Unparalleled Birdwatching Tour in Cambodia
This 21-days Cambodia birding tour is offered with an optional 3-day extension camping in Aural Mountain. The now-legendary SVC birdwatching tour in Cambodia takes you to all of the most important bird sites in this fascinating country, many in the WCS conservation areas where we work.
Cambodia is home to over 630 bird species and this birdwatching tour in Cambodia is a totally unique chance to go after all Cambodia’s endangered and endemic species in the backdrop of an incredible diversity of habitats.
One of the key target species for this tour is the Giant Ibis. Now thought to be only 300 mature individuals left, the critically endangered Giant Ibis now has mythical status in Cambodia. With SVC having a 95% success rate in viewing Giant Ibis, seeing this species has always been a highlight of SVC tours.
This Cambodia birding tour will also take you to visit the Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant, you get to see a Vulture feeding program in action from our custom made hide and view three critically endangered vultures feed on a newly slaughtered cow. We commonly get to view 20 to 30 vultures feeding at any one time. Vulture populations in Cambodia have had dramatic declines in the past two decades and now require supplementary feeding programs to maintain the fragile population left in Cambodia.
During the birding itinerary, you will visit the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, the largest bird sanctuary in South-East Asia. Prek Toal offered large flocks of Painted and Milk Stork, Spot-billed Pelican as well as Lesser and Greater Adjutant. Experiencing Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary between January and April is one of the must-see birding experiences in the world.
This includes taking a trip on the Mekong River to view the diverse wildlife Cambodia, taking you to Irrawaddy Dolphin in Kratie to see endangered gibbon species in Keo Seima Protected Forest. If we are really lucky, we might get to view Gaur in Okoki and Elds Deer in ATT.
Within this Cambodia birdwatching trip you get to experience Cambodian history, culture and people in a stress-free environment with our specially trained Khmer English-speaking guides who have over 12 years of bird guiding experience.
Top Reasons to Visit:
- Viewing the Giant Ibis- the national bird of Cambodia.
- Other birding highlights include White-shouldered Ibis, Bengal Florican, Chinese Grassbird, Mekong Wagtail and the two truly endemic species of Cambodia; Cambodian Tailorbird and Cambodian Laughingthrush
- Experiencing Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.
- View Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary
- Witness the diverse wildlife Cambodia has to offer.
- See all of Cambodia from the Deciduous dipterocarp forest of Cambodia's Northern Plains to the Lowland evergreen forest of the Eastern hills in Mondulkiri to the coastline and mountains of Kampot.
Would you enjoy a more specialist trip to see some laughingthrush birds? Then have a look at this tour Cambodian Laughingthrush Birding Tour
Alternative Tour Name: Cambodian Supertour
The time chosen by you – Pick up from Airport by SVC Guide. Please send us your flight details and our English-speaking bird guides will meet you at arrivals at Siem Reap Airport. The airport is 20 minutes from Siem Reap town centre. Check-in at your hotel and relax.
19:00- Dinner with SVC guide Introductions and briefing of the trip. Opportunity to ask questions and get your first taste of Khmer food.
21:00- Back you the hotel to rest
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 the hotel in Siem Reap.
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 to 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. We will have lunch in a floating house.
13:00 – Paddleboat tour of the floating village (optional)
14:30 – Return boat trip to Siem Reap Arriving back at your hotel around 16:30.
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.
05:00 – Pick up at your hotel before the 90 minute trip to Changkran Roy: We stop for a packed breakfast on the road at some excellent birding spots.
07:00- All day at Changkran Roy: The Varin Community tented safari camp is just a one and a half hours from Siem Reap, by beautiful waterfalls in semi evergreen forest at the base of the mountain at Changkran Roy. This incredible natural, volcanic phenomenon looks like hundreds of traditional stone stoves.This forest area is rich in birdlife, butterflies and dragonflies as well as being famous for its traditional medicine plants and the community are happy to share their knowledge during your forest bird or wildlife spotting treks. There are mammals such as Indochinese Ground Squirrel, Cambodian Striped Squirrel and Muntjac that can still be spotted – Great Slaty Woodpecker, Black-headed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Fish-eagle, White-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Brown Prinia and Indochinese Bushlark. The ecotourism community here still practises traditional farming techniques which visitors can learn about during a visit to the village, and there is the opportunity to see an ancient Buddist temple at the base of the mountain.
