Wild Cambodia

Remote locations, Critically Endangered birds and a journey into Cambodia’s past

Duration

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10 Days

Availability

Z

All Year

Peak season

Dec-Mar

Starting Point

Siem Reap

This route enables the birder to experience almost all of Cambodia’s threatened bird species at a variety of exciting and often remote locations. We should see the Critically Endangered Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, Bengal Florican and if we’re lucky the Endangered White-winged Duck along with a host of other species. This route also takes in a vulture restaurant where we will see Red-headed, White-rumped and Slender-billed Vultures feeding at a carcass. Distances are moderate and occasionally long and some camping in large safari-style tents is required.

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 Rock thrush, 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 to 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 by an English speaking SVC guide and travel to Chong Khneas or Mechrey

06:00 – 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 – Arrive to Prek Toal
At Prek Toal we will pick up a ranger and swap to a community motorboat for the boat trip into the core bird reserve flooded forest. Please note that the motorboat can be noisy. We will view a wide range of birds at a custom built treetop observation deck.

11:30 – Return to floating village for lunch
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 bird 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
Receive a briefing with the local guide.

08:30 – Birding around and inside the reservoir.

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 station

13:00 – 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

05:00 – Pick up from your hotel
This is a 2 hour drive from Siem Reap to Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area. A prepared breakfast will be provided when we arrive at the site.

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 Prey Veng Ecolodge
We will travel to the Prey Veng eco-lodge, birding in dry forest along the way. During our birding stops, we will have lunch and hope to see White-rumped Pygmy Falcon.

15:00 – Arrive at Prey Veng Ecolodge.
We will get checked into the Prey Veng Ecolodge. After we have settled in and had a short rest, we will drive to the White-winged Duck roosting site. This will take 1 hour. We will park near the site and walk to the roosting tree. This short walk through the bush can attract a variety of incredible species. Stay at the roosting site until the sun goes down.

19:30 – Dinner and night at Prey Veng Ecolodge

04:10 – Leave Prey Veng Ecolodge to return to the roosting tree to view the White-winged Duck
If we didn’t see White-winged Duck the previous day then we will return to the roost tree for a second attempt. If requested, you can choose not to do this and rest. Prepared breakfast will be provided.
When the sun rises, we will explore around the roosting site in search for Black-headed Woodpecker and White-rumped Pygmy Falcon. We will continue birding in this area until 10:00.

11:00 – Return to the ecolodge to rest. Lunch at 12:00

14:30 – Explore the Chen Srom Temple complex whilst birding
This temple is a 15 minute walk from the lodge and is one of the most remote temple sites in Cambodia with no visitors.

17:00 – Return to the ecolodge for rest

18:30 – Dinner

19:15 – Option for owling in the evening
Collared Scops Owl and Brown Boobook are common around the site. This will take 30 minutes to 1 hour.

06:30 – Breakfast in the morning

07:00 – Explore the ancient baray for Sarus Crane and Giant Ibis
As well as other species we may have missed in the previous days.

10:30 – Arrive at the Ecolodge for rest and lunch at 11:15

12:00 – Leave Prey Veng Ecolodge

14:30 – Arrive at Tmat Boey Ecolodge
We will get checked in and settled before birding in the afternoon.

15:00 – Leave the lodge to explore White-shouldered Ibis or Giant Ibis site
We will search for the ibises until it is dark (17:30/18:00). We will take 30 minutes to search for the Oriental Scops Owl before returning to the lodge.

19:00 – Return to the Ecolodge for dinner and rest.

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 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.

Today and the following morning are very flexible as we rely on trained local guides to 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 Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.

11:00 – Lunch at Tmat Boey Ecolodge

12:30 – Leave 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. We have the option to do some owling before bed with the hope to see Oriental Scops Owl and Large-tailed Nightjar. This will take 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rest before 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 cow will be provided to the vultures and from dawn we will be able to watch the spectacle of up to fifty White-rumped, Slender-billed and Red-headed Vultures feeding on the carcass.

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

12:00 – Lunch to the way to Kratie
After lunch we commence a 3 hour drive to Kratie.

16:00 – Arrive in Kratie and check into the hotel
After checking in we will go to a local birding site and go birding until 18:00 for Yellow-breasted Bunting and Asian Golden Weaver.

19:00 – Back to the hotel for dinner and rest

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 go to either to Siem Reap (6 hour drive) or Phnom Penh (3 hours). We will have lunch on the way.

If we travel back to Phnom Penh, we can go to a Cambodian Tailorbird site. A 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
Prey Veng
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

Angkor Wat:
Forest Wagtail, White-throated Rock Thrush, Black Baza, Red-breasted Parakeet, Alexandrine Parakeet, Asian Barred Owlet, Common Hill Myna, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Hainan Blue-flycatcher

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

Prey Veng:
Birds: Giant Ibis, White-winged Duck, Sarus Crane, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Black-headed Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Grey-headed Fish-eagle, Rufous-winged Buzzard, White-rumped Pygmy-falcon, Brown Prinia, Indochinese Bushlark, White-browed Fantail

Butterflies: The Common Bluebottle, The Blue Jay, The Fivebar Swordtail, The Common Grass Yellow, The Tree Yellow, Common Tiger, The Striped Black Crow, The Blue Spotted Butterfly, The Blue Pansy, The Peacock Pansy, The Leopard Lacewing, The Yamfly, The Great Mormon, The Blue Helen, The Banded Swallowtail

Mammals: Indochinese Ground Squirrel, Cambodian Striped Squirrel, Muntjac

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

Boeng Toal 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

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

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

Prey Veng:
Lowland deciduous dipterocarp forest, often mistakenly referred to as dry forest. Trapeangs dot the landscape and there is tall semi-evergreen forest in riverine areas.

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.

Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant:
Deciduous dipterocarp forest, Semi-evergreen forest.

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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