Biodiversity at its Best

Indonesia’s Tangkoko Nature Reserve

Covering an area of over 8,000 hectares, Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve is home to pristine forest and impressive offshore coral gardens as well as an abundance of peculiar wildlife. These include black macaque monkeys, cuscuses, red-knobbed hornbills and the native spectral tarsiers.

At Tangkoko you can depart into the wide range of habitats at the Batuangus Nature Reserve for a bird-watching boat tour. Local rangers walk guests through the dark forest to wait by the trees where the spectral tarsiers live and return home from their nightly activities.

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Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Borneo

Board and stay overnight on a traditional riverboat called a Klotok, as we journey along the Sekonyer River into Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Borneo. Visit a renowned orangutan research and rehabilitation on center, Camp Leakey, where we meet some of the local rangers feeding the orangutan. Established as a national park in 1982 and composed of over 400,000 hectares of mangrove swamp and dense jungle, the park is home to a great number of primates and more than 600 species of birds. With a local guide, visitors search for orangutans and proboscis monkeys, as well as other species of animals and birds that call the surrounding rainforest their home.

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Bach Ma National Park near Hue

Bach Ma National Park is one of the largest nature reserves in all of Vietnam. Located 40 km to the South of Hue City, Bach Ma is famous for its vast biodiversity including many rare and precious plant and animal species. Benefiting from cooler air currents and lofty mountains, the ecosystem harbors plenty of natural resources and rare animals, including over 350 bird species and 132 species of mammals. The park also has a science department to carry out research of the ecosystems, flora and fauna. The park is a great location for outdoor activities such as: hiking, climbing, trekking, birdwatching or sightseeing. Summit the peak of Hai Vong Dai at 1,450 meters for spectacular views down to the sea and over the evergreen forest. Visitors also climb the rocky formations at Five-Lakes Waterfall, making their way across to Do Quyen Waterfall.

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Wild Elephants in Khao Yai National Park

Established in 1962 as Thailand’s first national park, Khao Yai is now the third largest national park in Thailand. There is no doubt that it is one of best national parks in Thailand for regular visitors where it is relatively easy to see number of wild animals. Khao Yai checkpoint is just a 2.5 hour drive from Bangkok making it ideal for an overnight trip from the capital. The park covers an area of 2,168 sq/km, including rain and evergreen forests and grasslands. The average altitude of the national park ranges from 400 to 1,000 meters, providing an intriguing terrain to explore.

Khao Yai is part of Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO, covering five protected areas from Khao Yai to the Cambodian border. There are a number of saltlicks along the roads close to the entrance of the park that attract larger mammals such as elephants, gaurs, deer and boars. There are also a number of waterfalls in the park, most of them easily accessible by vehicles combined with a short walk. Haew Nerok Waterfall in Khao Yai is one of the highest and most impressive waterfalls in the country. The waterfall scene from The Beach movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed at Haew Suwat Waterfall (8 km east from the visitor center). Khao Yai has the largest population of wild elephants in all of Thailand and in recent years the chance of spotting a wild elephant has increased. You may see them in the evening at the salt-licks and sometimes even crossing the roads as you drive in or out.

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Japan’s Shiretoko National Park and Peninsula

The Shiretoko Peninsula is to all intents and purposes, the edge of Japan. Sticking out into the Okhotsk Sea, the scenery is more reminiscent of British Columbia than that of Japan and its raw, unspoiled nature. It is widely agreed to be one of Japan’s most spectacular national parks. Much of the flora and fauna that make their home on the Peninsula are found only here. Most famous is the Ezo Brown Bear, closely related to the Grizzly Bear. While these bears can be seen across Hokkaido, it is only on the Shiretoko Peninsula that visitors have a chance to see them in a relaxed, natural environment thanks to nature-watching boat tours that loop around the peninsula.

Preserving the eco-system here means that visitors must follow strict rules and routes—there is no free hiking here, visitors have to stay strictly to the paths. Private guides are not allowed to operate tours, here, and it’s also recommended that visitors drive themselves to the peninsula for the most flexibility.

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The Cardamon Mountains of Southwest Cambodia

The Cardamom Mountains of southwest Cambodia, bordering eastern Thailand, cover Pursat Province and the famous island of Koh Kong. Representing some of Southeast Asia’s best natural resources, it covers a vast expanse of unexplored land, home to two wildlife sanctuaries and a multitude of waterfalls.

Cardamom Tented Camp, Botum Sakor National Park is a fantastic wilderness camp set in a picturesque natural grass clearing close to the Preak Tachan River. It is surrounded by an 18,000 hectare concession inside Botum Sakor National Park, south of the Cardamom Mountains. The camp supports the conservation efforts of Wildlife Alliance, an international non-profit with a number of important projects in Cambodia who’s aim is to strengthen protected areas, protect wildlife and help poor communities develop alternative livelihoods. Explore the rivers by kayak, trek through the forest with Wildlife Alliance Rangers, at the right time of year it’s possible to do night cruises to see fireflies and get involved in wildlife releases with the rangers if there is an opportunity to do so during your visit.

The Four Rivers Floating Lodge is a fine example of luxurious floating tents, bobbing gently on the tranquil water of the Tatai River in Southern Cambodia. Twelve huge, African-inspired safari tents are built on a pontoon, making them the first floating tents in the world and a rare camping destination. Tucked away in the seclusion of the Cardamom Mountains region in the richest virgin rainforest of Southeast Asia, Mother Nature quietly beckons visitors to explore its surrounding wonders. Enjoy an early morning swim in the calm river water, learn about sustainable farming in the local community, take a kayak out to explore at your leisure or jump in a boat ride to visit the nearby fishing village.

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Gibbon Trek at Keo Seima Protected forest in Mondulkiri

It’s an early start in Sen Monorom when an off-road 4WD meets guests at their hotel at 5 am with our expert local ranger guide. We then drive through the rolling hill country of Mondulkiri on smooth tarmac roads before turning off onto a bumpy, deep red earth road to access the Jahoo Gibbon Camp. On arrival at the camp, we collect a packed breakfast and head straight out into the forest in search of endangered primates.

The Jahoo Gibbon Camp is a responsible tourism and conservation project, giving you a unique opportunity to trek deep into the core of Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary forms part of a critical wildlife corridor which covers a significant part of Mondulkiri province and crosses into neighboring Vietnam as a part of six protected reserves and national parks. Seima protected forest is owned by the indigenous Bunong community and monitored by Wildlife Conservation Society.

We spend the morning trekking through this stunning rainforest habitat, tracking endangered Black-shanked Doucs, Gibbons, Elephants, Bantaengand other rare species. We can choose routes based on fitness and interests – stopping at butterfly-filled waterfalls and natural swimming pools, discovering Bunong Spirit Trees, farms and captivating stories.

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