If you are a nature lover and you find yourself in Cambodia, then we would certainly recommend that you get yourself down to the Sam Veasna Center.
This is a wildlife conservation park that was established in 2003 to dedicate itself to preserving all the unique birds and beasts in Cambodia.
One of the many mission statements of this conservation park is to create sustainable jobs through conservation.
Not only does it seek to help the environment, but it wants to support local communities by creating a working model of eco-tourism.
So, what things does the Sam Veasna Center have to offer its visitors? What tours are available?
What animals can you see here that you wouldn’t see anywhere else?
Well, we have a newbie’s guide to this amazing conservation center. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
What Is The Sam Veasna Center?
This was established in 2003 after the Cambodian naturalist Sam Veasna died of malaria at the age of 33.
He was responsible for the preservation of a lot of Cambodia’s areas of natural and cultural interest and discovered many new species of animals.
The aim of this center is very simple, they want to provide a sustainable model of eco-tourism and marry conservation ethics with community-based education and ownership.
In short, the Sam Veasna exchanged jobs and education for land rights and no hunting agreements.
Sam Veasna has jurisdiction over a large area and the operation is overseen by the Ministry Of Environment In Cambodia as well as the forestry patrol, which helps to keep poachers and trespassers from gaining access to protected territories.
The SVC also conducts biodiversity surveys to help with lessening the negative impact of urban development on Cambodia’s environment, especially regarding endangered and rare species.
This is crucially important for the protection of the Cambodian wild.
They also help to train guides, giving them an extensive knowledge of birds, as well as knowledge of the landscape and the culture.
This is invaluable, especially to eco-tourism, where visitors can be given top-rated tours of reserves and wildlife parks.
But what tours are on offer? Here are some of the guides that the SVC provides.
What Tours Does The Sam Veasna Center Offer?
Cambodia has over 600 species of birds, with 7 of those on the critically endangered list and 28 on the globally threatened species list.
This is why the Sam Veasna Center birding tours are some of the most unique you can find.
If you are pushed for time, then you can always take one of the many half-day tours that they have on offer.
This is great if you are on a tight schedule and want to see many things in the space of a day.
You can go on the Bengal Florican Half day tour, which is a morning of great birding, or you can go on the Half Day ATT Tour, which is a few hours at the Ang Trapaeng Thmor Sarus Crane Reserve.
There are also birding tours that last the entire time for those visitors that have plenty of time on their hands.
There is a tour of the temples around the city of Siem Reap, the Tonle Sap floating water village adventure, or a visit to a wildlife rehabilitation program in Cambodia’s sacred mountains.
However, for those who are crazy about birds, then there are the multi-day tours that can last anywhere between a few days and a few weeks.
You can interact with the English-speaking guides at your leisure, and they will happily show you all the creatures they have in their backyard.
This includes the infamous Vulture Restaurant tour, which is an overnight stay at a vulture feeding station, the critical Cambodia tour where you see 6 endangered species in one day, or the Giant Ibis birding tour, which lasts for 2 days and 1 night.
This is where you can experience everything that the natural world of Cambodia has to offer, seeing rare sights of religious and cultural significance, as well as meeting people from lesser-known indigenous communities.
You can uncover some of the abandoned temples around the city of Siem Reap, camp near running waterfalls, or visit treehouses that have been built near the majestic Northern Plains.
You can also experience a typical day in the life of a Cambodian farmer to see how they live and work.
You can see the ruins of statues that were used for religious worship and get to know a little bit more about the culture and customs of the locals.
There is also a visit to the Jahoo Gibbon camp, which is a conservation project dedicated to eco-tourism, which helps out the local community.
As you trek through the jungle, you can spot many rare species, including Black-shanked Douc Langurs and Asian Elephants.
There are also custom tours where you can liaise with the team at the Sam Veasna Center and pick and choose what you want to go and see.
The custom birding tour allows you to see the birds that you want to see and the custom eco tour allows you to see the cultural and religious sights that you want to experience.
You can take a photography tour where you can snap your favorite rare animals and birds.
These can last anywhere between 1 and 6 days, depending on how long you want to be there.
There are also tours that focus specifically on Cambodian culture, informing you about ancient Khmer history and some of the traditions that still exist.
There are also educational programs that provide official certifications once you have completed them.
We hope that our beginner’s guide to the Sam Veasna Conservation Center in Cambodia has given you enough information and whet your appetite to inquire further.
The staff at this center are very friendly and accommodating and always want to share their knowledge and expertise with visitors, so if you have any questions, then don’t be afraid to ask!