Does anyone know about any wildlife experiences in Cambodia?We are planning on spend two weeks in Cambodia in November as I have alwayswanted to visit Angkor Wat and the temples. But Iâ€™m also a wildlife lover and would like to spend a part of ourholiday in search of some Cambodian wildlife.
Does anyone know of what experiences are available? From my research I know about the Birds, theriver dolphins and recently I heard about a gibbon spotting experience inRatanakiri. Does anyone know anythingabout any of these experiences?
#1 wildlifelover has been a member since 9/5/2012. Posts: 6
There is a gibbon conservation area outside of Virachey National Park called Voen Sai Protected Forests (I think that's the name) but I heard that they cannot bring tourists in there anymore. I am not totally sure about that, though. Try a Google search for the "Dutch Couple" ecotourism company in Ban Lung and they can probably tell you. I have heard gibbons singing (and even spotted them) many times in Virachey, but I'm not sure that you have the time to do Angkor and then also go up to Ratanakiri and do a big trek with just 2 weeks. You can see bird life on the Tonle Sap Lake, but as far as spotting mammals goes, you need to do a multi-day (a week or more) hardcore jungle trek in order to have any chance of seeing mammals, and there is no guarantee of that. I've seen gibbons, douc langurs, macaques (which you can also see around Angkor Wat and at Wat Phnom in PP) Sambar deer, jungle fowl, owls, snakes, water dragons and flying lizards, but I've spent up to 11 days trekking in Virachey in a single trip. You might want to consider trekking in the Cardamom Mountains -if you go camping you will probably hear gibbons in the morning and you might see some hornbills. The combination of those two makes for a rewarding visit to the jungle.
There is a great wildlife sanctuary just out of Phnom Penh that is worth visiting, called Phnom Tamao. I've posted about it in the past so search on this forum. I did a trip through Betelnut Tours - highly recommended.
I know it's probably not quite what you are looking for (ie a day trip rather than a trekking experience), but just thought I'd mention it anyhow.
Thanks Lizzy, I hadn't heard of this place, well worth a daytrip.It's amazing how little tourist promotion is done in Cambodia!
The other problem is doing it as an independent. Saw the site, they recommend using a tuk-tuk to get there. Apparently it's a big site needing transport so one way would be to hire a motorbike from Lucky on Boulevard Monivong and ride there. It's on Highway 2 going south about 35 kilometres.
No problems, sayadian. Agreed it will take more effort to get there as an independent. I can't remember why I decided to splash out and go with Betelnut Tours rather than as an independent (which is how I normally prefer to do things), but have to say in this case, it was a good choice.
They take you out in the back of their 4WD, and because of their support of the sanctuary, they get a bit more access to the 'behind the scenes' stuff than the general public which made for a very special trip. And on the day that we went, there were only two of us in the group (normally a max of 6-8 I think) which meant for a great day. The lovely girl who takes you there, Vathana, is very passionate about 'her animals' and makes for a great guide.
The sanctuary appears to be well-run, and did an awesome job helping a baby elephant who lost a foot after stepping on a snare trap years ago by giving him an prosthetic foot.
Sayadian is right - it is a big site, so if you go there independently, having a motorbike to get around would make it much easier. And it's a nice ride out!
Greg - if you follow the link to the Betelnut website, they have a 'Links' page with links to other wildlife sites that might be of interest to you.
My suggestions would be to make sure you visit Koh Kong and venture into the Cardamom Jungle - great place to stay is the 4 Rivers Floating River Lodge. In addition.. other places not to miss would be Chi Phat and Veal Ta Prak. If you are in Siem Riep.. make sure you go the the Sarus Crane Reserve and of also the bird sanctuary in Chong Khneas. Also the Florican Grasslands will give you the chance to see the critically endangered Bengal Florican.
If you are a diver.. you can now fly to Sihanoukville (as of January 2012) and then take a boat and stay in small Khmer Fishing village.. which adjoins a new marine national park - Koh Rong Island. Beach hut about USD 10 a night and meals USD 1.50. Best time to travel is December, January & February.
We specialise in putting together trips for independent travellers, let us know if we can help. Check us out on www.planetwildlife.com Happy travels!
#7 Planetwildlife has been a member since 18/5/2012. Posts: 1
Another point in the favor of Phnom Tamao is they used to let you pay $5 for a chicken and you could throw it into the cage of the tigers. It was pretty cool to watch the tigers pounce and play with the chicken before eating it. Might not be for everyone though....
There is also a decent wat (temple) and lake along the route that is worth taking a break at as well, the name escapes me at the moment though.
#8 candyman has been a member since 20/10/2009. Posts: 20
Thank you very much for your such much good information about wildlife experience in Cambodia. Honestly, those information are very interest me, but I think now I am very keen to see the real wildlife in their natural habitat where is serving the protection.
I found a website about an endanger species of gibbon spotting Cambodia tour in the northern of the country. Their website is very interesting and touching me. Well, there are some companies who do that in the area but look not very specific and professional. I think their price is very good compare with what they offer and the quality of the tour they mention.
My wondering is getting some more suggestions from you and all friends who ever heard of this particular tour.
Thank you very much.......
#9 wildlifelover has been a member since 9/5/2012. Posts: 6
If you don’t like zoos, you probably won’t like this wildlife sanctuary, but remember that these animals have been rescued from traffickers and poachers and need a home.
Quote from Lonely Planet.
Make what you will of this; but it seems to me Phnom Tamao does more good than harm.
Please find out at Phnom Kulen or Kulen mountain. It's so wonderful time and great camping in the jungle, and will visit one village to one village on the top of this mountain. you'll meet King of Lion and King of elephant as well.
#12 Vickyjin has been a member since 15/4/2012. Posts: 15
I have hear far more bad things about the place than good, but have heard a little good. Trafficked/poached vs caged? I dunno. All hearsay here.
Sounds like one of those mixed review places that you gotta make your own opinion about...
That's interesting.....so what have you heard? I had a good experience there, and have often recommended it to others, so wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about what you have heard. I'd hate to think I was recommending somewhere that isn't all that it is meant to be.
All hearsay. Never been there myself. Mostly heard it was a crappy, zoo-like place, as per Nisse. But that's only what i heard. You've been there and liked it. I'll check it out sometime...
Been there twice ( took half of my staff there and had to go back with the other half ).
Tigers had a big place to run around but was acting mentally disturbed, walking back and forward, skinny and no muscles. Sun bears also had big place and looked Ok. Most of the other animals had way to small cages and some walking in their own ****.
No animals looked happy or healthy but I guess thats what a Zoo is all about, avoid at all costs.