ITINERARIES Super Tour 2016

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Sam Veasna Center (SVC), Cambodia

Super Tour 2016

19 day Itinerary + 4 day Extension

Jan 25th – 12th Feb 2016 (16th Feb 2016)
 

Tour Itinerary Notes

While our intention is to adhere to the day-by-day itinerary as printed below, a degree of flexibility is built in. It is the 19-day day plus 4 day extension – the Super Tour 2016, organized by Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation (SVC). It is in between January 25th – 12th (16th) February 2016 and covers all of SVC birding sites such as Angkor, Prek Toal, Ang Trapaeng Thmor, Florican Grassland, Prey Veng, Tmatboey, Okoki, Vulture Restaurant, Kratie, Seima Protected Forest, Dakdam Highland, Cambodian Tailorbird site, Bokor, saltpan, and Arual – the cardamom mountain on extension.

Your Bird Guide – Mardy Sean

A tour guide is an integral part of any SVC tour and your tour will be led by one of our experienced bird guide who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our guides are the key to the success of our tours; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge, birds and wildlife which they love to share. Your bird guide will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your birding journey.

Summary Itinerary:

Day 1, 25 th Jan : Arrival Siem Reap
Day 2, 26 th Jan : Angkor Wat
Day 3, 27 th Jan : Prek Toal
Day 4, 28 th Jan : Ang Trapaeng Thmor
Day 5, 29th   Jan : Florican Grassland; Prey Veng
Day 6, 30th Jan : Prey Veng
Day 7, 31stJan : Prey Veng / Tmatboey
Day 8, 1ndFeb : Tmatboey
Day 9, 2rd Feb : Tmatboey / Okoki
Day 10 , 3th Feb : Okoki
Day 11 , 4th Feb : Okoki / Vulture Restaurant
Day 12 , 5th Feb : Vulture Restaurant / Kratie
Day 13, 6th Feb : Kratie / Seima Protected Forest
Day 14, 7th Feb : Seima Protected Forest
Day 15, 8th Feb : Dakdam
Day 16, 9th  Feb : Seima Protected Forest / Cambodian Tailorbird site / Kampot
Day 17, 10 th Feb : Bokor National Park
Day 18, 11 th Feb : Bokor National Park th
Day 19, 12th   Feb : Saltpan / Phnom Penh airport


Extension:

Day 19,12 th Feb : Saltpan / Kampong Speu
Day 20, 13 th Feb : Aural
Day 21, 14 th Feb : Aural
Day 22, 15 th Feb : Aural / Phnom Penh hotel
Day 23, 16th   Feb : Airport departure

Arrive Siem Reap, hotel check in; dinner with all participants.

Siem Reap is unrivalled for its choice of hotels and guesthouses, which serve the tourists from around the globe, flocking to see the temples of Angkor. SVC has contracts with a number of Boutique level hotels, individual in style and offering excellent value for money. We can always add a pre-or post-trip extension to the Super Tour, allowing you more time to explore Angkor and enjoy your hotel.

Included meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Siem Reap (Sonalong Boutique Hotel)


Birding and temples in Angkor Great Park.

Angkor Wat and the more than 200 temples in the Angkor Great Park are truly a wonder of the world. The Apsara Authority, the Cambodian ministry responsible for the management and conservation of the temples, has preserved some of the mature dry forest and, in places, allowed undergrowth to flourish, providing habitat for the odd rarity. Some common species include:

Oriental Darter in the moat, Hainan Blue, Taiga and Asian Brown Flycatchers, White-throated Rock-Thrush, Black Baza, Blue Rock-Thrush, Forest Wagtail, Olive-backed Pipit, Greater Racquet-tailed & Hair-crested Drongos, Asian Barred Owlet, Coppersmith & Lineated Barbets, Black-naped Oriole, Ashy Minivet, Yellow-browed and Pale-legged Leaf-Warbler, raucous Red-breasted and Alexandrine Parakeets and White-crested Laughingthrushes. Your SVC Guide is also a licensed temple guide and will combine the trip to Angkor Wat with birding in the surrounding forest, only a short distance from Siem Reap. So sunset can be enjoyed amongst the temples, followed by dinner in town.
Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Accommodation: Siem Reap (Sonalong Boutique Hotel)

Boat trip to Core Bird Reserve of Prek Toal on Tonle Sap Great Lake (near Prek Toal floating village) for Greater Adjutant and large water bird colonies.

