Project Description

SCIENCE

WILDLIFE

NATURE

CAMPING

Highlights: Wildlife preserve / Waterfalls

Kaeng Krachan Wildlife Adventure – 4 Days

Kaeng Krachan National Park, just 115 km southwest of Bangkok, is Thailand’s largest national park and arguably the best wildlife preserve in the Kingdom. Here, 30,000 sq km of land have been preserved along the Thai/Burma border. In this vast forest a staggering 400+ bird species can be found along with countless butterflies and 68 species of mammals that include 14 of Southeast Asia’s most endangered. Wild elephants, tapir, gaur, banteng, leopard, tiger, gibbons, leaf-monkeys and the critically endangered Siamese crocodile can be found here.

This long weekend program immerses students in wet, wild and wonderful moment’s right from the start. They will raft the beautiful Petchaburi River, trek through unspoiled forest to a spectacular 9-tiered waterfall, camp under the stars in a wilderness rich in wildlife, explore a newly discovered cave and frolic in a huge lake during a sunset boat cruise.

Perfect for those that want to reduce their carbon footprint and maximize their time in nature with the least amount of travel, our Kaeng Krachan Wildlife Adventure will not disappoint.

Prices includes: All transport Bangkok to Bangkok, all meals and lodging, national park entrance fees, English-speaking naturalist guides.

Stream invertebrates, River Ecology and Hydrology

  • Pick up by mini van in Bangkok and drive 2-hours south to Pethaburi Province. An interesting stop will be made on the way to learn about the age-old process of salt extraction at extensive salt pans along the Gulf of Thailand.
  • Arriving on the banks of the Petchaburi River, we enjoy a delicious lunch before conducting a study of the macro invertebrate life in the river. Students, working in teams, will challenge one another to see which can catch and properly identify the greatest diversity of benthic organisms in this fun and educational exercise.
  • Now it’s time to learn about river ecology and hydrology as we set off in rafts to float the Petchaburi. Kingfishers, herons, egrets, fish eagles, mangrove snakes and other fauna may be spotted along the course of a 6-km river run.
  • After a few hours of rafting and frolicking in clear pools of the river, we will transfer a short distance to our lodge and enjoy more fun in the sun swimming in the resort’s huge natural-shaped outdoor pool.
  • Following a wonderful buffet dinner in the resort’s restaurant, we will bicycle back to our bungalows searching for birds and bats along the way.

Overnight: Kaeng Krachan Resort

Study Focus: Birds and Butterflies of Southeast Asia, Nocturnal animals, and star constellations

  • Everyone rises early for a “dawn safari” by bicycle in search of song birds. More than 400 species of birds can be found in and around Kaeng Krachan National Park including the rare Ratchet-tailed treepie, found nowhere else in Thailand. Student teams will challenge one another to see which can spot and identify the most species as well as the rarest sightings.
  • Following a big breakfast, there will be time to enjoy the resort’s magnificent pool before setting off by mini vans to Kaeng Krachan National Park.
  • We will eat a picnic lunch on the shores of the scenic Kaeng Krachan Reservoir and visit the very informative Park Interpretation Centre before driving deep into the park interior.
  • Our first stop will be the Bankrang butterfly grounds where naturally occuring minerals attract huge swarms of butterflies from March to June. From here we transfer to 4-wheel drive trucks for the 38km drive to our remote jungle camp.
  • The truck trip offers an adventure in itself as the single lane dirt track, used by wild elephants and gaur more than vehicles, crosses streams multiple times.
  • Reaching Panoerntung Camp by late afternoon, we settle into our tents and enjoy a good dinner before our last activity of the day – a “night safari!”
  • Many of Kaeng Krachan’s animals are nocturnal and we will set off with a local park ranger and strong torches in search of some of these night-active animals. If the weather is clear, there will also be an opportunity to study constellations in the night sky.

Overnight: Panoerntung Tent Camp, Kaeng Krachan N.P

Study Focus: Tropical Evergreen Forest and Waterfall Micro Climes

  • Everyone rises at first light to observe one of Kaeng Krachan’s most spectacular sights. We drive to a lookout at 1,207 meters above sea level and gaze out over a stunning vista. During the cool months of December to March, dense morning fogs blanket the deep valleys along the Thai border with Myanmar making for a magnificent scene.
  • Breakfast will be served at the lookout before we start our all-day trek along an 8 km loop trail to Thor Thip Waterfall, located deep in the wilderness.
  • There’s a good chance of encountering wildlife along the trail at this early hour when animals are most active. Wild elephant, tapir, barking deer, gaur and leopard are possible sightings, but gibbons, banded leaf-monkeys and some of the park’s 6 species of hornbills should certainly be seen.
  • It’s a 4 km hike to Thor Thip Waterfall where we will enjoy a picnic lunch and have several hours to play in the pools below the falls as well as study the micro clime vegetation that grows in the perpetual mist.
  • The return hike to our base camp is uphill so these last four kilometers will necessarily be slower going. Rest stops along the way will be used not only to catch our breath, but also for lessons in tropical forest ecology.
  • Back at base camp everyone can shower before packing up for the 4:30-6:00 pm return by 4-wheel drive truck back to Bankrang Camp.
  • Once we settle ourselves comfortably into a large national park dormitory, we will enjoy a delicious dinner and celebrate our last night together with festivities around a campfire.

Overnight: Bankrang Camp Dormitory, Kaeng Krachan N.P.

Study Focus: Cave Ecology and Geology, and Impacts of Dams on Wildlife

  • Bankrang Camp is an excellent location for early morning bird viewing as many species of hornbills congregate in fruiting fig trees here.
  • Following breakfast, we will set off to explore some nearby limestone caves where students can learn about the geology of cave formations and the ecology of animals that have adapted to living in total darkness.
  • Not far away from Kaeng Krachan is Khao Tao Mo Cave, a newly discovered cave complex. Here students can witness even more marvelous stalagmites and stalactites in a massive, throne-like chamber.
  • By late afternoon we return to the shores of Kaeng Krachan Reservoir for a big dinner and some lessons on the impacts hydroelectric dams have on wildlife populations.
  • Following dinner we will enjoy a boat cruise at sunset where we will have an opportunity to take a plunge in the cool, clean waters of the lake.
  • It’s only a 2-hour drive by min vans back to Bangkok where the trip ends. It’s hard to believe that a weekend escape from a mega city could ever be so wet, wild and totally wonderful
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