park Entrance Fee(s), Trekkers' Information Management System fees (TIMS)
      • Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
  • Complimentary
      • Get-to-know (welcome) and farewell dinner in Kathmandu
      • Map of Dolpo region
      • Powerful Binoculars for the trek
      • Occasional hot Shower during the trek
      • Sim card service
      • Souvenir from Nepal
      • Photos and videoes of the trip
      • Certificate of appreciation
  • Exclusions
      • International flights; Nepalese visa fee
      • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu  because of early arrival or late departure due to any reason other than the scheduled itinerary
      • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu
      • Travel and rescue insurance
      • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
      • Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s)


FAQS

  • 1. Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon arrival ?
    Yes, our representative will be there to greet you at the airport. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel by a private car/jeep.
  • 2. Is there an Orientation program ?
    Yes, there is going to be a small orientation/briefing program before we embark on our adventure by the tour manager, leader/guide.
  • 3. What is the overnight accommodation like ?
    For nights in cities, we use standard/superior standard/deluxe rooms whereas, during the trek we use camping for our clients. We also arrange sleeping bags for our clients, on their request.
  • 4. How big are the groups ?
    We believe in operating small intimate group to provide personal attention and services to our guests. Small groups can enjoy the trek hassle free and enjoy the customized trip according to their need and suitability. We do not incorporate more than 14 People in a group, unless we get special requests from our clients.
  • 5. For what purpose this trek is Popular ?
    Snow Leopard is a very rare and beautiful species which you can see exclusively in Dolpo. It provides an opportunity to travel ancient villages like Dho Tarap, people here practice centuries old traditions and customs, trail meander around the woods of pine, oak and juniper which homes the endangered animals like the Himalayan musk deer, blue sheep and snow leopard.
  • 6. Is Snow Leopard Trek in Dolpo safe for women ?
    Yes, Nepal can boast as the one of the safest country in South Asia for women, you will find people very friendly and respectful towards foreigners especially towards women. As this trek is not so hard to finish, it is mostly done. You won’t be having any difficulty while doing this trek.
  • 7. What about security during trekking ?
    We make sure to take security measures during trek to make your trip delightful. We hire experienced and license holding guides to safeguard your life in mountains. We suggest you to follow the guide’s instruction carefully and take responsibility for personal belongings. Always keep your valued belongings near you.
  • 8. What sort of food can I expect in trekking ?
    During camping, our expert camping cooks prepare a wide range of delicious meals empowering you with enough strength for your strenuous climbing. All the cooking materials will be carried by our porters.
  • 9. Is the drinking water safe in trekking region ?
    There are plenty of water stations on each stop on the route. You can easily fill up the bottle from the open taps. We recommend that you bring water purifier tablets with you or at least get it from Kathmandu before you depart for trekking. You can also buy mineral waters but we usually recommend tap water which is pure and it helps us not promoting plastic bottled water.
  • 10. What mode of transportation do you use ?
    We use private car, van and deluxe minibus with A/C depending on the size of the group for the transportation. We then transfer from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj on private transportation too. We then fly to Juphal on domestic flight. We also pick up and drop from the starting point to ending point depending on your comfort desires of transportation.
  • 11. What is the best season for trekking ?
    October and November are the best seasons for this trekking. December, January and February are still good months for trekking, but it can be bitterly cold at high altitudes.
  • 12. Will I be taken care of during emergency ?
    Before coming to Nepal, make sure that you are covered by insurance policy for the altitude of 5500 meters. In the case of an emergency like altitude sickness, dehydration or any medical conditions ask your tour leader/guide to contact us as soon as possible so that we can manage/arrange helicopter for the rescue. Then you will be transferred to hospital for the treatment.
  • 13. What is appropriate dress for trekking ?
