Cambodia: Jan 16—30, 2013

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Price: $5,995
Departs: Siem Reap
Ends: Phnom Penh
Tour Limit: 8
Operations Manager: Erik Lindqvist
Download Itinerary: PDF (110.4 KB)

Route Map

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Tour Leaders

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David Bishop

David Bishop loves his vocation and cannot imagine anything better than exploring wild and b...


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Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Giant Ibis

Giant Ibis— Photo: K. David Bishop

Peace has well and truly settled on this wonderful, laid-back country, and it is now one of the most exciting new birding destinations in Asia. The expansive forests and untouched wetlands of this small country harbor some of the rarest and most sought-after species of birds and mammals in Asia. Good photographic opportunities.

The Cambodian people are indeed custodians of a very special natural heritage. In recent years a number of hugely exciting discoveries have been made, including a population of the near-mythical Giant Ibis, a new species—the Mekong Wagtail, and a breeding population of the rapidly declining eastern race of Sarus Crane. Other highly threatened species have been found in the northern plains of Cambodia, including a healthy breeding population of White-shouldered Ibis in the northern province of Preah Vihear along with White-rumped Falcon and several other birds such as Spotted Wood Owl and the gorgeous Black-headed Woodpecker. On the wetlands around Tonle Sap Lake and at ATT, the biggest breeding colonies of waterbirds in Southeast Asia represent one of the finest birding spectacles in the entire region. Breeding populations of Greater Adjutant (which is declining alarmingly elsewhere), the still relatively common Lesser Adjutant, the very rare Milky Stork, Spot-billed Pelican, and many others can be observed nesting, fed by the monsoonal back-up from the mighty Mekong River. The most extensive grasslands remaining in Southeast Asia are where we will look for some more scarce beauties, in particular the splendid Bengal Florican and local race of Sarus Crane.

As if the birds of Cambodia were not exciting enough, we also have the opportunity to visit some of the greatest surviving architectural monuments of Asia—the temples of the ancient city of Angkor. They represent the heart and soul of Cambodia, harking back to an era of unrivaled influence over the entire region. The Khmer Empire once ruled over south China, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, and Malaysia. Built at the height of the Khmer civilization from the eighth to the twelfth century, the Angkor complex was erected during a time of extraordinary artistry. This beautiful World Heritage temple complex surrounded by forest composes one of the most enjoyable settings imaginable for any birdwatcher.

This tour offers a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s rarest birds. Our accommodation is mostly of a high standard; in fact, many of our lovely hotels are a highlight of the tour, but our short expedition to the northern village of Tmatboey will involve some reasonably rough roads (although these are being continually upgraded) and two nights of simple accommodation. We have added two days at a huge 2,000 km sq Wildlife Sanctuary in far eastern Cambodia to our tour itinerary where in 2013 we encountered some truly magical moments such as a fly-past of 12 Great Hornbills; a tree alive with 20+ Black-shanked Duc Langurs; Orange-necked Partridge; Black-crowned Parrotbill; and an amazing Bar-bellied Pitta. There is so much yet to be discovered in this fascinating country.

Superb hotel and gardens at Siem Reap, near Angkor; excellent, comfortable hotels at most sites, and a simple lodge at Tmatboey with private facilities and solar power; good to excellent food; easy to moderate trail and easy roadside birding, with some midday breaks; warm and dry throughout.