Cambodia, a country known for its rich history and vibrant culture, has recently emerged as one of the world’s premier birding destinations. With its unique geography and diverse ecosystems, Cambodia is home to a remarkable array of bird species, including rare and critically endangered ones. Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or simply a nature enthusiast, Cambodia’s birding hotspots offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Prek Toal Sanctuary: A Waterbird Wonderland
Prek Toal Sanctuary, located within the Tonlé Sap Biosphere Reserve, is unmatched in Southeast Asia for its abundance of endangered waterbirds. This Ramsar site is a popular destination for ecotourism and birdwatching, thanks to its rich biodiversity and rare waterbird species. Just a day trip away from Siem Reap, Prek Toal is an unforgettable experience for bird enthusiasts.
Boeng Toal – Vulture Restaurant: A Conservation Success Story
Boeng Toal Vulture Restaurant, nestled within the remote Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary, is a unique feeding program established by the Cambodian government and conservation NGOs to sustain three critically endangered vulture species. Witness up to 70 vultures competing for food with the Golden Jackal—an awe-inspiring sight not to be missed!
Florican Grasslands: Home to the Critically Endangered Bengal Florican
The Florican Grasslands, just two hours from Siem Reap, host more than half of the world’s population of the critically endangered Bengal Florican. Your visit to this stunning floodplain and grassland habitat contributes to the long-term survival of this rare bird species.
Tmatboey: A Flagship Birding Site
Tmatboey, situated in the Northern Plains, is a renowned birding site and home to the critically endangered Giant Ibis, among other rare species. An overnight trip to this community-managed ecolodge offers the chance to spot nocturnal species like Franklin’s Nightjar and Oriental Scops Owl.
Phnom Aural: A Mountain Adventure
Phnom Aural, Cambodia’s highest peak, boasts 200 recorded bird species, including the endemic Cambodian Laughingthrush. This remote jungle adventure requires a challenging climb and camping on the mountain with rangers—an unforgettable experience for the adventurous birder.
Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary: A Wildlife Wonderland
Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the heart of the eastern plains, is home to a variety of birds and mammals, including gibbons. An overnight stay at the Jahoo Gibbon Camp offers a chance to be serenaded by the morning call of the gibbons while also experiencing the local Bunong culture.
Siem Pang: A Remote Conservation Area
Siem Pang, one of the few sites in the world that supports five critically endangered bird species, is home to the world’s largest population of White-shouldered Ibis and the Giant Ibis, Cambodia’s national bird. This stunning, off-the-beaten-path location offers a glimpse into rural Cambodian life.
Bokor Mountain: A Cool Retreat
Bokor Mountain, located in the Elephant Mountains of southern Cambodia, is famous for its old French colonial hill station and cooler weather. Despite development, Bokor still offers important habitats for near-endemic birdlife, such as the Chestnut-headed Partridge. Nearby Kampot’s saltpans are home to an impressive lineup of shorebirds.
With its unparalleled birding opportunities, Cambodia is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers alike. Don’t miss the chance to explore these breathtaking locations and witness the incredible bird species that call this beautiful country home.