15:00 – Leave Changkran Roy for Siem Reap: Return to Siem Reap at 17:00.
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 Prey Veng Ecolodg: We will travel to the Prey Veng Ecolodge, birding in the dry forest along the way. During our birding stops, we will have lunch and hope to see White-rumped Pygmy Falcon.
15:00 – Arrive at Prey Veng Ecolodge: We will get checked into the Prey Veng Ecolodge. After we have settled in and had a short rest, we will drive to the White-winged Duck roosting site. This will take 1 hour. We will park near the site and walk to the roosting tree. This short walk through the bush can attract a variety of incredible species. Stay at the roosting site until the sun goes down.
19:30 – Dinner and night at Prey Veng Ecolodge.
04:10 – Leave Prey Veng Ecolodge to return to the roosting tree to view the White-winged Duck: If we didn’t see White-winged Duck the previous day then we will return to the roost tree for a second attempt. If requested, you can choose not to do this and rest. Prepared breakfast will be provided. When the sun rises, we will explore around the roosting site in search for Black-headed Woodpecker and White-rumped Pygmy Falcon. We will continue birding in this area until 10:00.
11:00 – Return to the Ecolodge to rest: Lunch at 12:00.
14:30 – Explore the Chen Srom Temple complex whilst birding: This temple is a 15-minute walk from the lodge and is one of the most remote temple sites in Cambodia with no visitors.
17:00 – Return to the Ecolodge for rest
18:30 – Dinner
19:15 – Option for owling in the evening: Collared Scops Owl and Brown Boobook are common around the site. This will take 30 minutes to 1 hour.
06:30 – Breakfast in the morning.
07:00 – Explore the ancient baray for Sarus Crane and Giant Ibis : As well as other species we may have missed in the previous days.
10:30 – Arrive at the Ecolodge for rest and lunch at 11:15.
12:00 – Leave Prey Veng Ecolodge.
14:30 – Arrive at Tmat Boey Ecolodge: We will get checked in and settled before birding in the afternoon.
15:00 – Leave the lodge to explore White-shouldered Ibis or Giant Ibis site: We will search for the ibises until it is dark (17:30/18:00). We will take 30 minutes to search for the Oriental Scops Owl before returning to the lodge.
19:00 – Return to the Ecolodge for dinner and rest.
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-to date 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.
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.
12:30 – Leave for Okoki: We will spend one hour in T’beng town to resupply our trip. It will take 3 hours overall to get to Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.
15:30 – Arrive at Okoki and late-afternoon birding: Our local guides will have already set up large safari-style tents for us to sleep in. Certain species may be easier to see here than at Tmatboey.
19:00 – Dinner and sleep at Okoki: Hot dinner. We have the option to do some owling before bed with the hope to see Oriental Scops Owl and Large-tailed Nightjar. This will take 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rest before early start the next day.
04:30 – All day birding in Okoki: Prepared breakfast will be provided. This is one of the most pristine parts of Cambodia — its limited population gives us the possibility of also seeing mammals. Gaur are sometimes seen and in 2009 Asian elephants passed near the campsite during the rainy season. 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 group will stay here for 2 nights, rising early to walk through the forest to arrive predawn at hides constructed next to the pools favored by the duck. Bird watching throughout the day could produce a plethora of dry-forest specialists including Green Peafowl and White-rumped Pygmy-falcon.
In the gallery forest, we can find a different suite of birds including Bar-bellied Pitta, Banded Broadbill and Banded Kingfisher. On our night walks we are likely to encounter Oriental Bay Owl and Blyth’s Frogmouth. Overnights are once more spent in safaristyle tents; with drop toilets crowned with porcelain lavatories. A cook will travel with the group and necessary supplies of beer can be organized before leaving town.
04:30 – Wake up for last morning of birding in Okoki: 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.
12:30 – Leave for Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant: We will spend one hour in T’beng town to resupply our trip. It will take 3 hours overall to get to Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant.
