Nam Nern Night Safari in Northern Laos
This internationally recognized night safari is best included with other ecotourism adventures in Northern Laos such as the Gibbon Experience in the Bokeo Wildlife Reserve and those around Luang Prabang such as trekking at Nong Khiaw village.
The Nam Nern (nam means river) Night Safari begins with a visit to the ethnic Khmu village where the people practice animist traditions and live in harmony with local spirits. They are the guides and boatmen for the night walk. After lunch in the village, your travelers journey by long tail boat to the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL NPA). Along the way there will be an opportunity to learn about upland rice cultivation and spot monitor lizards and bird life.
This national park in northern Laos is co-managed with local communities for ecological conservation and sustainable agriculture, the right place for this eco travel initiative. The local guide, a skilled hunter and animal tracker, will explain how local Lao people track deer and other wild animals during a hike into the jungle. Ecotourism initiatives as well as traveler’s interest in watching wildlife now provide financial compensation for local Lao village people to conserve these resources rather than practice slash and burn farming and market hunting.
The boats continue upriver to reach a campfire on a flat, sandy bank where guests enjoy a picnic dinner. Around the campfire the guides tell Khmu folktales about dragons, wildlife, and ghosts. Under the moonlit sky, your travelers will return to the boats and float down river with engines off so as not to disturb the nocturnal animals. Wildlife that may be seen include Sambar deer, otters, barking deer, various species of cat-like civets, slow loris, porcupine and owls.
The Nam Nern Night Safari and Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA won the World Responsible Tourism Award for “Best Responsible Wildlife Experience” in November 2013 for the unique model of providing direct incentives to villagers for protecting wildlife.
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