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Let’s join our Laos Wildlife Tour: Nam Et Phou Louey NPA Trekking tour to explore this unique forest biodiversity and a number of endangered species including tiger, sun bear, black bear, Asian elephant, dhole, hornbill ect. The highlight of the trip is the nighttime wildlife-spotlighting where you can view wildlife at night. You will also check wildlife camera traps surrounding the area for photos of rare species that passed by the area.
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DAY 01: VIENG THONG – NAM ET-PHOU LOUEY NPA
8:30AM: You will be met by Asia Senses Travel representative at your guesthouse in Vieng Thong, then start a 45 minute drive along a curvy road through gorgeous mountainous landscapes and through the protected area corridor. Arrival at the Khmu villlage of Ban Sakok which is situated on the edge of the protected area core zone boundary. Upon arrival, our guide will give you a brief orientation of the area and detailed itinerary. Meet with the village guide, porters and cooks who will go with us in this journey.
9:30AM: Start our trekking tour by taking a tuk tuk ride (a small tractor used for plowing rice paddies and convertible to a vehicle for transportation) and pass through this Khmu village. This is a good opportunity to see the daily village life and briefly learn about Khmu culture. Our guide will tell you about cultures and lifestyles of the hill tribes in the small villages that you pass through. Along the way, we will cross through village’s rice, tobacco, and corn fields.
At noon, stop to enjoy a local picnic lunch while overlooking fields and the backdrop of Phou Louey Mountain. Here, our guides will explain about the different management zones of the park and how local people are able to coexist with nature.
After lunch, start trekking into the forest following a 4km path built and maintained by the village.This trail passes through a thick jungle and mixed deciduous forest. Our local guide will point out wild animals, birds and medicinal plants along the way. Our first day of trekking is quite short and the elevation gain is roughly 400m. After 2 hours of trekking, we arrive at Tad Loy waterfall. Spend time relaxing at the beautiful waterfall of Tad Loy Waterfall before continuing to our campsite today. Upon arrival campsite, spend some free time to relax, bathe in the nearby river and soak up the tranquil natural setting.
In the evening, enjoy a traditional Khmu dinner which is prepared by the village cook and porters. After that, take on a short (around 30min) night walk nearby the camp to see insects and other small creatures of the night. After the walk, enjoy the campfire and the wild outback of Nam Et-Phou Louey.
Overnight in bamboo huts.
Bamboo huts in Nam Et Phou Louey NPA
DAY 02: NAM ET-PHOU LOUEY NPA
Wake up early in morning and take a walk up to a nearby mountain to check for photos on camera traps set there. Observe animals and birds, if lucky, it’s also possible to see bears, and several species of wild cats and other exotic critters.
Then return to the campsite, enjoy your breakfast. Today, we will trek from the foothills of Phou Louey Mountain to Poung Nied and the Nests campsite. The trek is approximately 9km with a steep ascent to the top of Phou Phamai Mountain followed by a hill down to Poung Nied Salt Lick and the Nests campsite. Along the way, have your picnic lunch which is prepared in the morning before our departure from the Tad Loy camp.
Arrive at the Nests camp in the afternoon and will be shown to your accommodation – the hanging spherical “nest”. After checking in, spend some free time to relax, bathe in the nearby river and soak up the tranquil natural setting.
Have dinner in early evening. It’s important to take an early dinner so that the smell of food and fire is not strong while visiting the wildlife observation platform later in the evening. Dinner is eaten at the camp and is not allowed at the observation tower. After dinner, receive a briefing about wildlife viewing at the Poung Nied Salt Lick – one of the largest salt licks in the protected area. The guides will explain the species of animals that can be seen, as well as the rules and expectations for spotlighting.
Stay at the observation tower for a few hours (depending on curiosity and patience) until no later than 23:30. Overnight sleeping on the tower is not allowed in order to reduce any negative impacts and disturbances to the wildlife. The most common animals are sambar, barking deer (AKA muntjak) and various species of civets, although, if lucky, it’s also possible to see bears, and several species of wild cats and other exotic critters.
NOTE: Please wear warm clothes as it can be quite cold in the late evening/night time
Overnight in the nests.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in the nests in Nam Et Phou Louey NPA
DAY 03: RETURN TO VIENG THONG
Before breakfast, your guide will walk you back to the salt lick to identify different wildlife tracks. You will also spend approximately an hour in the observation platform, as morning is a great time for bird watching. After, follow the guide to check the camera traps and help change the camera trap memory cards.
Once back to the camp, enjoy breakfast and help your guide to sort photos of wildlife taken by the camera traps during the previous night. These photos will be uploaded to the website after your trip for your viewing and download. Twelve surrounding villages involved in this project receive monetary bonuses in the form of a village development fund based on the number and type of wildlife spotted at night and captured by the camera traps. (This fee is included in your tour price.)
Trek back through the forest to the village’s fields, and enjoy a farmer’s picnic before riding the tok tok (hand tractor) back to the village. Once arriving in the village your village hosts will bid you goodbye. You also have chance to try Khmu rice wine (lao lao), depending on the season and occasion. After that, your guide will transfer you back to Vieng Thong by private truck or van, arrival in Muang Hiem is at around 4-5pm, which is the end of the tour.
There is an array of extension tours in Laos or South East Asia countries that you can pick up one. Feel free to let one of our Travel Specialist in Laos know if you need any assistance.
Private Tour (for 02 pax, cheaper if more)
Tour Price Includes
02 night accommodation
Local English speaking guide
Meals as mentioned
Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA package
All sightseeing as specified and entrance fees included
Bottled drinking water per touring days
Tour Price Excludes
Visas if required
Other meals not mentioned in the program
International & domestic flights (quoted separately).
Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, etc...
Tips for your guide and driver
Any camera or video fees at any sites
When to Go
See estimated monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary