Critical Cambodia

Six Critically Endangered birds in five days!

Duration

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5 Days

Availability

Z

Dec-Mar

Peak season

Jan-Mar

Starting Point

Siem Reap

Cambodia is the last stronghold of a set of magnificent birds that are now so globally rare they are considered Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. This tour is a superb opportunity, not just to see these incredible species, but by supporting SVCs work with community-based conservation to give them a chance of continued survival.

Most of the bird watching takes place in open dry forest, a beautiful habitat in which to watch birds. One night is spent in our large safari-style tents, with the other nights at a purpose-built community ecolodge.

What’s included?

N

Entry & admission fees

All entry and admission fees to parks.

N

Accommodation

Accommodation is provided at all of our sites.

N

Guide Fees

You will have a dedicated tour guide for the five days.

N

All Transport

All of your transport throughout the trip including transfers.

N

Refreshments

Water will be provided to you throughout the trip.

N

All Meals

You will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner .
N

Reusable Bottle

SVC Refill not Landfill reusable water bottle for multi-day trips.
N

Conservation Contributions

SVC will contribute part of the trip cost towards conservation.
M

City Accommodation & Meals

Accommodation and dinner in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sen Monorum. SVC can organise this if requested.

M

Trip Insurance

It is strongly recommended that you travel with insurance.

M

Laundry

A hand wash laundry service can be provided with additional charges, depending on availability.

M

Tip or gratuity

It is your own decision should you wish to tip staff.
M

Wifi

Wifi not available outside of major cities and towns.

Itinerary

Subject to change depending on seasons and personal requests

04:30 – Pick Up
Pick up from your hotel. This is a 2 hour trip from Siem Reap to Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area. A prepared breakfast will be provided when we arrive at the birding spot.

06:30 – Birding at Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area
Our guides have a very good track record of finding these Critically-Endangered birds, the first of the six targets, they should be seen within the first few hours of the trip. Whilst we are enjoying the floricans, other birds we typically see include Sarus Crane, storks, Manchurian Reed Warbler, Pied and Eastern Marsh Harrier, Small Buttonquail, Bluethroat and Red Avadavat.

10:00 – Leave Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area for Tmat Boey Ecolodge
We will travel to the Tmat Boey ecolodge, birding in dry forest along the way. During our birding stops, we will have lunch and we also hope to see White-rumped Pygmy Falcon.

14:00 – Arrive at Tmat Boey Ecolodge
We will get checked into the Tmat Boey Ecolodge. After we are settled in, we may get a chance to see our second Critically Endangered species in the evening, as we try to see the White-shouldered Ibis at a roosting site.

18:00 – Dinner and night at Tmat Boey Ecolodge.
Dinner and rest before early start the next day.

04:30 – 18:00 – Wake up to search for Giant Ibis followed by a full day of birding
SVC coordinates a scheme where the local people are paid to protect the nests of the two Critically Endangered ibis present – Giant and White-shouldered Ibis. Consequently our guides have a 100% record of finding these species for visiting birders! We will try to get good views of both species during the time we spend here.

The birding is excellent and our guides, with the help of the SVC-trained local guides, have made a special effort to locate the day roosts of nocturnal species such as Spotted Wood Owl and Brown Fish Owl.

Tmatboey also supports an incredible 16 species of woodpecker including the fantastic Black-headed Woodpecker, the huge Great Slaty Woodpecker and the scarce Rufous-bellied Woodpecker. Our guides know where to find these and all of the dry forest specialties such as the recently recognized Indian Spotted Eagle, White-rumped Pygmy Falcon, Collared Falconet, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Indochinese Bushlark, Brown Prinia, Neglected Nuthatch and White-browed Fantail at this or nearby sites.

The day is flexible as we rely on trained local guides give us up-to-date information on key species.

Prepared breakfast and lunch will be provided in at the birding sites. Hot dinner at the ecolodge.

04:30 – 18:00 – Wake up to search for Giant Ibis followed by a full day of birding
Today we will target species missed on the previous day.

SVC coordinates a scheme where the local people are paid to protect the nests of the two Critically Endangered ibis present – Giant and White-shouldered Ibis. Consequently our guides have a 100% record of finding these species for visiting birders! We will try to get good views of both species during the time we spend here.

The birding is excellent and our guides, with the help of the SVC-trained local guides, have made a special effort to locate the day roosts of nocturnal species such as Spotted Wood Owl and Brown Fish Owl.

