Phnom Kulen, Kbal Spein, ACCB and Bantey Srei
The Northern Plains of Cambodia was likened to the Serengeti in Africa with herds of wild deer and cattle chased through the open forests by wild cats. Patches of this forest can still be found around Phnom Kulen, a small national park about 50km North of Siem Reap. Much of the forest has been degraded but there are protected areas where bird life is abundant.
Phnom Kulen is the source of the Siem Reap River, which flows into the Tonle Sap Lake. Angkorian lingas or phallic symbols were carved into the riverbed at Kbal Spean to ensure the fertility of the lake and the potency of the King. This area has a good variety of birds and excellent views of species such as Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Black Baza, Red-breasted and maybe Blossom-headed and Alexandrine Parakeets.
Angkor Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (ACCB) is located at Kbal Spean. The Center rescues illegally hunted birds and animals, providing a refuge until they can be returned to the wild. ACCB was the first nature conservation and endangered wildlife rescue and breeding centre in Cambodia. Implemented through a partnership between Munster Zoo and the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) the centre aims to promote the rescue and rehabilitation of native Cambodian wildlife and to establish a conservation breeding program to enable reintroduction of native species. This is carried out in conjunction with capacity-building approaches and alternative livelihood works that aim to prevent the loss of species while improving the living standards of rural Cambodians. SVC work closely with ACCB wherever we can. A tour around the facility allows visitors the rare opportunity to see some exceptionally rare, shy and seldom seen Cambodian mammals, birds and reptiles, all rescued after having been taken from the wild. At present captive birds include a Giant Ibis, Greater and breeding Lesser Adjutants, breeding Green Peafowl and four species of raptor.
Banteay Srei or Citadel of Beauty is located between Phnom Kulen and Siem Reap. It was built in the 10 century by the King’s Counsellor or guru, the temple is on a miniature scale and the near total decoration of its surfaces is exceptional.
White-rumped Pygmy-pygmy Falcon, Black-headed Woodpecker, Brown Prinia, Indochinese Bushlark and other common DDF habitat species, plus the range of mammals and bird species at the ACCB center.
Excellent access, sightings and species all year round.
DDF, semi-evergreen forest, mountain and waterfall.