In recent times Cambodia has been gaining a reputation on the international stage as one of the world’s best birding destinations where it is common to spot many of the target species, including endemic and critically endangered species. These have become known as Cambodia’s Big 5. Due to Cambodia’s unique geographical location and history certain species including ?? are thriving here more than anywhere else. Below are some of Cambodia’s hottest birding locations to explore personally recommended and visited by the team at Kouprey Adventures.
Prek Toal Sanctuary
Prek Toal is unmatched throughout Southeast Asia for the number and populations of endangered water birds it supports through the dry season, it is thought to be the most important site in the region. Prek Toal bird sanctuary and Ramsar site is located within the Tonlé Sap Biosphere Reserve, at the north-west corner of the Tonlé Sap. It is a popular area for ecotourism and bird watching given the area’s rich biodiversity and rare waterbirds. For keen birders this really is worth the trip for the water birds of global significance, it is also easily accessible for a day trip from Siem Reap. Take a look at our Peak Toal Birding Experience.
Boeng Toal – Vulture Restaurant
Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant is located in remote forest, within the Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary. The Vulture Restaurant is a feeding program set up by the Cambodian government and conservation NGOs, to help sustain 3 critically endangered species of vultures – Red-headed Vulture, White-rumped Vulture and Slender-billed Vulture. Up to 70 vultures may be present, often competing for the carcass with the Golden Jackal. It really is an impressive site and an experience not to miss for those interested in saving these impressive birds. Take a look at our Vulture Restaurant Experience.
This area is famed as the home for more than half the world’s population of the critically endangered Bengal Florican. The site is an easy 2 hour journey from Siem Reap and consists of a large floodplain and grasslands bordering the Tonle Sap Lake. This is a rare opportunity to see a bird on the edge of extinction and know that your visit is contributing towards their long term survival. Take a look at our Florican Grassland Experience.
Situated in the Northern Plains, Tmatboey is a flagship birding site for Cambodia and is one of the key sites for the critically endangered Giant Ibis along with other rare target species. You will need time to visit successfully and is best done as an overnight trip accompanied with a stay in the community managed ecolodge. A night time trek can be included in order to spot some of the nocturnal species active here, including Franklin’s Nightjar and Oriental Scops Owl. This area can easily be visited in conjunction with the Florican Grasslands and the Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.
Cambodia’s highest peak lies at 18113 meters above sea level in the central Cardamom Mountains. Exploring this mountainous area allows you the chance to see some interesting bird species not seen elsewhere in Cambodia; one is one of only 2 endemic bird species in Cambodia, the Cambodian Laughing thrush. About 200 bird species have been recorded here. However due to its remote location you will need time to visit and will need to be fit for the jungle climb and camping on the mountain with rangers. What an adventure!
Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary
This expansive sanctuary is located in the heart of the eastern plains comprising of evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and is an important habitat for a variety of birds and mammals, namely Gibbons. A visit provides you with a great overall wildlife experience and you can spot a variety of species along the way. In addition it is possible to visit ethnic minority people like the Bunong. A highlight is to stay overnight at the Jahoo Gibbon Camp and be serenaded by the morning call of the gibbons. Take a look at our Eastern Plains Nature Trek.
The remote conservation area of Siem Pang is one of the few sites in the world that supports five critically endangered bird species. Other than being home to the world’s largest population of White-shouldered Ibis, it is also home to the critically endangered Giant Ibis (also Cambodia’s national bird). Its success relies in the presence of seasonal pools (trapeangs) which are vastly depleted due to habitat encroachment. A large population of Vultures is also present here. A visit here is well off the beaten path, however it is an area of stunning beauty and a great insight into life in rural Cambodia.
The Park is located at the southern tip of the Elephant Mountains in southern Cambodia. It is famed for its old French colonial hill station and cool weather atop the mountain, a welcome reprieve from the steamy heat of the lowlands. Bokor contains a tract of evergreen jungle with rivers and waterfalls, and despite development works there are still areas of importance to the near-endemic birdlife including the Chestnut-headed Partridge. Whilst in the area you can also visit Kampot with its extensive saltpans which are home to an impressive lineup of shorebirds. Here is an idea of what to expect on a trip to Bokor.
Our experts have visited each of these amazing birding destinations in Cambodia and developed exclusive experiences with our local partners to bring you a personalized and authentic experience while viewing your favourite birds. Contact us at info@kouprey-adventures to learn more about our trips to visit Cambodia, The Kingdom of Wonder, whether a couple, family, or your favourite local birding group’s annual adventure.