The Tonle Sap is the largest natural lake in Southeast Asia, fed by the phenomenal annual backflow of water from the Mekong River. Situated in the north-west corner of the lake, Prek Toal’s core bird reserve is home to the largest breeding colony of water birds in Southeast Asia.

The reserve covers 22,000 hectares of seasonally flooded forest where only the tallest trees stand proud in the lake during the annual flood, providing habitat for cormorants, darters, pelicans, storks, and many other birds to roost and nest.


Spot-billed Pelicans in Prek Toal Core Reserve.

Photo © Jan Mathhysen

The village of Prek Toal, adjacent to the reserve, floats at the mouth of the Sangke River. Every house is built on a platform of bamboo and moves according to the changing water levels. Schools, local restaurants, a church, even vegetable patches, pig-pens and crocodile farms, all bob and sway to the rhythms of the water.

In Cambodia and throughout Southeast Asia, Prek Toal is unmatched for the number and population of endangered water birds it supports during the dry season. Myriad

cormorants, storks and pelicans are virtually guaranteed from January to May, along with herons, egrets and terns.

The sanctuary harbours seven species of global conservation significance: Spot-billed Pelican, Milky and Painted Storks, Lesser & Greater Adjutant, Black-headed Ibis and Oriental Darter and has a globally significant population of Grey-headed Fish Eagle.

The 2002 declaration of the Core Reserve by the Ministry of Environment, with the support and advise from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), has allowed the populations of all the above species to significantly increase.

Our day trip will leave Siem Reap at 5.30am for the port of Mechrey, about 25 km by road. We transfer to a boat for the journey across Tonle Sap to Prek Toal. Depending on the lake water level, the boat journey cuts through the flooded scrub surrounding Mechrey and a small band of primary forest lining the edge of the lake. The boat moors at this point for breakfast. At Prek Toal the group transfers to a local boat -- part of an initiative to help spread income from eco-tourism to the local village economy -- and heads off into the core reserve for a WCS observation platform next to a bird colony. A packed lunch can be organised allowing the group to maximise the time spent in the core reserve or we can return to Prek Toal for a Khmer lunch in a floating house; a postprandial tour of the village by paddle-boat gives a close look at a very different culture. We return to our hotel in Siem Reap and dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in town.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Siem Reap (Sonalong Boutique Hotel)

Visit the Sarus Crane Reserve at Ang Trapaeng Thmor (ATT).

Originating as an ancient Angkorian reservoir northwest of Siem Reap, ATT was rebuilt as by slave labour during the Khmer Rouge regime in 1976 and finished with assistance from the Japanese, post-war. The reservoir is now a Sarus Crane reserve administered by the Forestry Administration (FA) with advice from WCS, with over 300 of these magnificent birds congregating to feed each dry season. Over 250 species have been recorded from the site, 18 of which are globally threatened. By February the dry season will be well underway and a few pairs of Black-necked Storks frequent the site along with many of the large water birds seen at Prek Toal; Black-headed Ibis, Milky and Painted Storks, Spot-billed Pelicans, Oriental Darters, Asian Openbills and Greater and Lesser Adjutants.

 

Sarus Crane at ATT. Photo © Eleanor Briggs

A few pairs of Bengal Floricans breed here during the dry months, though they are wary and a treat rather than a certainty to see. Other grassland specialists include Red Avadavat, Blue-breasted Quail, and the 3 species of lark occurring in Cambodia. 6 species of duck, including the resident Comb Duck, can be seen along with birds of prey that are rare in the much of the country such as Black

Kite, Greater Spotted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Eastern Marsh & Pied Harriers. Numerous waders, rails and shore birds can be found in the marshy belts of aquatic habitats.

The critically endangered Eld’s Deer can often be seen in numbers, at times exceeding 20 individuals, from February to the start of the rains in May.

ATT is about two hours from Siem Reap, depending on the route taken, which varies according to feedback from previous trips, to see species of interest along the way.

In 2011, SVC worked with WCS to further involve the local community in eco-tourism, training local guides who will locate, in advance, the Sarus Crane and other target species. The entrance fee is a conservation contribution that each visitor pays. It is used for local development and conservation projects such as nest protection and a ‘rice bank’ which stock piles local farmers’ rice as insurance for this staple food for the local community in case of crop failure..

