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WINGS Birding Tours – Information


Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for this tour. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING AND LEAVING CAMBODIA: A passport valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure and with at least one blank page for an entry stamp is required for United States citizens to enter Cambodia. Upon arrival in Cambodia, a one month tourist visa is obtained very quickly. At present the cost is $US30 and a passport photo is required. If you do not have a passport photo, you will be charged an extra $2 and the process will take a little longer (but it is generally very quick and efficient).  There is no longer a payable departure tax. It is possible to obtain a visa online now, but please be careful to choose a reputable website. We recommend the government website Do not apply for your visa more than three months prior to your planned arrival.  

Non U.S. citizens should check with their consulate/embassy for instructions.   

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Cambodia at

PACE OF THE TOUR:  We’ll be in the field at or before dawn (around 6.00 am) so that we can hear the birds singing as the day starts up. For some critical species such as the Giant Ibis, this may be our only opportunity to discover if they are present or not. Typically, we’ll return to our hotel or lodge for lunch and then rest up during the heat of the day when bird activity is virtually nil, before going out again in the late afternoon. 

Our longest walks will probably be at Tmatboey when we search for the Giant Ibis. At Tmatboey, we’ll depart before dawn and walk through short grassland on indistinct trails, the area is flat but the surface can be very uneven at times. It is important to bring a flashlight, and a hiking stick may be helpful. The distance we will walk depends on how quickly we find the ibis but will be between one to three miles. On one day we will explore Angkor and there will be opportunities to either bird around or explore the ruins, depending upon your interests. We will take a boat trip at Kratie where we use two six seater motorized boats to explore the Mekong River with its many islands that harbor birdlife. 

Otherwise, we’ll be walking on level ground either on paved or unpaved roads or tracks and occasionally trails. There is some walking through grassland but very little uphill walking. Where there is, this will always be at a gentle pace with regular stops. 

HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. 

They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure. 

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s  Travel Health website at

Malaria: Malaria is present, including the chloroquine-resistant strain.  Please consult your doctor or local travel clinic for recommendations. 

Smoking:  Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a nonsmoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

Miscellaneous:  Insects such as mosquitoes and sand-flies can be a problem although scarce in the dry season. We recommend using insect repellents with a high concentration of DEET. 

CLIMATE: Cambodia is generally hot with high temperatures approaching 90 F (32 C) and the northern forests do not offer a great deal of shade. Night temperatures can be warm in the north but generally cool enough, 70 F (22 C) for a light jacket. Humidity averages from 70-80% year round; our visit in December coincides with a period of lower humidity at just below 75%. It is unlikely that we’ll encounter any rain at this time of year; that said, there is always a possibility.

ACCOMMODATIONS: At Tmatboey we’ll stay in a small lodge with individual huts and private if very simple bathrooms. The beds are equipped with good quality bedding and mosquito netting. Towels are provided. The toilets are western style but with a bucket flush. There is solar powered electricity available, but we cannot guarantee that it will be sufficient for recharging batteries (generally we don’t have problems, though). Please do not wear your shoes inside the room or the dining area. These accommodations are very simple yet peaceful and refreshing.

The tented camps are not luxurious but quite comfortable. They are large, walk-in canvas tents with a floor. They are spacious and you can stand up in them. The beds are canvas cots and bedding is supplied and clean. There is a tent toilet and a tent shower. And best of all they are right in the middle of some great birding.

Elsewhere our hotels are modern and comfortable with all the amenities one would expect. 

Internet, WiFi and telephone:  Wi-Fi is generally available. Cell phones can be useful while on tour but keep in mind that many countries operate on a different cellular technology than US or Canadian carriers. Your phone may be incompatible with the local system, so please check with your local carrier. 

FOOD: The food in Cambodia is always fresh and tasty. The staple is rice, and this will be served with every meal. If you do not like rice, don’t worry, there is enough food in the form of vegetables and meat. Most of our meals will consist of chicken or fish dishes as well as a variety of vegetable dishes. Vegetarians can be catered for but please understand that this is a rather foreign concept to most Cambodians. Breakfasts are usually Western style with coffee, bread and eggs. At the remoter lodges though, breakfast will be fried rice or similar. Western food is available at our hotels in the bigger towns and cities.

Food Allergies / Requirements:  We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions. 

Drinking Water: Tap water should be avoided. In smaller towns and rural areas, assume the water is unsafe and stick with bottled or boiled drinks. This will be provided throughout the tour. A bottle will be provided to fill from a larger water container; please bring your own bottle if you prefer. Sanitation throughout Cambodia is relatively good compared to most tropical areas of the world.

TRANSPORTATION: Transportation is by a small minibus or four-wheel drive vehicles suited to the terrain. There are no internal flights. There are several long drives, but these are broken by stops for birdwatching and rest stops. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in our tour vehicle. We cannot guarantee that couples will always be seated together, although we will try to accommodate on most days. There is one day where we will use boats to get to our birding spot (see above). Life jackets are provided.

Updated: 11 January 2023