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Prek Toal Birdwatching Experience

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The Prek Toal area is a vast landscape of freshwater swamp forest with low lying tree shrubs.  Dotted across the landscape are tall trees which provide the vital nesting ground for the large water birds nesting areas.  During the dry season the sanctuary plays host to thousands of water birds including critically endangered large water birds. Large flocks of cormorants, storks and pelicans are almost guaranteed from January to May, along with herons, egrets and terns.  The biosphere is home to seven species of global significance according to the Sam Vesna Centre;  Spot billed Pelican, Milky Stork, Painted Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Greater Adjutant, Black headed Ibis, Oriental Darter, there is a globally significant population of Grey-headed Fish Eagles and the secretive Masked Finfoot was spotted on an SVC trip in March 2011, over 150 species have been recorded in the reserve.



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 Prek Toal Biosphere and Bird watching Experience

Please note this tour is seasonal and generally runs November to March.

5.30am We depart Siem Reap early and head to the small floating village of Mechrey.  This community is an ideal place to depart from, its remote and quiet location provides a wonderful setting for our early departure.
  We board a boat at Mechrey and settle in for the trip to the edge of Prek Toal, a trip that takes around 1hr and 20 mins.  Along the way enjoy pastries for breakfast.  This early departure is a great time to see the local community waking and capture some wonderful photos in the soft light.
7.30am

At around 7.30am we arrive at the edge of the reserve.  Here we leave our large boat and transfer to small wooden boats operated by people from the local community.  By avoiding the large boats we reduce our impact on the environment and in particular the birds, engage local people in tourism and its a whole lot of fun.

We recommend spending around three hours exploring the park.  Your English speaking guide will point out various bird species and provide you with information on the ecology of the lake system.

We also visit the wonderful water hyacinth project Saray. Saray is a cooperative of women, from the floating villages of the Tonle Sap Lake, who weave water hyacinth to create soft, supple and luminous 100% natural, 100% Cambodian bags, mats and accessories.  Water hyacinth is an aquatic weed that left unchecked causes major issues for the wildlife and people living on the lake, with one of the fastest growth rates of all plants the weed is regarded as a major threat to the lake system.  The Saray cooperative turn the water hyacinth into amazing and beautiful products which are soled throughout Siem Reap.

Enjoy a locally produced lunch before farewelling the village

1.00pm Approximate departure from Prek Toal
3.00pm Approximate return to Siem Reap
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