Silk, traditionally spun and woven in the adjacent village of Phnom Srok is available at the weavers’ homes. There is a small Angkorian temple 10 km from the WCS Station. If time allows, both can be added to the day’s activities.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Siem Reap (Sonalong Boutique Hotel)

AM birding to Florican Grassland; PM birding to Prey Veng. Over Prey Veng

The critically endangered Bengal Florican and a variety of other water-birds are found in the grasslands around the Tonle Sap lake. WCS has worked with local communities to set up the Bengal Florican Conservation Area (BFCA) in places where both farmers and wildlife can coexist. SVC bird  watching trips give an income to the villagers who assist the SVC guides in locating the birds. They also search for nests and monitor

them until the young are fledged.

Finding the florican is usually easy as they are monitored seasonally, a practice which began in 2002, when WCS started the florican conservation project. The peak times for displays are between dawn and 9 AM and then again between 4:30 PM and dusk.

Bengal Florican in IFBA. Photo © Martin Hale

The Manchurian Reed Warbler is a winter visitor, found in the tall grass and scrub away from water. Greater-spotted Eagles winter in the area, feeding on the abundant rodents and both Eastern Imperial and Steppe have been recorded during this season. There are large numbers of Eastern Marsh Harriers and smaller number of wintering Pied Harriers, along with a few Black Kites, Peregrines and resident Brahminy Kites. Oriental Plover pass through in March. 3 species of buttonquail and wintering buntings are possible here.

The BFCAs are reached from National Road 6 (the main road from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh). After visiting the Florican grasslands the group will head towards Prey Veng, passing both the temples of Beng Melea and Koh Ker. Either one or both of these temples are well worth a visit if the group has time.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Prey Veng (Prey Veng Eco-lodge & Safari style tents)


Full day birding around Prey Veng.

Prey Veng, a remote forest village in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, is at the center of a conservation project administered by the Ministry of Environment (MoE), with technical advice provided by WCS. The campsite lies on the banks of an Angkorian baray, an ancient water reservoir and now an important feeding site for many rare birds and mammals.
Prey Veng is a seductive attraction for SVC trips, regularly yielding 150 species including 3 key birds; Giant Ibis, Greater Adjutant and White-winged Duck. The baray measures 2 km by 1 km and is surrounded by thick forest. The duck is sometimes found roosting in the trees within the baray, where it can often be found feeding at dawn and dusk. A few kilometers away from the site, a riparian corridor of mixed evergreen forest lines the Steung Sen River. The duck roosts here as well. This riverine forest, together with the deciduous dipterocarp forest (DDF), forest paddy and the baray marshland, give a range of habitat types supporting a diversity of bird and animal life.

An exciting diversion from birding is an undeveloped Ankorian temple a few hundred meters from the campsite. This is on a scale and significance with Beng Melea and unknown to tourists due to the remote location of this small village.

The village is reached via a 20km forest track, usually via 4WD. The village committee recently completed the construction of a basic guesthouse located close to the baray and shaded by clumps of bamboo. The accommodation is basic with double beds and en suites with running water. Cooks have been trained by SVC to provide simple Khmer meals at the dining area, built on the banks of the ancient reservoir.

Prey Veng Eco-lodge

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Prey Veng (Prey Veng Eco-lodge & Safari style tents)

AM birding around Prey Veng; PM birding at Tmatboey. Overnight Tmatboey Lodge, winner of the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award.

The Tmatboey Ibis Site is a conservation project set up by WCS with support from the Cambodian Government and Tmatboey village. Once it was realised that the site had potential for bird watching tourism, a local committee was elected to build guest accommodation and with training from SVC, provides services for visiting bird watching groups. In return for the income that tourism brings, the villagers have signed no hunting and land conversion agreements.

Giant Ibis. Photo  Johnny Orn
The Lodge, recently renovated and expanded with the aid of Building Trust International and funded by ecotourism, is comprised of a central recreational thatched building and 5 surrounding bungalows each with 2 double en-suite rooms with solar powered electricity. The accommodation is basic but comfortable.
Tmatboey is a remote Khmer village of 220 families situated in the center of the Northern Plains of Cambodia, within the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, the country’s largest protected area. Tmatboey is one of only two known nesting sites in Asia for the Giant Ibis, which favor large trees in the forest away from the village. White-shouldered Ibis are found closer to the village, where they are reliant on the grassland clearings scattered among the DDF. Woolly-necked Stork is relatively common and can be seen in flocks of over 40. Greater-spotted Eagle regularly over-winter and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle and White-rumped Falcon occur at low densities. The Pale-capped Pigeon is another highlight along with an amazing 17 species of woodpeckers. Brown Fish Owl, Spotted and Brown Wood Owls are usually staked out by the local guides. Night walks regularly spot Collared and Oriental Scops Owl.

