New Trip Report: Hemis NP and the Hanley Changthang Plateau, Ladakh

Here is report from Phunchok Tsering at Exotic Travel in Ladakht summarising three trips this year (between February and July). I used Phunchok to organise my Snow Leopard trip in 2014.  He is now also running tours to the Hanley Changthang Plateau for Pallas’s Cat, Tibetan Fox, Argali, Tibetan Gazelle and Tibetan Wild Ass.
Hemis National Park: Snow-Leopards and Lynxes
Hemis National Park is a high elevation national park in Ladakh and the largest park in India (4400 square kilometers). Globally famous for its Snow Leopards, it is believed to have the highest density of Snow Leopards in any protected area in the world. The main prey for the leopards are Blue Sheep which are found abundantly around Rumbak.
Our trips to Hemis National Park had the main objective to see a Snow Leopard and as usual we are very pleased to announce that all three group saw the elusive Cat in Hemis National Park very closely and for many hours. We even saw two different animals mating: one in Saspochey Village other one in Rumbak. Due to our  good knowledge about the habitat, team work and 15 years’ experience, sightings are now becoming much more regular specially in feb-march. It is difficult to express our feelings whenever we see leopards but it is always nice to enjoy and cherish the moment. I won’t express much about how our groups feel and react after the sighting but definitely I’m always very happy to see their delighted, cheerful faces after each  sighting. This year we about 15 sightings over the  three group tours. We can’t ask for more as some of the cat sightings were close and lasted almost the whole day.


Our tours visit Rumbak Village after two nights acclimatization in Leh, where we also go birding to look for Ibis Bill, Solitary Snipe and White-browed Tit Warbler.
Hanley Changthang Tibetan Plateau: Pallas Cat, Sand Fox, Tibetan Argali, Gazelle and Wild Ass

Pallas’s Cat

Most of our Sow Leopards groups took an extension trip to the Hanley Changthang Plateau in the south-east of Ladakh. Hanley is 270 km from Leh  – about 5/6 hrs drive – along a good road. On the way we can see Tibetan Wolves (soon to be split), Mongolian Finches, Great Rose Finches, Streaked Rosefinch, Saker Falcon and Golden Eagle.

Ladakh Urial

Foreigners are now allowed to stay in Hanley overnight so we have to spend the nights in Nyuma some 70 km from Hanley, which means waking up early each morning to search for the Pallas’s Cat. Other animals are easier to see at any time of day there.
Phunchok Tsering –
Exotic Travel Ladakh India.
Leh Office: Zangsti road Gompa Complex Leh Ladakh,194101.
Mobile No: 0091-9419178682. Office: 0091-1982256384.
Delhi Office: Flat,No,67 Dwarka Sector 18/A,  New Delhi -110075.
Mobile No, 0091-9419178682, – Office: 0091-1145561093

Tibetan Red Fox

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Jon Hall


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