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  • Ecotourism In Nam Et - Phou Louey National Protected Area, Lao PDR

  • The Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area - the last home for wild tigers in Laos

    The Nam Et–Phou Louey National Protected Area (NPA) is the second largest protected area in Laos and has the greatest wildlife biodiversity in the country.

    The terrain is mountainous with altitude ranging between 336 and 2257 metres above sea level. The highest point is the peak of Phou Louey (Forever Mountain) and the lowest the Nam Et river valley.

    Wildlife. The NEPL NPA contains large areas of intact primary forests, and supports an outstanding diversity of carnivores including the last wild tigers of Laos and five other cat species such as leopard, clouded leopard, golden cat, marbled cat, and leopard cat.

    The area is also inhabited by dhole (status: endangered), 2 bear species (Asian black bear and sun bear, status: vulnerable), and other endangered wildlife. The five key species of NEPL NPA are: Tiger, Gaur, White-cheeked crested gibbon, Sambar deer, and Otters.

    Photos from the WCS/NEPL camera traps

    Tiger Panthera tigris

    Sun Bear Ursus Mayalanas

    Sambar Deer Rusa unicolor

    Getting to NEPL ContactsALL ToursEcotourism Model What to bring?About NEPL

  • Ecotourism in NEPL NPA is supported by the NGO Wildlife Conservation Society and has been designed to create positive impacts by encouraging local people to protect endangered wildlife such as tigers and their prey.

    The ecotourism activities at NEPL NPA have been developed to provide an alternative livelihood opportunity for local people, and designed to create a direct link between conservation and tourism so that the money that visitors pay has a positive impact on encouraging local people to protect endangered wildlife. This is achieved through active community involvement and creation of conservation linked financial incentive mechanisms based on the conservation of wildlife.

    The NEPL ecotourism model Ecotourism Wildlife Camera Traps

    Example of the Nam Nern Night Safari Every visitor pay a fee to the village development fund before entering the area (included in the total tour price). A village development fund is shared equally between the 14 villages that surround the Nam Nern area.

    The amount of money received by the villages depends on the numbers of wildlife seen by the tourists, who are required to fill out a wildlife monitoring form at the end of the trip. The money from the fund is used to support small-scale village development activities chosen by each village, rather than cash payments.

    The amount of money in the fund can be reduced in the event that a villager breaks the laws of the national protected area. Every family from each village has agreed to this benefit-sharing system by signing a contract.

    The site and eco-lodge is managed and operated by the local people of Ban Son Koua village in cooperation with Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA.

    There are five service groups in the village: the guide group, boat group, cooking group, camp group and handicraft group. Each group has between five and ten members who have been selected through an open interview process conducted by the NPA. In order to spread the benefits of tourism fairly in the village, any one family in the village is allowed to have membership in only one service group; and the members within each service group must take turns to share work equally. Service group members must adhere to a code of conduct that prohibits them from breaking the rules of the NPA.

    Where does the money go? (if 2 persons visit the nam nern night safari)

    Fees for the services offered by each group are pre-determined and included in the total cost of the tour. Most of your tour fee goes directly to villagers.The Nam Nern Night Safari tour price breakdown

    based on the price as for 2 visitors presents that:

    • 57% of the income paid by visitors is directly benefiting the village revenues, • 8 % for Government revenue (Tourism District Fee; and NPA Entrance fee, which can be used to fund PA and ecotourism activities.), • 10% for the tour operator commission • 25% for the Ecotourism Operation Fund, used for the ecotourism activities only: Maintenance, Trainings, Salary, Marketing etc




    25%   59%  -­‐  Village  Revenue  

    8%  -­‐  Government  Revenue  

    10%  -­‐  Tour  Operator   Commission  

    23%  -­‐  Ecotourism  OperaBon   Fund  

    The wildlife camera traps have been installed along the trekking tours and offer to the protected area’s visitors a unique opportunity to track wild species such as white-cheeked gibbon, leopards, bears, wild dog (dhole) and other species.

