A unique opportunity to observe rare wildlife in Viengthong, within the boundaries of Nam Et Protected Area, with an easy night safari ecotour to support wild tiger preservation in one of its last homes in South-east Asia.
What to experience ?
In remote Northern Laos, these ecotours are currently the only activity in Laos that offer the unique opportunity to observe rare wildlife. The ‘must-do’ is the night safari tour: using traditional long tail boats on the Nam Nern River and spotlights, the night safari includes birdwatching and wildlife tracking spotted by your guide or possibly by you. The night safari is not a physically challenging activity, as it entails boat rides with a minimal amount of walking—no trekking—only. All tours are managed and led by villagers based at the site.
Your local guides will inform you on the last wild tiger preservation programme in the region and share their customs. Eco-friendly accommodation is provided by the residents in a bamboo-hut camp (no nails used) that has been set up far enough away to avoid disturbing wildlife.
Village guides can also take you on a tour of the village to learn about Khmu and Tai Daeng traditions; they will teach you about rice farming in the village-use zone; help you discover medicinal plants; tell you the village history during the morning jungle walk, and folktales in the evening.
How does it help ?
Ecotourism at Nam Et-Phou Loei NPA is designed to benefit wildlife protection and local communities directly.
It was developed with nine villages by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and following thorough consultation with the population. Prices are pre-set with local service groups to ensure they are fair, and follow a policy of spreading income throughout the village by allowing each family the opportunity to work in one service group maximum.
For every rare species of wildlife that tourists see, money is added to a village development fund, which is shared by nine villages, providing direct incentives to villagers to protect wildlife.
Also included in the tour price is the protected area permit, which is used to support protected area activities; patrolling and enforcement, conservation education and outreach, land management and wildlife monitoring activities. Lastly, each villager working in tourism, including his or her family, is required to follow a strict code of conduct to follow the rules and regulations of the National Protected Area (NPA).
All services during the tour (guides, boats, food, accommodation and handicrafts) are conducted by village service groups, spreading income fairly among more than twenty households. Over 90% of all of the tour income has gone back to the villages in the form of wages, handicraft purchases and village development funds. A policy allows the village to refuse guests during village festivals and ceremonies.
All non-biodegradable waste is brought back to town. Recycling is practised, and natural containers are used.
Night Safari in Nam Et/ Phou Loei Protected Area
Nam Nern Night Safari: Nam Et/ Phou Loei Protected Area, Houaphan Province.