ITINERARIES Wild Cambodia with Tmatboey, Prey Veng and Veal Krous

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 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 possibly also Slender-billed Vultures feeding at a carcass. Distances are moderate and occasionally long and some camping in large safari-style tents is required.

 

Day 1. Angkor Wat

The open forests in the surrounds of the legendary Angkor Wat provide a gentle introduction to birding in Cambodia. As well as the spectacular temples we expect to see Alexandrine and Red-breasted Parakeets, Hainan Blue Flycatcher and a selection of frugivores including barbets, leafbirds, bulbuls and flowerpeckers.

Night in hotel in Siem Reap

 

Day 2. Prek Toal Flooded Forest

A day visiting the largest waterbird colony in South-east Asia is an unforgettable experience. We will visit a remote part of the flooded forest where Greater Adjutant and Milky Stork can be viewed from tree-top platforms along with thousands of commoner waterbirds including Lesser Adjutant, Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Black-headed Ibis, Spot-billed Pelican, Oriental Darter and Grey-headed Fish-eagle.

Night in hotel in Siem Reap

 

Day 3. Ang Trapeang Thmor Sarus Crane Reserve

In the non-breeding season (December –April) we see up to 350 Sarus Crane foraging in the fields around this man-made reservoir. There are an abundance of waterbirds here and we expect to find scarcer species such as Black-necked Stork, Greater-spotted Eagle and Oriental Plover (Mach-April only). We also often see the Endangered Eld’s Deer at this site.

Night in hotel in Siem Reap

 

Day 4. Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area

The Tonle Sap grasslands support over half of the world’s Bengal Floricans. Our guides have a very good track record of finding these Critically Endangered birds. Whilst we are enjoying the floricans other birds we typically see include Sarus Crane, storks, Pied and Eastern Marsh Harrier, Small Buttonquail, Bluethroat and Red Avadavat. After a full morning in Stoung we will travel to Prey Veng where our local guides will have already set up large safari-style tents for us to sleep in. We will make our first try for White-winged Duck at a favoured roost site at dusk.

Night in Prey Veng tented camp.

 

Day 5. Prey Veng – dry forest

We will spend today in the dry forest of Prey Veng where we hope to find species such as Giant Ibis, Black-necked Stork, Black-headed Woodpecker, White-rumped Pygmy Falcon, Collared Falconet, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Indochinese Bushlark, Brown Prina and Neglected Nuthatch. At dusk we will make another attempt to see White-winged Duck if we have not already been successful – we have a 100% success rate of this species over two nights at this site.

Night in Prey Veng tented camp.

 

Day 6. Prey Veng and Tmatboey – dry forest

In the morning there will be time for some birding at Prey Veng to search for some of the species we have not already seen before we travel through the hottest hours of the day to Tmatboey Eco-lodge. We will finish the day with some birding at Tmatboey. At Tmatboey the local people are paid to protect the nests of two Critically Endangered birds – Giant and White-shouldered Ibis. Consequently our guides have a 100% record of finding these species for visiting birders! Our guides have made a special effort to locate the day roosts of nocturnal species such as Spotted Wood Owl and Brown Fish Owl so that these can be seen without the loss of any sleep. Tmatboey also supports 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 recognised 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.

Night in Tmatboey Eco-lodge

 

Day 7. Tmatboey – Dry Forest

All day birding at Tmatboey, concentrating on species not seen on the previous day, or getting better views of memorable species.

Night in Tmatboey Eco-lodge

 

Day 8. Tmatboey, Veal Krous Vulture Restaurant

We will spend the early morning birding at Tmatboey, 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 Tmatboey and Prey Veng.

Night at Veal Krous tented camp

 

Day 9. Veal Krous Vulture Restaurant, Beng Melea and return to Siem Reap

Owing to a decline in wild cattle populations, Cambodia’s vultures are now reliant on supplementary feeding. A dead cow will be provided to the vultures and from dawn we will be able to watch the spectacle of up to eighty White-rumped and Red-headed Vultures, and sometimes also Slender-billed Vultures feeding on the carcass. After the vultures have finished feeding we return to Siem Reap, stopping at Beng Melea, a spectacular ruined jungle-temple, where we can expect to see forest birds including some scarce winter migrants such as White-throated Rock-thrush.

Night in Siem Reap

 

OPTIONAL 1 DAY EXTENSION:

 

Kratie – Mekong Wagtail

It is possible to visit Kratie to see Mekong Wagtail, Asian Golden Weaver, Small Pratincole and Irrawaddy Dolphin as a one-day extension to the standard nine-day route. We have a 100% record with Mekong Wagtail on our one-day visits to this site. Kratie is reached by a 6-8 hour drive from Dong Phlet on Day 9. We then spend one night in a hotel in Kratie town and make a return journey of 7 hours to Phnom Penh or nine hours to Siem Reap on Day 10.