After settling in to your accommodations, the group can take a short walk through the open forest to the sunset roost of White-shouldered Ibis.
The next day will start early, around 4 or 4.30 AM, with a quick cup of tea or coffee, then a drive and a walk to less disturbed areas of forest where Giant Ibis have been located, returning around 9 AM for breakfast at the Lodge.

With your SVC Guide, the group can discuss how you wish to spend the day outside the sunrise and sunset birding. Packed lunches can be arranged if you want to spend more time in the forest, and night drives / walks can spot the owls and Savannah & Indian Nightjars.

The village of Tmatboey is remote and self-sufficient; SVC organises an optional village tour, which takes in local trades as well as the school, a market garden, a still for sugar palm wine and points out the projects that the visitor’s conservation contributions have assisted.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Tmatboey (Tmatboey eco-lodge)

Transfer to Okoki for White winged Duck; overnight tented accommodation.

After a final morning’s birding and breakfast the group will make our way via Tbeng Meancheay and the village of Dongphlat (in the Chhep Protected Forest) to the camp site at Okoki. Here, pools in the riparian corridor of mixed evergreen forest following the Okoki River provide habitat for White-winged Duck. This is one of the most pristine parts of Cambodia with a low population density, giving us a possibility of seeing mammals. Gaur were seen in 2010 and recently in April 2013, and in 2009 Asian elephants trampled through the campsite during the rainy season forcing a complete rebuild. Pileated Gibbon are regularly heard and occasionally seen and there are signs of Banteng, Sambar, Wild pig, Red Muntjac, Long-tailed macaque, Fishing Cat and Asian Jackal.

The remote location of Okoki approx.15 km from the Laos PDR border, has ensured the pristine nature of the DDF and mixed evergreen forest, resulting in a diversity of birds and mammals.

Safari style tents are set up at the Okoki campsite, where a well has been dug along with drop toilets crowned with porcelain lavatories. A cook will travel with the group for both Okoki and the next campsite, Veal Krous. Necessary supplies, such as beer, can be organized in Dangphlat. The group will stay at Okoki for two nights, rising early to walk through the forest to arrive predawn at hides constructed next to the pools favored

by the duck. Additional ponds (Trapaeng) have been located near the campsite where the ducks have also been spotted. Bird watching throughout the day should find a plethora of DDF specialists including Green Peafowl and Pygmy-falcon, which are resident. Night walks hold the possibility of Bay Owl and Blythe’s Frogmouth. Though difficult, Bar-bellied Pitta has been seen on multiple occasions.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Okoki (Okoki safari style tents)

AM Okoki. Transfer to vulture restaurant at Veal Krous; overnight tented accommodation Veal Krous.

We will spend the morning birding at Okoki, concentrating on anything that we have not already seen before travelling to Veal Krous Vulture Restaurant where 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 where there is a similar suite of species to that found at others.

The group moves on 30 km to Veal Krous in the Chhep Protected Forest . As part of SVC’s conservation contribution, a vulture feeding restaurant is set up to feed the three critically

endangered species of vulture: Red-headed, White-rumped and Slender-billed.


For some, the highlight of the whole itinerary is the Vulture Restaurant, where tents will be set up for the night. Before dawn, the group will make its way to a hide positioned not far from where a cow has been killed. Up to 70 vultures may be present, often competing for the carcass with Golden Jackal. In addition to the three critically endangered vultures, Cinereous and Himalayan Griffin have been seen at these feeding sites.

