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Essential Cambodia Bird Watching Tour - 8 Days

Essential Cambodia Bird Watching Tour

Cambodia’s Special Bird Species Birding Tour

This 8-days Cambodia Birdwatching Tour enables the birder to experience most of Cambodia’s special bird species in comfort. On this Cambodia birdwatching tour you will see three critically endangered bird species: Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis and Bengal Florican. Other highlights include Greater Adjutant, Milky Stork, and Sarus Cranes along with a host of other exciting species.

Cambodia Birdwatching Tour includes all accommodation is in lodges or hotels, distances travelled are short to moderate (maximum travel between sites is four hours) and the pace of birding can be personalized according to the guests’ needs. Meals, transport in a dedicated 4×4 vehicle and accommodation are all included, along with the undivided attention of our expert Cambodian birding guides.

Cambodia Bird Watching Tour Highlights include:

  • Explore the last strongholds of three critically endangered species; Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis and Bengal Florican. You will have the expertise of the SVC guides there with you every step of the way to ensure the best chance of seeing these incredible species.
  • No Cambodia birdwatching tour would be complete without visiting Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary is the largest freshwater bird sanctuary in South-East Asia. From January to May, thousands of breath-taking species populate the sanctuary in an outstanding spectacle for all onlookers.
  • Observe the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin near Kratie. You will take a local boat through the mighty Mekong River to see one of the last freshwater, inland populations of dolphin in the world.
  • Mekong Wagtail is always a special sight on an SVC tour. This species is named after one of the pioneering Cambodian conservationist, Mr Sam Veasna, who died of malaria in 1999.  Today, his memory lives on through SVC's and Mekong Wagtail (Motacilla samveasnae).

If you enjoy the look of this tour and are interested to see what else in on offer? Perhaps a longer tour? Take a look at the Complete Cambodia Birding Tour.

Alternative Tour Name: Essential Cambodia
Day 1
Day 1 - Angkor Wat

04:45 – Pick up from Hotel in Siem Reap. Pick up Angkor Pass if needed. Before sunrise, we will search for Brown Boobook.

05:30 – Sunrise at Angkor Wat: A prepared breakfast will be provided during sunrise. Alternatively, we can go owling instead of the sunrise.

06:00 – Birding around Angkor Wat: Hope to see Hainan Blue Flycatcher, White-throated Rock thrush, Forest Wagtail and more. Please note that locations for birding may be flexible depending on the location of bird species and the number of tourists on the day.

09:15 – Visit Angkor Wat Temple to see the most famous tourist

attraction in Cambodia.

10:45 – Birding at Bayon Temple Complex: All of the SVC guides are certified temple guides and will take you through the history of this breathtaking complex.

12:30 – Lunch: This will be at a local restaurant within the complex.

13:30 – Birding at Ta Prohm and surrounding forest areas: See Red-breasted Parakeet and Alexandrine Parakeet.

16:00 – Return to hotel in Siem Reap

Day 2
Day 2 - Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary

05:30 – Pickup from your hotel by an English speaking SVC guide and travel to Chong Khneas or Mechrey.

06:00 – Board the boat to take us across the great Tonle Sap Lake to Prek Toal: With breakfast and a full briefing from the guide on the way.

07:30 – Arrive at Prek Toal: At Prek Toal, we will pick up a ranger and swap to a community motorboat for the boat trip into the core bird reserve flooded forest. Please note that the motorboat can be noisy. We will view a wide range of birds at a custom-built treetop observation deck.

11:30 – Return to floating village for lunch.

13:00 – Paddle boat tour of the floating village (optional)

14:30 – Return boat trip to Siem Reap: Arriving back at your hotel around 16:30.

Day 3
Day 3 - Ang Trapaeng Thmor (ATT)

05:30 – Pick up at your hotel by an English-speaking SVC bird guide for the 90 minute trip to ATT: We stop for a packed breakfast on the road at some excellent birding spots.

07:30 – Arrive at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) ATT station: Receive a briefing with the local guide.

08:30 – Birding around and inside the reservoir.

11:00 – Visit Phnom Srok village: See unique silk items being created, or continue birding around the reservoir.

12:00 – Home cooked Khmer lunch at the WCS station.

