Tonle Sap Waterbirds and Floating Village Adventure
A magical day with an abundance of birds in a flooded forest wonderland!
Tonle Sap is the largest natural lake in Southeast Asia, increasing in area by up to 3x annually as the floodwaters of the Mekong River cause the Tonle Sap river to flow backwards and fill the lake. Situated at the western end of the great lake is the largest waterbird colony in Southeast Asia.
It is an astonishing site to visit. Prek Toal is globally important for eight species of bird; Spot-billed Pelican, Greater Adjutant, Lesser Adjutant, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Oriental Darter and Grey-headed Fish-Eagle. Thousands of commoner waterbirds also breed here, and over 150 species have been recorded. The colony is at its busiest between December and April, but most species can be found throughout the year.
Entry & admission fees
All entry and admission fees are included in the price.
You will be collected and dropped back to your hotel.
Water will be provided to you throughout the trip.
Breakfast and lunch will be included.
Tip or gratuity
Wifi not available outside of major cities and towns.
Subject to change depending on seasons and personal requests
05:30 – Pick Up
Pickup from your hotel by an English speaking SVC guide and travel to Chong Khneas or Mey Chrey.
06:00 – Board the Boat
Board the boat to take us across the great Tonle Sap Lake to Prek Toal, with breakfast and a full briefing from the guide on the way.
07:30 – Prek Toal
At Prek Toal we will pick up a ranger for the boat trip into the core bird reserve flooded forest, where we may have to transfer to a local community boat.
09:00 - Treetop Observation Platform
Arrive at the treetop observation platform opposite the bird colonies to view the panorama of the flooded forest reserve and teeming birdlife.
11:30 – Lunch
Arrive back at Prek Toal and have lunch in a floating restaurant.
13:00 – Optional Boat Tour
Paddle boat tour of the floating village (optional)
15:00 – Return Home
Return boat trip to Siem Reap, arriving back at your hotel around 17:00.
|Pokambor Ave, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia|
|Kaoh Chiveang, Cambodia|
Things to note
Tuk-tuk or 4*4 Car to the pier
Local Motorboat on the Tonle Sap
When to go
November to March, though the best time is between December and February. Water levels can change from day to day meaning access to the core reserve shifts.
Birds: Greater Adjutant, Lesser Adjutant, Painted Stork, Milky Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Grey-headed Fish-eagle, Spot-billed Pelican
Mammals: Silvered Langur, Long-tailed Macaque, Smooth-coated Otter, Hairy-nosed Otter. These mammals are very shy and mostly stay clear from humans. Therefore, we will be very lucky to see these species
Seasonally flooded forest and scrub. Open water retreats to reveal muddy lakeshore.
Cormorants and darters begin breeding in October, Pelican numbers peak in December or January and storks peak in February. By late March often the only water remaining is along three narrow streams which are thronged with birds until late May when water levels begin to rise. Most birds depart Prek Toal during the rainy season (June-September), although Masked Finfoot is occasionally seen in August.
Things to bring
- Sun hat
- Sun cream
- Appropriate closed-toe shoes. Walking boots are best
- Light clothing covering shoulders and knees- this is especially relevant when visiting temples and religious sites. Clothing should not be bright when birding
- Insect repellent
- Waterproof coat
- Small denominations of money. This is especially relevant when entering Northern Cambodia. $20 is the maximum denomination of money that should be taken
- Binoculars. SVC charge $5 per person per day to use our Swarovski Optik binoculars
- Ear plugs are recommended for multi-day tours. The sound of nature at night in remote areas can be loud