Tents at Veal Krous camp

 

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Veal Krous (Veal Krous safari style tents)

AM Vulture Restaurant; then transfer to Kratie for afternoon birding

Vultures at feeding station Veal Krous photo © Alan Michaud

Vulture Restaurant located (in the Preah Vihear Protected Forest). This Vulture Restaurant is in cooperation with the Cambodian Government (MoE, FA) and NGOs, led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Cambodia is of global importance for the conservation of Asian Vultures (White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture and Red-headed Vulture). These same species have recently undergone dramatic declines of

>97% in the Indian subcontinent leading to possible extinction. The cause is veterinary use of the drug diclofenac, which is readily administered to sick livestock and is highly toxic to many vulture species. This drug is not used in Cambodia. WCS maintains feeding stations or vulture restaurants in the area as a means of supporting the vulture population and conducting research. These are such target species; Slender-billed Vulture, White-rumped Vulture, Red-headed Vulture, Indian Spotted Eagle, Woodpeckers and other species typical of deciduous Dipterocarp forest.

The eight-hour journey from Veal Krous to Kratie will have us arriving late afternoon, allowing time for Asian Golden and Streaked Weaver to be spotted (the Baya Weaver is a sighting at ATT).

The hotel we will inhabit is clean with en-suite hot showers, air-conditioning and good Khmer food.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Kratie (Oudom Sambath Hotel)


Kratie birding and lunch; transfer to Mondulkiri and Seima Protected Forest (SPF); hotel in Sen Monorom.

A short 15 km ride north of Kratie takes us to the Kampi Pools where the
Irrawaddy Dolphin can be seen from boats, along with the Mekong Wagtail

(Motacilla samveasnae, named after Sam Veasna). The river habitat is under threat from Chinese dams already constructed and proposed dams in Laos and Cambodia, which will mean the dolphin, along with other riverine bird species will most likely be extirpated from Cambodia.

Mid-day will be spent transferring to Seima Protection Forest in Mondulkiri. The reserve’s name is a bit of wishful thinking, as the western side of the reserve represents the frontline in the battle to preserve Southeast Asian forests. Burgeoning population growth continues to overwhelm conservation efforts to halt the growth of illegal timber and wildlife trade in the region.

Fortunately, wildlife still remains in the disturbed areas. The Orange necked Partridge has been seen and more often heard calling in the thick bamboo forest around the Forestry Administration and WCS headquarters at Seima; it was seen by groups in 2012 and 2013. There are many other species to be looked for, reflecting the mixed habitat types: Bamboo, evergreen and DDF. Second on our birders’ wish lists is the Green Peafowl, which continues to be predictable here.

White-browed & Large Scimitar Babblers, Germain’s Peacock -Pheasant, Red-vented Barbet, Scaly-breasted, & Orange-breasted Partridges and Gray-faced Tit-babbler have also been seen on trails close to the headquarters.

Cambodia is one of the best places in the world for woodpeckers. Great Slaty can be spotted at forested sites throughout the trip and at SPF, noteworthy sightings include Great Slaty, White-bellied, Pale-headed, Heart-spotted and Black-and-buff Woodpeckers.

We will watch for the presence of fruiting trees which can draw Golden-crested and Hill Mynas, barbets, pigeons and hornbills.

The SPF is home to the largest population of Black-shanked Douc in the world, which is regularly seen. Northern Pig-tailed and Long-tailed Macaque and

Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon, Pygmy Loris are other possible primate sightings.

Groups have spotted Gaur close to the FA and WCS Station.

Black-shanked Douc © James Eaton


A feature of the itinerary at SPF is a night drive and the possibility of mammals including Common-palm and Small-toothed Civets and Giant Flying Squirrel as well as Lesser Mouse-Deer or Lesser Oriental Chevrotain.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Senmonorom (Mondulkiri Hotel)

Morning Seima again then transfer to Kampot, enroute stop at Cambodia Tailorbird site.

After birding along the trails around Keo Seima in the morning we will set off for the long drive, about nine hours, to Kampot–Bokor. We will stop en route, near Phnom Penh to see the Cambodian Tailorbird.

In 2012, a new bird species found only in Cambodia was described by WCS staff. The bird, named Cambodian Tailorbird Orthotomus chaktomuk, occurs only in floodplain wetlands where the mighty Mekong river meets the Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers. This area was known by the ancient Khmers as Chaktomuk, literally ‘four faces,’ which was used to refer to the confluence of these rivers. This area is also excellent for open-country species such as Plain-backed Sparrow & Chestnut Munia We often see large waterbirds, such as Oriental Darter and

Painted Stork. In the scrub in which the tailorbird is found we should also see a range of winter visitors, such as Black-browed Reed-warbler, Brown Shrike and Siberian Rubythroat.

