Essential Cambodia

Experience most of Cambodia’s special bird species in comfort

Duration

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8 Days

Availability

Z

All Year

Peak season

Dec-May

Starting Point

Siem Reap

This route enables the birder to experience most of Cambodia’s special bird species in comfort. Three Critically Endangered bird species: Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis and Bengal Florican should be seen, as well as Greater Adjutant, Milky Stork, and Sarus Cranes along with a host of other exciting species.

All accommodation is in lodges or hotels, distances travelled are short to moderate (maximum travel between sites is four hours) and the pace of birding can be personalized according to the guests’ needs. Meals, transport in a dedicated 4×4 vehicle and accommodation is all included, along with the undivided attention of our expert Cambodian birding guides.

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

04:45 – Pick up from Hotel in Siem Reap
Pick up Angkor Pass if needed. Before sunrise we will search for Brown Boobook.

05:30 – Sunrise at Angkor Wat
A prepared breakfast will be provided during sunrise. Alternatively, we can go owling instead of the sunrise.

06:00 – Birding around Angkor Wat
Hope to see Hainan Blue Flycatcher, White-throated Rockthrush, Forest Wagtail and more. Please note that locations for birding may be flexible depending on the location of bird species and the number of tourists on the day.

09:15 – Visit Angkor Wat Temple
See the most famous tourist attraction in Cambodia.

10:45 – Birding at Bayon Temple Complex
All of the SVC guides are certified temple guides and will take you through the history of this breathtaking complex.

12:30 – Lunch
This will be at a local restaurant within the complex.

13:30 – Birding at Ta Prohm and surrounding forest areas
See Red-breasted Parakeet and Alexandrine Parakeet.

16:00 – Return to hotel in Siem Reap

05:30 – Pickup from your hotel
Pick up with English speaking SVC guide and travel to Chong Khneas or Meicherey.

06:00 – Board the boat to Prek Toal
Travel across the great Tonle Sap Lake to Prek Toal, with breakfast and a full briefing from the guide on the way.

07:30 – Arrive to Prek Toal
At Prek Toal we will pick up a ranger a swap to a community motorboat for the boat trip into the core bird reserve flooded forest. Please note that the motorboat can be noisy.

09:00 – Arrive at the treetop observation platform
View the panorama of the flooded forest reserve and teeming birdlife.

11:30 – Arrive back at Prek Toal and have lunch in a floating house.

13:00 – Paddle boat tour of the floating village (optional)

14:30 – Return boat trip to Siem Reap
Arriving back at your hotel around 16:30.

05:30 – Pick up at your hotel by an English-speaking SVC guide for the 90 minute trip to ATT
We stop for a packed breakfast on the road at some excellent birding spots.

07:30 – Arrive at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) ATT station for a briefing with the local 08:30 – Birding around and inside the reservoir
Explore further bird sites including Dry Deciduous Forest, home of Eld’s Deer.

11:00 – Visit Phnom Srok village
See unique silk items being created, or continue birding around the reservoir.

12:00 – Home cooked Khmer lunch at the WCS station13:00 – Explore further bird sites on the far side of the reservoir
We will look for bird species we may have missed in the morning.

15:00 – Leave ATT site

17:00 – Arrive at your hotel in Siem Reap

05:00 – 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 Tmatboey eco-lodge, birding in dry forest along the way. During our birding stops, we will have lunch and hope to see White-rumped 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 at our second Critically-Endangered species this evening, as we try to see 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 – 06:00 – Wake up to search for Giant Ibis followed by two full days 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.

These two days are very 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 eco-lodge in the evening.

04:30 – Wake up for last morning of birding in Tmat Boey
Prepared breakfast will be provided.
We will be concentrating on anything that we have not already seen before we travel to Kampong Thom to explore and go birding around the new UNESCO site.

12:00 – Leave to Kampong Thom

Our trip to Kampong Thom will take 2.5 hours.

14:30 – Arrive in Kampong Thom and explore the new UNESCO site- Sambor Prey Kuk
We will explore this site for 2 hours. Streak-eared Bulbul, Asian-barred Owlet, Common Flameback, Oriental Pied Hornbill and Forest Wagtail are common visitors to this site.

17:00 – Arrive at hotel
Check in, relax and have dinner in Kampong Thom town.

06:00 – Breakfast and leave to the local grassland birding area
This morning we will leave to a local grassland birding area where we hope to see Red-throated Pipit, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler and, if we are lucky, the Critically Endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting. Oriental and Black-browed Reed Warbler are also local visitors.

10:00 – Return to the hotel, relax and check out

Check out of the hotel and leave for Kratie. We will have lunch on the way and we hope to see the endemic species, Cambodian Tailorbird.

15:00 – Arrive in Kratie, check in at the hotel and relax
Check into the hotel in Kratie. 

16:00 – Late-afternoon birding

Birding in rice fields around Kratie.

 

06:30 – Breakfast in the hotel

07:00 – Leave the hotel to go to the river
It will be 25 minutes to reach the pier to embark on the boat.

We will be looking for the Mekong Wagtail- this can take 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on your luck! After we find the Mekong Wagtail, we will go to view the Iwarrady Dolphin.

10:00 – Return to the hotel, check out and leave.
Check out of the hotel and leave for Phnom Penh (4.5 hours) or Siem Reap (6 hours). We will have lunch along the way.

If you choose to go back to Phnom Penh, we can go to a Cambodian Tailorbird site – must-see for any birder in Cambodia.

Location

Title Address Description
Siem Reap
Pokambor Ave, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat
Unnamed Road, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Prek Toul
Kaoh Chiveang, Cambodia
ATT
Poy Char, Cambodia
Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area
Unnamed Road, Cambodia
Tmat Boey
Unnamed Road, Tmat Paeuy, Cambodia
Kratie
Unnamed Road, Krong Kracheh, Cambodia
Kampong Thom, Phnom Penh
219, Cambodia

Things to note

Transport

4*4 Car

When to go

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

Species

Angkor Wat:
Forest Wagtail, White-throated Rock Thrush, Black Bazza, Red-breasted Parakeet, Blossom-headed Parakeet, Asian Barred Owlet, Common Hill Myna, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Hainan Blue-flycatcher, plus other semi evergreen forest species

Prek Toul:
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

ATT:
Birds: Sarus Crane, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Greater Adjutant, Greater Spotted Eagle, Black-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Comb Duck, Spotted Wood-owl

Mammals: Eld’s Deer

Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area:
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

Kratie:
Birds: Mekong Wagtail, Cambodian Tailorbird, Asian Golden Weaver, Yellow-breasted Bunting

Mammals: Irrawaddy Dolphin

Habitat

Angkor Wat:
Deciduous dipterocarp forest with semi-evergreen forest patches.

Prek Toul:
Seasonally flooded forest and scrub. Open water retreats to reveal muddy lakeshore.

ATT:
A large reservoir surrounded by rice paddies, with a range of grassland and sedge habitats on the northern edge, and a small area of degraded deciduous forest.

Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area:
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.

Kratie:
Large low-land river with small rocky islands covered in dense bush. Rice field birding.

Kampong Thom
Seasonally inundated outer-floodplain grassland with some small areas of scrub.

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

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