13:00 – Explore further bird sites on the far side of the reservoir. We will look for bird species we may have missed in the morning.

15:00 – Leave ATT site: Return to Siem Reap at 17:00.

Day 4
Day 4 - Bengal Florican Conservation Area to Tmat Boey

05:00 – Pick up from your hotel: This is a 2-hour drive from Siem Reap to Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area. A prepared breakfast will be provided when we arrive at the site.

06:30 – Birding at Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area: Our guides have a very good track record of finding these Critically Endangered birds, the first of the six targets, they should be seen within the first few hours of the trip. Whilst we are enjoying the

floricans, other birds we typically see include Sarus Crane, storks, Manchurian Reed Warbler, Pied and Eastern Marsh Harrier, Small

Buttonquail, Bluethroat and Red Avadavat.

10:00 – Leave Stoung Bengal Florican Conservation Area for Tmat Boey Ecolodge: We will travel to the Tmatboey eco-lodge, birding in the dry forest along the way. During our birding stops, we will have lunch and hope to see White-rumped Falcon.

15:00 – Arrive at Tmat Boey Ecolodge: We will get checked into the Tmat Boey Ecolodge. After we are settled in, we may get a chance at our second Critically- Endangered species this evening, as we try to see White-shouldered Ibis at a roosting site.

19:30 – Dinner and night at Tmat Boey Ecolodge.

Day 5
Day 5 -Tmat Boey

04:30 ~ 18:00 – Wake up to search for Giant Ibis followed by a full day of birding: SVC coordinates a scheme where the local people are paid to protect the nests of the two Critically Endangered ibis present – Giant and White-shouldered Ibis. Consequently our guides have a 100% record of finding these species for visiting birders! We will try to get good views of both species during the time we spend here. The birding is excellent and our guides, with the help of the SVCtrained local guides, have made a special effort to locate the day roosts of nocturnal species such as Spotted Wood Owl and Brown Fish Owl.

Tmat Boey also supports an incredible 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 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. Today and the following morning are

very flexible as we rely on trained local guides to give us up-todate information on key species. Prepared breakfast and lunch will

be provided in at the birding sites. Hot dinner at the eco-lodge in the evening.

Day 6
Day 6 - Tmat Boey to Kampong Thom

04:30 – Wake up for last morning of birding in Tmat Boey Prepared breakfast will be provided. We will be concentrating on anything that we have not already seen before we travel to Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.

11:00 – Lunch at Tmat Boey Ecolodge

12:00 – Leave to Kampong Thom: Our trip to Kampong Thom will take 2.5 hours.

14:30 – Arrive in Kampong Thom and explore the new UNESCO site- Sambor Prey Kuk: We will explore this site for 2 hours. Streak-eared Bulbul, Asianbarred Owlet, Common Flameback, Oriental Pied Hornbill and Forest Wagtail are common visitors to this site.

17:00 – Arrive at hotel: Check in, relax and have dinner in Kampong Thom town.

Day 7
Day 7 - Kampong Thom to Kratie

06:00 – Breakfast and leave to the local grassland birding area This morning we will leave to a local grassland birding area where

we hope to see Red-throated Pipit, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler and, if we are lucky, the Critically Endangered Yellow-breasted

Bunting. Oriental and Black-browed Reed Warbler are also local visitors.

10:00 – Return to the hotel, relax and check out Check out of the hotel and leave for Kratie. We will have lunch on the way and we hope to see the endemic species, Cambodian Tailorbird.

15:00 – Arrive in Kratie, check in at the hotel and relax: Check into the hotel in Kratie.

16:00 – Late-afternoon birding: Birding in rice fields around Kratie.

Day 8
Day 8 - Kratie to Siem Reap/Phnom Penh

06:30 – Breakfast in the hotel.

07:00 – Leave the hotel to go to the river. It will be 25 minutes to reach the pier to embark on the boat.We will be looking for the Mekong Wagtail- this can take 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on your luck! After we find the Mekong Wagtail, we will go to view the Iwarrady Dolphin.

10:00 – Return to the hotel: Check out and drive to either to Siem Reap (6 hour drive) or Phnom Penh (3 hours). We will have lunch on the way. If we travel back to Phnom Penh, we can go to a Cambodian Tailorbird site. A must-see for any birder in Cambodia.

