Key Info

For more information contact us on +44 (0) 7414 00 66 03paul@greigsmithtravels.com

Greig Smith Travels Ltd. Registered Company Number 7786310.

Travel Trust Association No: U9657

32 Drake Road, Chafford Hundred, Essex, RM16 6PS. UK

© Greig Smith Travels Ltd 2011

No portion of this website may be reproduced without the prior consent of Greig Smith Travels Ltd. All rights reserved.

Wildlife Tour of Laos - Tailor made tour

Venture off the well worn tourist trail for a real glimpse of authentic  Laotian life and culture. Stay in comfortable eco lodges and take in the mesmerizing beauty of this captivating country.

Along the way, you will get to meet some of the hill tribes who inhabit Laos’s remote villages as well as visit an Asiatic bear sanctuary, go dolphin spotting on the Mekong, and camp and trek in search of gibbons, Asian elephants, jungle cats, clouded leopards, marbled cats, Asiatic golden cats, hog badgers, birdlife and more in some of the most bio diverse forests in Southeast Asia.

Highlights

  1. Stay at an “elephant camp” and learn Mahout skills.

  2. Trek in the biodiverse forests of Laos looking for wild elephants, gibbons, jungle cats & more.

  3. Visit a bear sanctuary for rehabilitated bears.

  4. Search for endangered Mekong Dolphins

  5. Venture off the beaten path and take in the striking natural beauty of Laos.

  6. Meet indigenous hill tribes in remote regions

  7. Explore the charismatic ancient city of Luang Prabang

  8. Birdwatching in the wetlands of Southern Laos

  9. Cruise throughout the picturesque 4000 Islands

Depart for Chiang Rai (Thailand) via Bangkok (Overnight flight)


Day 1.        Transfer to Huay Say - Luang Namtha                

Following your completion of border formalities, we head out of the town to Luang Namtha. This road has recently been improved, and is now a very smooth and comfortable drive.  We visit hill tribe villages including Khmu and Lu minorities.  In the afternoon, we visit Kao Rao Cave with its impressive limestone formations. We arrive in Luang Namtha mid afternoon where you have the rest of the day at leisure.


Overnight in Luang Namtha at Boatlanding – standard

Meal:  none


Day 2.        Luang Namtha – Jungle Camp                  

This 2 day trek takes you into the southern part of the Nam Ha NPA to stay deep in the mountains in our jungle camp. Learn about birds and animals, plants, and trees of the jungle. Walk in the rain forest, spend some time relaxing in the mountain environment and enjoy traditional Lao food prepared with special forest spices.    



Departure from the office by Tuk Tuk heading South on the highway to Ban Khua soung or Ban Prang, traditional villages of the Khmu ethnic group.  Hike through rice paddies into the mountains of the Nam Ha NPA to the comfortable jungle camp for an overnight stay at 1600 meters. This area of the National Park is the most plentiful for wildlife, and an expert local Akha tribesman will join you and demonstrate his bird calling skills.  There will be delicious traditional meals with some vegetables and spices we collect with the help of the local guide.


Overnight in a simple ‘jungle camp’

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3.        Luang Namtha – Jungle Camp             


After breakfast we continue to walk about 4 hours down the jungle trek to finish the trek at the second Khmu village.  Along the way we stop to see the views and learn about plants, trees, fruits and animals from the local guide.


After lunch we continue to our finish point at the village, where a Tuk Tuk meets us to take us back to Luang Namtha.

Overnight in Luang Namtha at Boatlanding – standard

Meal:  Breakfast, Lunch


Day 4.         Luang Namtha – Nong Khiaw (by car)       

This morning we continue our journey south to Nong Khiaw.  Just outside of Luang Namtha, we stop at the Lanten village of Namdeng Nua, and then again for a lunch stop in Oudomxay.    This route is particularly good for its mountain views and remote Hmong villages, including Ban Xong Ja.  We then continue onto Nong Khiaw, a riverside village situated on a beautiful stretch of the Nam Ou River, where you have the rest of the day at leisure. There is  an easy trek to the picturesque local limestone caves nearby – your guide will be happy to assist.


Overnight in Nong Khiaw at Nong Khiaw Riverside – standard

Meal:  Breakfast


Day 5.       Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang (by Boat)               

This morning we cruise by private boat down the Nam Ou River, enjoying the lush green forests and landscape. Along the way we stop to visit the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two caves set in a limestone cliff facing the Mekong River crammed with thousands Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes.   We continue our trip down the river to Luang Prabang.  You will be transferred to your hotel by private vehicle by early evening.

Overnight in Laugn Prabang at Villa Santi Hotel – Deluxe

Meal:   Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6.         Luang Prabang  – half day city tour

You can discuss with your guide for an optional early morning start (5.30am) to witness and partake in the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks.  This is a unique ritual still followed by the locals in Luang Prabang.  We can also visit the local fresh market to see how the locals shop, before returning to your hotel for breakfast.


