A must-see for bird watchers and nature lovers, genuine ecotourism tours deep in Cambodia’s northern protected flooded forests.
What to experience ?
The Sam Veasna Centre conducts guided tours to six protected areas across Cambodia, allowing travellers to see some of the most impressive wildlife viewing in the country. In addition to the bird watching, tourists are encouraged to tour the local villages at the sites to gain an understanding of life in a remote forest community.
One of their most famous tours is located in the remote village of Tmatboey, in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in the Northern Plains of Cambodia where such species as the Giant and White-shouldered ibis remain. Tmatboey is typically a 3 night trip from Siem Reap, usually as part of an extended itinerary that takes in the other Preah Vihear sites. The Angkorian temples of Beng Melea and Koh Ker can also be visited on the way. Day excursions are also available to the Tonle Sap bird sanctuary.
The Tmatboey Ecovillage Lodge has three bungalows with two rooms in each bungalow. Each bungalow has fans, mosquito nets, western-style toilets and gravity showers, with electricity for fans and lights generated by solar panels.
Evenings in the large open-air dining area are a special treat, mingling with the friendly staff and dining on traditional and delicious Khmer dishes.
How does it help ?
The Sam Veasna Centre works with local communities at conservation sites to build the capacity of the villagers in the provision of wildlife viewing services to tourists. The tourists in return provide an income that is based on observing the threatened and critically endangered species of birds and mammals and their habitat. The income gives the local community an incentive for the conservation of biodiversity and reduction of deforestation.
Training is continually provided by the Sam Veasna Centre to the villagers who work at the lodge in menu selection and cooking, local guiding, maintenance and enhancement of the lodge. They also train their own English-speaking bird-specialised Khmer guides about the sites they visit, the birds they see, and local environmental and conservation issues , enhancing experience of the tour.
The Sam Veasna Centre, in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society, assisted the set-up and operation of ecotourism at the site, encouraging Tmatboey villagers to elect their own ecotourism committee, which is responsible for running the lodge and other activities. The committee appoints villagers to work with the tourists who are then trained by the Sam Veasna Centre.
- The Tmatboey Ecovillage Lodge won Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award 2007
- 2008 Equator Prize for poverty reduction through sustainable use of bio-diversity.
Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation
552, Group 12, Wat Bo, Siem Reap
Phone: (+855) 63 761 597 – (+855) 63 96 37 10
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com
Marker indicates Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the giant ibis …