17:00 - Drop you at your hotel or the airport.

End Of Tour

Wildlife species expected to see on this trip are:

Birds: Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, Forest Wagtail, White-throated, Rock Thrush, Black Baza, Red-breasted, Parakeet, Alexandrine Parakeet, Asian Barred Owlet, Common Hill Myna, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Hainan Blue-flycatcher, Greater Adjutant, Lesser Adjutant, Painted Stork, Milky Stork, Grey-headed Fish-eagle, Spot-billed Pelican, Sarus Crane, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Greater Adjutant, Greater Spotted Eagle, Black-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Comb Duck, Spotted Wood-owl, Asian Barred Owlet, Common Barn Owl, Spotted Owlet, Pied Harrier, Bengal Florican, Mekong Wagtail, Asian, Golden Weaver, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Watercock, Ruddy-breasted Crake, White-browed Crake, Black-browed & Oriental Reed Warblers, Streaked & Baya Weavers, Red-throated Pipit, Zitting & Golden-headed Cisticolas, Mekong Wagtail, Asian Golden Weaver, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Watercock, Ruddy-breasted Crake, White-browed Crake, Black-browed & Oriental, Reed Warblers, Streaked & Baya, Weavers, Red-throated Pipit,

Mammals: Silvered Langur, Long-tailed, Macaque, Smooth-coated, Otter, Hairy-nosed Otter, Elds Deer- Please note that this is extremely rare species but hopefully, we will get lucky. Irrawaddy Dolphin

What is included?

  • All entry and admission fees to parks
  • You will have a dedicated tour guide for the entire trip
  • Water will be provided to you throughout the trip
  • SVC Refill not Landfill reusable water bottle for multi-day trips
  • Accommodation is provided at all of our sites
  • All of your transport throughout the trip including transfers
  • You will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • SVC will contribute part of the trip cost towards conservation

What is not included?

  • Accommodation and dinner in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sen Monorum. SVC can organise this if requested
  • It is strongly recommended that you travel with insurance
  • A hand wash laundry service can be provided with additional charges, depending on availability
  • It is your own decision should you wish to tip staff
  • Wifi not available outside of major cities and towns
Wildlife Reviews
4.92 stars
- based on 2  reviews
  1. Excellent enthusiastic guides - even for non-enthusiasts
    Ali30 Sep 2020







    I had an amazing tour with Sam Veasna Conservation on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. I am no way a bird spotter but as it was at a time the country was locked down for tourists, the options were limited. I wanted a visit to the countryside. In the end I found the information from our tour guide and his ability to spot birds fascinating. They were also flexible for us to wonder off and enjoy some cultural spots along the way, for us formally non bird enthusiasts. Highly recommend them!
  2. Great tour
    Deborah Reynolds31 Dec 2019







    We planned our short tour by email and were very pleased with the attention to detail of our 'wish list' during the preparation. On the day after arrival we met our first guide and enjoyed a full day with him, he was very knowledgeable and looked after us well. Then we travelled with our second guide and driver, staying overnight for several days. He worked tirelessly to find us new birds and ensure good photo opportunities. Safety in driving was good and everything ran on time to get us to the airport for departure flight. All in all a good experience.

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Why should I book with Sam Veasna Conservation Tour?

Sam Veasna Conservation Tour has been in operation since 2016 and has guided some of the top international birding companies in the world across Cambodia. We only employ the best bird guides in Cambodia who have over 12 years of birding and guiding experience. Our tours are designed to give you the best opportunity to view your target species in a relaxing, stress-free environment.

What sort of accommodation and vehicles do you supply?

We use 3 to 4-star hotels in cities and towns. Accommodation in rural and remote sites vary from custom made ecolodges to canvas tents. We use air-conditioned 4x4 cars for the entirety of the trip to travel from site to site.

What forms of travel are involved in this tour?

We mostly use 4x4 air-conditioned vehicles to get from site-to-site but we also use local boats to cross the Tonle Sap to get to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary and on the Mekong in Kratie to see the Irrawaddy Dolphin and Mekong Wagtail.

What are your group sizes?

Group sizes can be from 1 to 12 people.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

Yes, we can arrange airport pick up and drop off for an additional fee.

