Bird Watching
Bird Watching
24 Hours - Nam Nern River Safari
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24 Hours - Nam Nern River Safari



1 Day

Start Price





Seasonality: ALL YEAR LONG (except August-September if heavy rains)

Physical Level


Pick Up


Start Point

Ban Son Khoua

Pick Up/Start Time

10.00 AM

Drop Off


End Point

Ban Son Koua

Drop Off/End Time

10.30 AM (The Next Day)

Things To Do

Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park


Day Tour Type Type


Booking Date


Booking Code (join)





Lao Resident


Total Price

Day 1


Night Safari Tour

  • Morning

Departure from Muang Hiam (formerly Viengthong) by public bus or your private transportation at 8 am. After approximately 1.5 ­hour drive along a curvy road through gorgeous mountainous landscapes you will arrive at Ban Son Koua, a Khmu Village and the Nam Nern Night Safari tour start. If you are traveling from Phonesavan or Sam Neua, you can travel directly to Ban Son Khoua village (read more about “Getting to the Night Safari start“). All visitors should be in Ban Son Khoua village for 9.30 am for the tour start.

In Ban Son Khoua, meet your National Park’s English speaking guide who will be the key person sharing information about the National Park, and translating from Lao, Hmong, and Khmu languages information provided by the village wildlife spotters, the former poachers.

The tour begins by a village guide taking you on a short visit around the village to introduce the daily life and the animist traditions of appeasing the village spirits.

At around 11am visitors embark on a 1.5-­2 hour journey on the Nam Nern River by long-­tail boat to the National Park’s Total Protection Zone and the tourism camp located nearby the ranger substation. Along the way see the village upland agriculture and temporary farms.  As closer we approach to the National Park boundary as more birdwatching opportunities will occur.

  • Afternoon

Once arrived at the tourism camp, enjoy Lao lunch prepared by the village cooking group. After lunch, National Park’s staff will share a presentation about the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park and the on-­the-­ground efforts in protecting wildlife.

You will then be shown to your accommodation, bamboo huts close to the river. Free time to relax at the camp.

Optional: The National Park’s guide will invite you on an optional jungle walk around the camp to learn about the use of medicinal plants and the history of the camp site, which was once a village. Depending on the ranger availability, the park substation can be visited to learn about the law enforcement work.

At late-­afternoon, the group takes the boat again to continue the journey upriver deeper inside the National Park. Enjoy birdwatching and the village wildlife spotters / boatmen might point out evidence of wildlife, such as tracks or scat if spotted at the riverbanks.

  • Dinner

The boats continue upriver to the dinner site, a sandy, flat bank, where visitors can swim and enjoy relaxing around a campfire while team prepares the dinner. After dinner, with the help of the National Park’s English speaking guide discuss around a campfire with the wildlife spotters/former poachers. Great opportunity to ask all the questions that you might have! Afterwards, the village guide will introduce the species of animals that might be seen during the spotlighting and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting.

  • Evening

The group departs for the night wildlife spotlighting once it is total dark, drifting silently down the river with the engines switched off. The wildlife guides and boatmen use their headlamp to spot wildlife. If they see something, they will give a clear sign. Then you can switch on your own flashlight to have a better look at the animal. Hence, tourists will have their flashlights switched off most of the time to avoid scaring animals. The wildlife spotter and boat drivers communicate via hand signals to avoid talking that might disturb the animals. Animals that can be seen include Sambar deer, Barking deer, various species of Civets, Spotted Linsang, Otters, Slow Loris, Porcupines, Owls. Seeing wild cats and bears is very rare, but not impossible! The latest cat sightings by Night Safari visitors include: Leopard Cat in Dec. 2019 and Asian Golden Cat in April 2019.

  • Night

Overnight in Lao style bungalows.

Before falling asleep in your jungle bungalow, do not hesitate to spotlight around your bungalow as a Slow Loris, Civet or Sambar Deer can be just next to your jungle accommodation.

Day 2


Night Safari Tour

  • Morning

Early wake up. If lucky, you can spot a Sambar Deer opposite the river from the camp.

Enjoy breakfast and morning tea and/or coffee. After breakfast, the boats will return back to the village. First boatmen will drift down silently the river with the engines switched off. Possibility to spot animals as otters, sambar deer, and bird life.

Optional: If the jungle walk around the camp was not done in the Day1, it can be done in the morning of the Day 2. National Park’s guide will make this decision based on the timing on Day1.

  • Return

Upon arrival in the village around 9.30AM, you are invited to fill out a wildlife monitoring form that is used to monitor wildlife abundance and indicate the amount of bonuses put into the 14 Night Safari ecotourism village development fund from the tour costs (There is no extra fee for any seen wildlife).

Visitors may continue on towards Viengxay or Phonesavanh (about 3.5h; 100km+ in either direction) or head back to Viengthong (1.5h; 50km), Nong Kiau (6h; 230km), or Luang Prabang (10h; 350km).