The Nam Nern Night Safari Plan a trip

Early this morning, you will be transferred to Ban Son Koua, an ethnic Khmu Village for Nam Nern Night Safari Tour.

9h30: Meet in Son Koua village. Tour starts. Village guides and boatmen will be awaiting you to greet you and take you on a short tour of the village where you will learn about daily life and the animist tradition of appeasing the village spirits. Guests then embark on a 1.5–hour journey to the park substation on the Nam Nern River by long–tail boat, along the way learning about upland rice cultivation and having opportunities to spot monitor lizards (depending on the time of year) and bird life.

After arriving at the park substation, you will be shown to their accommodation, bamboo huts close to the river, and will then be offered a lunch prepared by the village cooking group. After lunch, you will receive a briefing by park staff about the on–the–ground efforts in protecting tigers and their prey.

In mid–afternoon, the group takes the boat again to continue the journey upriver. After about 50 minutes the boats will stop, and the group will hike into the forest to visit a salt lick. The local guide, a skilled hunter and tracker, explains how local people track deer and other wild ungulates. The guide points out evidence of wildlife, such as tracks or scat at the salt lick.

The boats continue upriver to the dinner site, a sandy, flat bank, where the group takes a picnic around a campfire. After dinner, the guides tell Khmu folktales and stories about dragons, wildlife, and ghosts. The guides also educate tourists about the species of animals they may see during the spotlighting and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting. The group may also look at photos of animals captured by the camera trap at the salt lick.

The group departs for the night spotlighting 2–3 hours after dark, floating down the river with engines off. The guides (1 per boat) use their headlamp to spot wildlife. If they see something, they will give a clear sign. Then you can switch on your own flashlight to have a better look at the animal. Hence, you will have their flashlights switched off most of the time to avoid scaring animals. The guides and boat drivers communicate via hand signals to avoid talking that might disturb the animals. Animals that may be seen include Sambar deer, otters, barking deer, various species of civets, loris, porcupine and owls. (Seeing tigers is very rare because they usually don’t come close to the river.)

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