15:30 – Arrive at Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant and lateafternoon birding: 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 and certain species may be easier to see here than at Tmatboey.
19:00 – Dinner and sleep at Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant:Hot dinner. We have the option to do some owling before bed with the hope to see Oriental Scops Owl and Large-tailed Nightjar. This will take 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rest before early start the next day.
04:30 – Wake up to go to Vulture Restaurant site: As vulture populations have crashed across Asia, Cambodia has held onto populations of the three species currently considered Critically Endangered. However, owing to a decline in wild cattle populations, Cambodia’s vultures are now reliant on supplementary feeding. Joining this tour offsets the cost of running the ‘vulture restaurant’ and includes the local community in the efforts to save these impressive, macabre birds.A cow will be provided to the vultures and from dawn we will be able to watch the spectacle of up to fifty White-rumped, Slender-billed and Red-headed Vultures feeding on the carcass. A prepared breakfast will be provided at the Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant site.
12:00 – Lunch to the way to Kratie: After lunch we commence a 3 hour drive to Kratie.
16:00 – Arrive in Kratie and check into the hotel: After checking in we will go to a local birding site and go birding until 18:00 for Yellow-breasted Bunting and Asian Golden Weaver.
19:00 – Back to the hotel for dinner and rest
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 our luck! After we find the Mekong Wagtail, we will go to view the Irrawaddy Dolphin.
10:00 – Return to the hotel: Check out and drive to Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary We will have lunch on the way.
14:00- Arrive at Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary: Afternoon birding to see Green Peafowl and others.
17:00 - Arrive at hotel in Sen Monorom: Check-in at hotel, dinner and relaxation.
Two full days to experience the birds and mammals of this spectacular forest. Top of most birders wishes lists is the Orange-necked Partridge, a species which went missing for much of the last century, only to be rediscovered in the 1990s. We have a moderate success rate with this species but there are many other spectacular species to keep our interest during our time here, including Green Peafowl, Germain’s Peacock Pheasant, Red-vented Barbet, Scaly-breasted Partridge and Pale-headed Woodpecker, all of which have been seen on the trails close to the WCS station.
Cambodia may be the best place in the world for woodpeckers. The largest woodpecker in the world, the Great Slaty, can be seen at forested sites throughout the trip and is particularly easy to see in Seima. We’ll also aim to see White-bellied, Laced, Heart-spotted and Black-and-buff Woodpeckers here. We’ll make a special effort to seek out fruiting trees because these often hold in Hill and Golden-crested Myna as well as a range of barbets, pigeons and hornbills.
Seima is home to the largest population of Black-shanked Douc Langur in the world, along with Northern Pig-tailed and Longtailed Macaque and Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon, all of which are regularly seen on our tours. Very lucky visitors have seen Gaur.
Overnight at hotel in Sen Monorom.
After the last morning of birding at Seima we will begin the ninehour trip to Kampot, where Bokor National Park is located. We will make a stop along the way to locate the newly discovered species of Cambodian Tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk), which was described to science by WCS. This species is only found in the floodplain wetlands where the mighty Mekong River meets the Tonle Sap and Bassac Rivers. This area is also excellent for open-country species such as Plainbacked Sparrow and 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.
Overnight at hotel in Kampot, our base for two nights, arriving late evening in this small town to get ready for the cloudy and chilly mountain of Bokor the next day.
Bokor National Park was a historic hill station situated at 1,081 meters above sea level with jungle, a waterfall (Popokvil), rivers, and ruins. It is located at the southern tip of the Elephant Mountains near the Vietnam border. Though the part is now being developed as a major tourist destination, the bird species can still be found, surprisingly undisturbed, so far. As we ascend through the evergreen forest to Bokor we will start to notice species not found in other parts of the country, 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 Chestnutheaded Partridge and Silver Broadbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, Indochinese Green Magpie, Great Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, and Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon. We have recorded over 60 bird species here. Packed lunches will be brought from Kampot Town. Overnight at hotel in Kampot.
On our last morning in Kampot, we will visit the saltpans where we hope to find some shorebirds to add to our list. A trip to this area in 2013 produced Nordman’s Greenshank and a host of other waders such as Whimbrel, sandpipers, Little-ringed Plover and Red-necked Phalarope. After that, we will drive to Pursat Province and stay overnight in a hotel.