Cambodian Tailorbird © Suy Senglim

The group arrives in Kampot late evening and checks in to the hotel to get ready for the cool, misty heights of Bokor mountain, the next morning.
Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Kampot (Kampot Diamond Hotel)

Visit Bokor National Park.

As we climb up through the evergreen forest to Bokor we will start to notice a change in the ecosystem and by the time we reach the top of the escarpment we will be in refreshingly cool, stunted montane forest, a welcome relief from the steamy- hot lowlands we have left behind.

Our key bird targets at Bokor are the near-endemic Chestnut-headed Partridge and Silver

Broadbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, Indochinese Green Magpie, Great Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon.

 

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Kampot (Kampot Diamond Hotel)

Saltpan near Kampot; afternoon transfer to Phnom Penh airport.

On our last day morning we will visit the saltpans where we hope to add some shorebirds to our list. After that we will transfer to Phnom Penh airport for departure.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Accommodation: x

 


EXTENSION – Trip to Aural Mountain


Saltpan near Kampot; afternoon transfer to Kampong Speu for overnight

After a visit to the saltpans for shorebirds, we will continue to Kampong Speu where will spend the night before climbing up Aural, Cambodia’s highest peak, the following morning.
Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Accommodation: Kampong Speu (Kampong Speu Hotel)



Birding and climbing Aural.

Today we will start early again and drive to the base of the mountain, where we will begin our trek up the highest mountain in Cardamom range, in search of the Cambodian Laughingthrush. Here we will spend two nights and three days camping.

As there are no official campsites or other accommodation on the mountain, we will have to set up our own camp;

the hammocks, food, water, and all necessary items.

targets at Aural are: Cambodian Laughingthrush, Chestnut-headed Partridge,

Broadbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, Blue Pitta, Great Hornbill, Wreathed Cochoa, Mountain Scops Owl and other high elevation species. Rusty-naped d in April, 2014 along the highest part of the trail, so this species should be looked
would be Cambodia’s first confirmed.


Cambodian Laughingthrush ©Johnny Orn

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Aural (Camping with hamocks)

Aural / afternoon transfer to Phnom Penh hotel.

It’s our last birding day today. We will make our way down to our vehicles awaiting us at the village, and then we travel to back to Phnom Penh where we can relax over our final dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Accommodation: Phnom Penh (Anise Hotel)

Transfer to airport for departure.

The SVC guide will bring you to airport there we wave goodbye.

Included meals: Breakfast / Lunch
Accommodation: X

Quotation:

US$ 4,370 per person (main tour)

US$ 920 per person (extension tour)

The maximum group size is 8 and minimum 4

Single supplement

$390 (main tour)

$70 (extension tour)

Note: Single supplement is not valid for Prey Veng, Tmatboey, Okoki, and Veal Krous, due to limited accommodation; however if there’s room available at these places then we will arrange it for you without extra charge.

Inclusive of: all guides fees, airport transfers, and all transfers to sites, all accommodation, all meals, drinking water, soft drinks, all park entrance fees and all Conservation Contributions.

Not included in price: alcoholic drinks, tips, personal expenses, trip insurance, international

flights, visa, airport tax, laundry. Transport from hotel to town for free-time is the responsibility of the guest.

 

Accommodations:

Siem Reap – Sonalong Boutique Hotel

Prey Veng – Prey Veng eco lodge
Tmatboey – Tmatboey eco lodge

Okoki – Okoki safari style tents
Veal Krous – Veal Krous safari style tents

Kratie – Oudom Sambath Hotel

Mondulkiri – Mondulkiri Hotel
Kampot – Kampot Diamond Hotel

Kampong Speu (extension) – Kampong Speu hotel

Aural (extension) – Camping in hamocks

Phnom Penh (extension) – Anise Hotel


A Few Notes on Cambodia

Accommodation & Food

A huge variety of hotels, B&B’s and restaurants are on offer in Siem Reap dependent on budget and taste (SVC generally books clients into ‘Boutique’ accommodation in comfortable well run hotels that incorporate Khmer culture). Accommodation at the other sites is as described in the text. Food outside Siem Reap is generally Khmer and is generally safe, though for the unaccustomed, avoiding raw foods is advisable. Bottled water is carried with the SVC transport and available everywhere.

