Cambodia Birding - (Special quest for Giant Ibis)

Oversea tours
Tmatboey - Bengal Florican grassland - Ang Trapeang Thmor - Peak Toal
6 days
Contact for detail

Cambodia is covered by deciduous dipterocarp forests that once also spread across much of Indochina, which was formerly home to the greatest aggregation of large mammals and water birds that have existed beyond the savannas of Africa. These forests have largely disappeared from Thailand and Vietnam; currently, the northern and eastern Plains of Cambodia form the largest remaining contiguous block of this unique and critically important habitat. On this tour we will visit several sites in Cambodia and we will have a lot of chances to see both of the rarest ibises (White-shouldered and Giant), as well as many endangered waterbird species such as the Bengal Florican, Greater Adjutant, Milky Stork, Black-necked and Sarus Crane.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1 (B, L, D)

Full day for Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Today we will spend our time for a "must-visit" historical site, the largest Hindu (and then Buddhist) temple complex and religious monument in the world.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 2 (B, L, D)

We will start our birding in the country with an early-morning visit to the grasslands that run alongside the perimeter of the huge Tonle Sap, in search of Bengal Florican. Large numbers of wintering migrants make these grasslands their home, especially the Eastern Marsh and Pied Harriers; we could even come across some water-birds including Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant and Painted Stork. Mid-morning will see us heading north into the remote Preah Vihear province. This province is home to some of the rarest species in south-east Asia. The landscape is dominated by open, dry savanna interspersed with extensive tracts of deciduous forest along the waterways. We shall arrive into our comfortable guesthouse in the mid-afternoon in time for some late afternoon birding.

Night at Tmatboey Ecolodge (2 nights).

Days 3 (B, L, D)

During our two full days exploring the area surrounding Tmatboey. we can hope to see most of our target species. We will walk through the open forest in search of small waterholes, or ‘trapeangs’, which offer us the best chance of locating the near-mythical Giant and White-shouldered Ibises, which use these trapeangs to feed. In between visiting these waterholes good numbers of other species will be encountered, including an array of wintering passerines found in large feeding flocks. Up to sixteen species of woodpecker make this forest their home, including the spectacular Black-headed, gigantic Great Slaty and striking White-bellied woodpeckers. Other localized species here include the Burmese Shrike, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Rufous-winged Buzzard, four species of Prinia including the localised Brown Prinia, Blossom-headed, Red-breasted and Alexandrine Parakeets, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Indochinese Bushlark, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Black-hooded Oriole and White-rumped Falcon. Night-birding is often productive; Spotted and Brown Wood Owls, Collared and Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Fish Owl and Spotted Owlet all being possible, along with Savanna and Large-tailed Nightjars.

Day 4 (B, L, D)

After a final morning’s birding in the area searching for any missing species, we will head back to Siem Reap.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 5 (B, L, D)

This day we leave early in the morning for a full day of birding at Tonle Sap, visting Peak Toal Sanctuary, where we look for the Greater Adjutant, Milky Stork and many other waterbirds

Return to Siem Reap in the afternoon and overnight in Siem Reap

Day 6 (B, L)

We'll leave Siem Reap after breakfast for a full-day trip to Ang Trapeang Thmor, a nature reserve based around a reservoir dating from the Khmer Rouge era. The reserve now harbors a unique wetland set among grasslands, dipterocarp forest and rice fields. Ang Trapeang Thmor is an important wintering site for the endangered Eastern Sarus Crane between February and March. Other highlights of Ang Trapeang Thmor are the breeding colonies of Spot-billed Pelican and Painted Stork, and often large numbers of waterfowl, including Spot-billed Duck, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Garganey, Black-backed Swamphen, and Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas.

Return to Siem Reap for our tour's conclusion.