    Trekking is a tiresome activity that requires a lot of physical movement so pack your active wears and trekking pants for at lower altitudes. Weather at high altitude is unpredictable so carry a light weight waterproof jacket along with thick down jacket, pant and thermal inner wear to escape severe cold. Needless to say that, good shoes are very important for trekking in rough and snowy terrain, so invest on good quality shoes or rent it from us in a minimum price. As you are trekking in remote village try to wear modest clothes to quickly gel up with the local people without hesitation.
  • 14. Is it possible to alternate or change the day trips ?
    We customize the trip according to your preference but if you need to change plan during the trek, consult the guide.
  • 15. Are we sure to get room while trekking ?
    We contact the lodge/guesthouse owner for reservation of the room before trekking on a particular day. On other days, porters reach the destination on advance and book the rooms for you. But there are always going to be exceptions but even in those cases, we may have to be flexible about very basic sleeping arrangements. We always try to make sure that we have everything well arranged.
  • 16. Are your guides reliable and certified ?
    All our guides are trekking experts holding license from Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal Government. They are the most valuable assets of the company. Guides know the trekking route like the back of their hand and use their expertise in ensuring your safety in the mountains.
  • 17. How can I charge my electronics during the trip ?
    While trekking in higher lands you need to pay for charging the electronics upon request to the owner. The best idea always is to bring your own power bank with you. It's easier and cheaper.
  • 18. Is there any communication while we are on trekking ?
    While trekking in Dolpo, you can make local and international calls from telephone provided by the guesthouse owner after paying the price directly.
  • 19. Can I add extra days to my trekking trip ?
    If you need extra day to complete the trekking, you'll need to inform the guide in advance and the guide will let the company know. Adding a day to trekking can result in many changes in other arrangements such as transportation, guides' schedule, flight details, hotel bookings and all, so we really don't recommend this to our clients unless there's an emergency cases. But it's true that those changes could be made but it will cost extra. The best way to do it is to inform the agent company about it.
  • 20. What immunizations will I need ?
    Before coming to Nepal, make sure you are covered for diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus. Make sure you are in best shape to complete the trekking without any complication.
  • 21. How many hours do I trek each day ?
    Usually, we have to walk about 7-9 hours a day. But it shouldn't be taken as certain thing. Because the number of hours of walk really depend on client’s speed. So it's really relative.
  • 22. How will my booking be processed ?
    To confirm your booking, a deposit of 15% of total trip amount is required if you are booking at least a year in advance before trip departure date. If booking is made between 100-364 days before the trip departure, you'll need to pay 20% to confirm the trip. If payment is made between 99-60 days, 25% of the total trip amount will need to be paid and if booked between 59-30 days, 50% of the total trip amount needs to be paid and finally, if you are booking 29 days prior to trip departure, then 100% payment should be made. The payments can be easily made by the bank transfer. The due balance is payable on arrival in Kathmandu with cash (preferably USD/EURO) or card on POS/credit card machine. Please note that non refundable fee is 10% or $200 whichever is greater.
  • 23. Can we use the credit card during the trek ?
    You cannot use the credit card during the trek. You have to withdraw the money before you start the trek and convert it into Nepali Rupees. You can use credit card only in Kathmandu.
  • 24. Do we need to carry our bags by our self or you will provide porters ?
    You have to carry your personal bags with water bottle and medicines remaining bags will be carried by porters to make you easy to trek. The weight limit for porters is 15 KG.
  • 25. Are we certain to see the Snow Leopards while embarking on this journey/Trek ?
    No, we can not guarantee the sights of Snow Leopards. We try and prepare our best to show this mysterious cats to our clients. But it shouldn't be taken as one hundred percent. There are chances that we see them but not always.

Optional Activities

Mountain Flight

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Taking a mountain flight is one of the most exhilarating things you can do in Nepal. You can experience the beauty of those gigantic Himalayas within a minute through a mountain fight. Nepal is famous for the presence of an enormous number of mountain ranges and many visitors come to Nepal to conquer those vast mountains.

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