Our last day in the morning, we are leaving early with packed breakfast and drive around an hour and a half to the grassland near Tonle Sap Lake. The floodplain grasslands of Pursat Province support a number of bird species that are absent from the Florican Grasslands closer to Siem Reap. Star of the show is Chinese Grassbird (formerly Rufous-rumped Grassbird), only discovered here in 2013 at this, one of only two sites in Southeast Asia where they’ve been seen in the last 80 years! With a bit of patience and an early start from the hotel, the grassbird is relatively easy to see. After that we will drive back to the hotel and collect our luggage then we transfer you to Phnom Penh.
End of the tour
Or- Depart for Aural Mountain for Cambodian
Laughingthrush Extension: Go to the hotel at Kampong Spue town. One night in a hotel near Aural Mountain ready to be in the morning.
Wildlife Species expected to see:
Birds: Giant Ibis, White-shouldered Ibis, Bengal Florican, Red-headed Vulture, White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, Chinese Grassbird, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Mekong Wagtail, Cambodian Tailorbird, Cambodian Laughingthrush, Milky Stork, Spot-billed Pelican, Green Peafowl, Pale-capped Pigeon, Asian Golden Weaver, Brown Prinia, Manchurian Reed-Warbler, Pale-legged Leaf Warbler, Indochinese Bushlark, White-shouldered Starling, Sarus Crane, Neglected Nuthatch, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Red Avadavat, Burmese Shrike, Indochinese Green-Magpie, White-winged Duck, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Bar-bellied Pitta, Blue Pitta, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Black-and-buff Woodpecker, Black-headed Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Indochinese Barbet, Red-vented Barbet, Oriental Bay-Owl, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Pied Harrier, Grey-headed Fish-Eagle, White-rumped Pygmy Falcon, Greater Adjutant, Lesser Adjutant, Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant, Chestnut-headed Partridge.
Mammals: Irrawaddy Dolphin, Pig-tailed Macaque, Southern Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon, Black Giant Squirrel, Cambodian Striped Squirrel, Variable Squirrel, Asian Elephant, Black-shanked Douc, Pileated Gibbon.
What is included?
- All accommodation or lodgings based on double occupancy
- Single occupancy available for an additional charge/cost
- Professional Khmer English-speaking bird guide(s) and support staff, Specialist guide fees
- Local transfers and all ground transport throughout the tour
- Entrance fees to all National Parks, Nature Reserves and/or use of Hides where applicable
- All meals
- Snacks throughout the tour
- Water throughout the tour
- Conservation Contribution
- Personalised checklists
- All Applicable Taxes
- All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
What is not included?
- All international or domestic airfares
- Visa Fees (if applicable)
- Travel & medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
- Airport departure taxes
- Items of personal nature (incl. binoculars and telescopes)
- If providing binoculars and telescopes then add within above
- Excess baggage charges
- Laundry & telephone Charges
- Optional tour extensions where applicable
- Tips & gratuities
- Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks
- Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
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.
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.
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.
To ensure the quality of our tour, we require a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 8 people for this tour.
Yes, we do.
We do not include internal flights on this trip.
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.
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.
Yes, we include all meals.
Due to the length of this trip, we only provide this tour once a year in January.
Yes, you should have a moderate to a high level of fitness and used to long day treks. The extension trip to Aural Mountain requires a high level of fitness due to uneven terrain.
We would not recommend this trip with someone with limited mobility.
We would recommend ages 18 to 65. Ages 65+ should have experience with long treks.
Wifi is only available in hotels in cities and towns.
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/
All accommodation is included in the package.
No, this should be organised by you.
This tour is designed for enthusiastic birders.
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.
Contact email@example.com immediately.
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.
We provide breakfast, lunch and dinner and drinking water throughout the tour. Snacks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be bought in Cambodia.
Yes, we can cater for any special dietary requirements.
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. $20 is the maximum denomination of money that should be taken to rural areas. The local currency is Riel and the exchange rate is roughly 4,000 Cambodian Riel to 1 United Sates Dollar ($).