Things to Bring and What to Wear

Most SVC trips occur in the cool dry season from December to March. This is the best time to visit Cambodia when the daytime temperatures are low thirties and the heat is dry. Nighttime temperatures are typically in the low twenties though occasionally a cold snap will drop to 13 or 14. By the end of February / beginning of March the temperature has started to climb both day and nighttime reaching a peak in April / May.

Loose natural cloth clothing (with a hat) is most comfortable giving protection from the sun and mosquitoes. Most things are available in Siem Reap and usually cheaper than in Europe or America, but if your schedule allows little time the usual items for hot country countryside will help make your trip enjoyable; a hat, sun cream, mosquito repellent, a torch and earplugs.

Bird Watching

During the course of the itinerary SVC Groups encounter a range of different habitat; ATT – marsh, dry paddy, grassland and lake. Prek Toal – Semi submerged forest, flooded scrub and open lake. Florican Grasslands – Natural grassland and paddy on floodplain. Tmatboey – Deciduous dry dipteropcarp forest (DDF). Okoki and Vulture Restaurant – DDF with pockets of mixed evergreen and forest trapaeng (pools). Seima Protected Forest – Southern Annamitic forest of mixed evergreen, DDF and bamboo. Kratie – Riverine habitat. Bird watching is from the car, by boat and on foot. Hiking boots, which give ankle protection against the small risk of snakebites are recommended for the forest walks. SVC has a couple of spotting scopes, which it will try to allocate if the group has not brought one however in peak season they may have already been taken.

Health & Insurance

Necessary immunizations should be discussed with your own Doctor. Malaria is present in the forests where we visit and dengue fever occurs in the cities, though both are much less prevalent during the dry season. Stomach upset and diarrhea are the most common health problems for travelers. In general, well-cooked and cleaned food will be provided, minimizing your risk. The provision of emergency medicine, while improving is still limited and in case of serious accidents, illness or snakebites it may be necessary for you to be airlifted out of the country, you must have health insurance to cover this eventuality.

Cambodia is a developing country with a limited, though rapidly changing infrastructure. Together with the incredible seasonal changes, exemplified most graphically by the Tonle Sap Lake, means that schedules have to have a degree of flexibility. The rapid pace of development means that Cambodia will change irrevocably over the coming period and the next few years maybe the last chance to catch a country that is an anomaly in the 21st century.

SVC’s itineraries take in the WCS Conservation sites across Cambodia because of its partnership with WCS. This gives SVC exclusive access to environmentally sensitive areas of special biodiversity. These sites by their very nature are often in remote areas where local communities have limited exposure to other Cambodians let alone foreigners. This cultural gap is bridged by the multi lingual SVC Guide but sometimes what seems like the simplest task can become very complicated, so please have patience.

A Few Tips

• Cambodia is a noisy country with amplified weddings and funerals even in the most remote villages, so earplugs can greatly assist sleep.

• As with all sub & tropical climates the sun is fierce and can quickly burn those from more temperate climates so a high factor sunscreen is recommended.

• Most of our trips occur during the dry season when mosquitos are reduced in number but it is always advisable to carry repellent and wear long light loose clothing which also gives protection from the sun.

• Cambodia is a hot country even in the relatively cooler dry season and your water intake will need to increase accordingly together with rehydration tablets (an excellent local rehydration product Royal D is cheap and widely available)

• Most things are cheaper in Cambodia, so unless your schedule prevents it you can save money and baggage allowance by buying most drugs, sun screens and clothing including hats in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Note that some pharmacies may sell counterfeit products so check with the hotel for outlets selling the genuine article (A reliable chain of pharmacies called U Care is open in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh)
• US dollars are interchangeable with the local currency Riel (approx. 4000 Riel / 1 USD) and accepted at all outlets, though it is helpful to have plenty of one dollar bills for tips in the towns and low cost items in the countryside. Change of less than a dollar will be given in Riel

• ATM’s are widely available in Siem Reap giving USD against most credit and even debit cards though a fee is incurred for using an international card

• Cambodia and Siem Reap in particular are relatively safe for both person and belongings despite the disparity in wealth between tourists and Cambodians. The usual common sense rules apply, don’t flaunt expensive items or cash, especially late at night.

• Cambodia is a youthful, friendly country in the midst of a wave of change surging across all of Asia. A smile and simple greeting will almost always be returned, if you haven’t received a smile first.

See more info http://www.tourismcambodia.org/contents/about_cambodia/#comp