Do you include internal flight/ferry costs?

We do not include internal flights on this trip.

Do you ever change the tour leader or itinerary? If so, what sort of notice do you give?

We can change the itinerary based on extraordinary circumstances. We will let all clients know if this happens immediately. Changes to the itinerary will not change the trip duration.

Do you offer a single supplement option? Can you accommodate a third person/family?

We have a single supplement option that only applies for hotels in cities and towns. Due to limited numbers in the ecolodges and tents of remote sites, we do not provide a single supplement option.

Do you include meals?

We include all meals on the tours. We do not provide meals in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh.

When is the best time to travel and why?

Between January and April as that is the best season for seeing all the bird species these sites have to offer.

Do you need a minimum fitness level to join this tour?

Yes, you should have a moderate to a high level of fitness and used to long day treks.

Would this tour be appropriate for someone with limited mobility?

We can adapt the trip for people with limited mobility.

Do you have any age restrictions to join this tour?

We would recommend ages 18 to 65. Ages 65+ should have experience with long treks.

What will be the level of connectivity or WiFi access during this tour?

Wifi is only available in hotels in cities and towns.

How do you support local communities during this tour?

Each visit to remote sites that have endangered species includes a ‘Conservation Contribution’ that goes towards the local community to build critical infrastructure. We also employ local guides to monitor endangered species year-round to ensure you the best opportunity to see key species. Cooks and housekeepers from the local community also provide services for your trip. All community members are trained by SVC. To find out more, please visit: https://samveasna.com/the-svc-model/

Can you book accommodation for us prior to the start of the tour?

Yes you can. Please contact booktour@samveasna.com to find out more.

Is this tour really for me?

This tour is designed for enthusiastic birders.

Is this tour suitable for children?

We wouldn't recommend this tour for children due to long days and long periods of birdwatching.

How do I pay, and what are the terms, for this tour?

Please include your normal payment terms in the reply to this FAQ, as if a traveller will make direct payment and therefore activate the booking agreement directly with yourselves. A. MULTIPLE SITE ITINERARIES - A 15% non-refundable deposit for the minimum group size is required 60 days before the tour departure date for multiple site itineraries of 3 nights and more - Full payment has required a minimum of 30 days before the tour date departure - These payments are non-refundable though may be used as payment for alternative SVC tours for up to 12 months from original planned tour date. Bank transfers: SVC account and routing details will be provided at the time of booking. Bank transfer charges must be met by the client.

What happens if I have to cancel my tour?

Contact booktour@samveasna.com immediately.

What happens if your company closes down?

We will inform you immediately if this happens. If you have made payments contributing to this trip, we will give you a full refund with 60 days of informing you of SVC’s closure.

Do I need to bring my own food and drink during the day?

We provide breakfast, lunch and dinner and drinking water throughout the tour. Snacks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be bought in Cambodia.

Can you cater for special dietary requirements?

Yes, we can cater for any special dietary requirements.

Should we bring credit cards and/or cash?

Yes. ATM’s are common in cities and towns. In rural areas, small denominations of money are best. This is especially relevant when entering Northern Cambodia. $20 is the maximum denomination of money that should be taken to rural areas. The local currency is Riel and the exchange rate is roughly 4,000 Cambodian Riel to 1 United Sates Dollar ($).

What are the current restrictions for entering and departing Cambodia?

Cambodia has been open to vaccinated tourists since October 2021. Visitors to Cambodia require a negative PCR tests 72 hours before landing in Cambodia, valid vaccination certificates for at least 2 vaccine doses and a valid tourism visa. For departing Cambodia, there are established facilities in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap that can provide quick PCR test results with a fit-to-fly certificate. For all the latest travel information and requirements, please visit https://samveasna.com/cambodia-travel-information-2022/ Restrictions remain strict for unvaccinated people with 14-day quarantine at a government facility that has a high cost.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

8 Days

Price & Availability

USD1,150 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Sam Veasna Conservation Tours
4.94 based on 6 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.94 Based on 6 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Northern Plains, Cambodia
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 1 to 12 pax
  • 8 days
  • January to April
  • Moderate
  • No
  • English, Khmer
  • Siem Reap International Airport
  • Siem Reap International Airport or Phnom Penh International Airport