Tmatboey also supports an incredible 16 species of woodpecker including the fantastic Black-headed Woodpecker, the huge Great Slaty Woodpecker and the scarce Rufous-bellied Woodpecker. Our guides know where to find these and all of the dry forest specialties such as the recently recognized Indian Spotted Eagle, White-rumped Pygmy Falcon, Collared Falconet, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Indochinese Bushlark, Brown Prinia, Neglected Nuthatch and White-browed Fantail at this or nearby sites.

The day is flexible as we rely on trained local guides give us up-to-date information on key species.

Prepared breakfast and lunch will be provided in at the birding sites. Hot dinner at the ecolodge.

04:30 – Wake up for last morning of birding in Tmat Boey.
Prepared breakfast will be provided.

We will be focusing on any areas and birds that we have not yet seen before we travel to Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.

11:00 – Lunch at Tmat Boey Ecolodge before travel to the Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant
We will have lunch at Tmat Boey Ecolodge before leaving for Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.

We will spend one hour in T’beng town to resupply our trip. It will take 3 hours overall to get to Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.

15:30 – Arrive at Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant and late-afternoon birding.
Our local guides will have already set up large safari-style tents for us to sleep in. The vultures will not be fed until the next day, so there will be time for some birding in the dry forest in the later afternoon and certain species may be easier to see here than at Tmatboey.

19:00 – Dinner and sleep at Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.
Hot dinner and rest at the camp before an early start the next day.

04:30 – Wake up to go to Vulture Restaurant site
As vulture populations have crashed across Asia, Cambodia has held onto populations of the three species currently considered Critically Endangered. However, owing to a decline in wild cattle populations, Cambodia’s vultures are now reliant on supplementary feeding. Joining this tour offsets the cost of running the ‘vulture restaurant’ and includes the local community in the efforts to save these impressive, macabre birds.

A dead cow will be provided to the vultures and from dawn we will be able to watch the spectacle of forty White-rumped, Slender-billed and Red-headed Vultures, and sometimes also Slender-billed Vultures feeding on the carcass.

A prepared breakfast will be provided at the Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant site.

After the vultures have finished feeding we begin the four-hour return trip to Siem Reap.

12:00 – Lunch at local restaurant and Beng Melea
We will break the journey at Beng Melea, a spectacular jungle-temple ruin set in semi-evergreen forest providing a different assortment of birds. There is a chance of finding some scarce winter migrants from the north here, such as the difficult to see White-throated Rock Thrush.

17:00 – Arrive in Siem Reap
We will drop you off at your hotel of choice.

Location

Title Address Description
Siem Reap
Pokambor Ave, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area
Unnamed Road, Cambodia
Tmat Boey
Unnamed Road, Tmat Paeuy, Cambodia
Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant
Chhaeb Pir, Cambodia
Beng Mealea
Unnamed Road, Cambodia

Things to note

Transport

4*4 Car

When to go

December – March, though different sites have somewhat differing seasonal highs for species and times can shift year on year.

Species

Bengal Florican Conservation Reserve:
Bengal Florican, Sarus Crane, Small Buttonquail, Manchurian Reed-warbler, Pied Harrier

Tmat Boey:
Birds: Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, Pale-capped Pigeon, Wooly-necked Stork, Black-headed Woodpecker, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Spotted Wood-owl, Brown Wood-owl, Brown Fish-owl, Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Prinia, White-browed Fantail

Mammals: Indochinese Ground Squirrel, Cambodian Striped Squirrel

Vulture Restaurant:
Birds: Slender-billed Vulture, Red-headed Vulture, White-rumped Vulture, White-throated Rock Thrush, Black-headed Woodpecker, Rufous-winged Buzzard, White-rumped Pygmy Falcon, Brown Prinia, Blossom-headed Parakeet, Burmese Shrike, White-browed Fantail, Rufous-bellied and Streak-throated Woodpeckers

Mammals: Golden Jackal

Habitat

Bengal Florican:
Seasonally inundated outer-floodplain grassland with some small areas of scrub.

Tmat Boey:
Lowland deciduous dipterocarp forest, often mistakenly referred to as dry forest. Trapeangs dot the landscape and there are fairly extensive areas of bamboo in riverine areas.

Vulture Restaurant:
Deciduous dipterocarp forest, Semi-evergreen forest, riverine forest and trapeangs (waterholes).

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

Book Now

Multi-day tours must be booked at least 7 days in advance

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Option only available if booking 60 days before the chosen start date of your tour

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