    Visitors are assisting the NEPL NPA’s ecoguides in camera traps maintenance and data collection process and all collected information on seen wildlife during the trekking tours is further incorporated into the PAs wildlife-monitoring program.

    Sumatran Serow (Naemorhedus sumatraensis)

    Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) Porcupines (Hystrix brachyura)

    Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak)

    Getting to NEPL ContactsALL ToursEcotourism Model What to bring?About NEPL

  • ‘The Nest’ (Moderate/Hard trek - 2 or 3 days) Trekking tour with overnight in cosy spherical basket hanging from the trees. Check wildlife camera traps along the trail and try your luck to spot wildlife from the observation tower at the nearby salt lick which attracts animals such as the rare Sambar deer from far and wide.

    ‘Cloud Forest Climb’ (Challenging trek - 4 or 5 days-including ‘The Nests’). Climb up to the summit (2257m) of Phou Louey (Forever Mountain) to one of the few cloud forests in the region. The trek goes through the evergreen forest and offers a rare opportunity to track wild species such as white-cheeked gibbon, leopards, bears and wild dog using camera traps, which will be set up along the trail and maintained by tourists.

    New Trekking Tours!

    View 4 Days itinerary

    View 2 Days itinerary

    View 5 Days itinerary

    View 3 Days itinerary

    Tour  Name   Dura+on   Homestay   The  Nests     Jungle  camp   Difficulty  level  

    The  Nests  2d.   2  D.  /  1  N.   -­‐   On  Night  1   -­‐   Moderate  to   hard  

    The  Nests  3d.   3  D.  /  2  N.   -­‐   On  Night  2   On  Night  1   Moderate  to   hard  

    Cloud  Forest   Climb  4d.  

    4  D.  /  3  N.   On  Night  1   -­‐   On  Night  2  &  3   Challenging  

    Cloud  Forest   Climb  5d.  

    5  D.  /  4  N.   On  Night  1   On  Night  4   On  Night  2  &  3   Challenging  

    Visit Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area

    Nam Nern Night Safari (Easy 24 hour tour) This innovative and adventurous journey by traditional long-tail boat offers some great nature activities that include bird watching, wildlife tracking, nighttime wildlife spotting, medicinal plant exploration and moderate hiking.

    These eco-tours are not only one of the only opportunities in Laos to view rare wildlife, but all the trips are designed to support alternative livelihoods for local people and generate community support for

    conservation of tigers and other wildlife.

    View Night Safari itinerary

    We are proud that the Nam Nern Night Safari eco-tour in the heart of Nam Et-Phou Louey protected area has won the two prestigious ‘World Responsible Tourism Awards’ at the World Travel Mart in London, England. In 2013 in the category ‘Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences’ and in year 2014 in the category ‘People’s Choice in Responsible Tourism’.

    Responsible Tourism Awards

    Getting to NEPL ContactsALL ToursEcotourism Model What to bring?About NEPL

  • DAY 2 Morning. Before breakfast, local guides take you on a walk around the jungle, teaching about the use of some medicinal plants and explaining the history of the site, which was once a major settlement during the Secret War. After breakfast, the boats float back through the core zone at a relaxing pace with engines off, while the guides point out wildlife along the way.

    Return. Arrival at the Ban Son Khoua village around 10-11am. Before departing, the group will be asked to fill out a wildlife monitoring form that is used to monitor wildlife abundance and indicate the amount of bonuses put into the village development fund from the tour costs. (There is no extra fee is you are so lucky to see a tiger.)

    DEPARTURE. Visitors may continue on towards Viengxay or Phonesavanh (about 100km+ in either direction) or head back to Viengthong (50km), Nong Kiau (230km), or Luang Prabang (350km). The public buses are driving through the village daily. Please inform our guides in advance about your further travel plans and they will make sure that you catch the right bus in time.

    RATES 1 pax - 1’800’000 Lak/Pax 2 pax - 1’300’000 Lak/Pax

    3 pax & More- 1’200’000 Lak/Pax

    See availability online & Book the tour