Space Age Spheres and Wildlife Tourism
When the U.S. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) partnered with the Laos government to develop the spectacular Nam Ngern Night Safari in the remote Nam Et Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL-NPA), it was not projected to become one of their most successful projects.
NEPL, home of the well-established riverine night safari has been one of the favorite adventures for many of your travelers with a satisfaction rating of nearly 100%. The evidence is in their feedback. More than one traveler praised this experience as “one of the best things I have done in my life.” In 2015, after winning the World Responsible Tourism Award two times in the last three years, the WCS decided to expand this state of the art wildlife experience. Nam Et Phou Louey is the second largest protected area in Laos.
Now the WCS is going a step further. In 2016 tourists will be able to experience a truly unique opportunity to observe one of Southeast Asia’s hotspots of biodiversity from a very different perspective. NEPL offers accommodation in a “Nest”, a space age spherical hanging basket. This hanging nest is something completely new and allows its occupants to absorb the natural surroundings from a quiet, protected perch in the forest.
As wildlife conservation is a major concern in Laos, this national protected area has recently developed a new hiking experience. Named the Cloud Forest, it involves an adventurous hike to the summit of Phou Louey, the area’s highest peak. Integrating tourists with the NPA conservation efforts encourages individual tourist behavior to “leave only footprints and take only photos.”
This new tourism opportunity is being combined with a sustainability program to incentivize local people of 12 surrounding villages to spot and record wildlife sightings. The overall goal is to protect endangered species and sustain the populations of tigers, gaurs, white-cheeked crested gibbons, Sambar deer and otters for future generations.
Beginning in January 2016, the new tours are open for interested travelers to explore the wildlife of Laos in a sustainable way and at the same time help create needed revenue to fund conservation efforts. For more information about trying Nam Et Phou Louey’s new hanging baskets, the night safari, or the Cloud Forest hike, please contact to [email protected]