Living with the wildlife

World September 11, 2017 14:45

By The Nation

3,975 Viewed

The Cardamon Tented Camp in southern Cambodia’s Botum Sakor National Park is now inviting reservations for its two- and three-night packages available from November 1.

Created to help keep the area out of the hands of loggers, poachers and mining operators, this safari-style camp provides nine furnished and comfortable boutique tents with a private bathroom. Each package includes an introductory presentation on the magnificent 18,000-hectare National Park followed by guided hikes led by Wildlife Alliance rangers. 

Guests can follow abandoned poaching and logging trails through dense forest home to see macaques, gibbons and hornbills, while hikers can inspect confiscated snares, traps and improvised hunting rifles at a ranger station.

There is also an option of kayaking back to the tented camp on the Preak Tachan River. Other benefits include breakfast, lunch and dinner in the camp’s riverside restaurant and during the day guests can simply lounge by the floating pier at the camp with binoculars spotting some of the hundreds of bird species in the park. 

Guests have the option of joining a second ranger patrol on a different route during their stay. Asian elephants, dhole, clouded leopards, hog badgers, sun bears, mouse deer and pangolin all rely on the mature forest habitat around the camp.

“The Cardamom Tented Camp helps keep the forest standing. We can’t take the forest’s survival for granted. Each visitor helps us show the world that well managed ecotourism is a viable alternative to logging and hunting,” says Willem Niemeijer, chief executive officer of Yaana Ventures. 

At the eco-camp, which is a three way initiative between the Minor International, Yaana Ventures and Wildlife Alliance, a percentage of the revenue goes directly to Wildlife Alliance. Wildlife Alliance is supported by the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, an initiative of the Minor Group. Any tented camp profits will be reinvested locally.

The two new packages can start at the Wildlife Alliance lodge and pier in Trapeang Rung at set times or include transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle from Phnom Penh or Trat airport in Thailand. From Trapeang Rung it is a one-hour river trip to the Cardamom Tented Camp. 

The packages are priced at US$198 (Bt6,555) per person for three-day/ two-night stay on a twin/double sharing basis (single room surcharge $65) and US$289 for four-day /three night stay (single room surcharge $95). 

The packages including pre-arranged transfers from Trat or Phnom Penh, are $389 and $479 respectively. Guests will get discounts for transfer pickup or drop off at Sihanoukville. Helicopter transfers from either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh can be arranged by the Cardamom Tented Camp.

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