DAY 7 CONTD.

Your half day city tour starts with a visit to Wat Visoun, known as ‘The Water Melon Stupa’ due to its shape. Next we visit the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style. We also visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre which gives us a great insight into the ethnic mix and culture of Laos. We then visit the weaving and textile villages of Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek.

Overnight in Laugn Prabang at Villa Santi Hotel – Deluxe

Meal:   Breakfast

Day 7.         Luang Prabang – Khoung Si & Bear Rescue Centre               

We visit the local Phosi Market, this is the place where all the locals shop and your guide will show and explain to you the diverse offerings on display.  We then drive out of the town where you have the option of stopping to visit Khmu, Hmong and Lao Loum villages, representing the main ethnic groups of Laos. This then takes us to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pool or walk along the forest trails.   Next to the falls is a Bear Rescue Centre, here we spend the afternoon at the centre learning about the work that they do. We return to Luang Prabang by early evening afternoon, in time for a sunset over the Mekong

Overnight in Luang Prabang at Villa Santi Hotel – Deluxe

Meal:   Breakfast

Day 8.         Luang Prabang – Mahout Experience           


Travel on road about 15km out of Luang Prabang into the Nam Khan river area and to the Elephant Village. 

Follow the day of the Elephant Mahout! This includes activities with our protected Asian Elephants. Elephant washing, riding, feeding and sharing time with the locals, and all this in the most beautiful area around Luang Prabang! It's a simple life close to the animals and close to nature. The day of a Mahout is scheduled to fit the needs of the animals and offer you the unique chance to follow this natural rhythm. In the afternoon the Elephants have to be brought to their sleeping place in the nearby forest.


The setting is wonderful and of amazing natural beauty. Take time on the afternoon to go and visit Tad Sea Waterfall (not available in dry season - February till August)! Also you will have the chance to ride the Elephants in the neck, to learn some specific methods of controlling the animals. You may ride a few times today and get close with the animals during your activities. A tour guide will bring you to the Elephant Village and explain about the animals as well as about their life and work here in their new home.

Feed them, bring them to the jungle and learn how to clean and wash these massive animals. Live the life of a Lao mahout in our Elephant Park Project area and at the Elephant Village Luang Prabang, the most scenic place around Luang Prabang.

Morning activities in the Elephant Village include Learning and practice methodology for riding an elephant.

  1. How to approach to the elephant safely          

  2. Basic communication words

  3. Ride positioning on Elephant                                              

  4. Method to get on / off elephant neck

  5. How to control by knees, legs, and elephant gear


Check in at the Elephant lodge and take relaxing time in the most beautiful scenery location of Nam Khan River. Enjoy with buffet lunch at Elephant View Restaurant.


In the afternoon introduction to your own elephant by tour guide as listed activities

  1. Habit of each elephant.                                         

  2. Get familiar with your own elephant.

  3. Receive the unique experience by ride elephant to jungle. (Around 30 minutes)

  4. Walk back to pier. (Around 30 minutes)


Overnight in Luang Prabang at Villa Santi Hotel – Deluxe

Meal:   Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9.         Luang Prabang – Pakse     - Kingfisher        


Depending on your departure flight, you may have free time at leisure, before being transferred to the airport for your flight.


Upon arrival you will be met and driven a short distance to the boat pier, to board a private traditional boat for a 2-hour cruise to Champassak.


Upon arrival you will be met and driven a short distance to the boat pier, to board a private traditional boat for a 2-hour cruise to Champassak. Upon arrival in Champassak we continue by car to Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer religious complex dating back to the 5th Century.  This dramatically sited temple is one of the highlights of any trip to Laos.  In the afternoon we the ferry across the Mekong to Ban Muang, then visit the atmospheric ruins of the Khmer temple of Oup Mong at Ban Houei Tomo, located in the forest.  We then continue to Kingfisher Eco Lodge, arriving there late afternoon.


Overnight in Ban Kiet Ngong at King Fisher Ecolodge – Bungalow 

Meal:   Breakfast


Day 10.         Kingfisher  - Bird watching       


An early morning start gives you the best opportunity for birdwatching in the wetland area surrounding Kingfisher Eco Lodge.   afternoon is at leisure.


Overnight in Ban Kiet Ngong at King Fisher Ecolodge – Bungalow 

Meal:   Breakfast,

Day 11.         Kingfisher  -  4000 islands including dolphin watching        

Drive to Ban Hatsaikhoun and then board a local private boat for a boat tour of the 4000 Islands.  We reach the picturesque island of Don Khone and explore the island by bicycle, We then return to our boat and head back to the mainland, visiting the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia.  From here we take a boat onto the Mekong to one of the few places in the world where it is possible to see freshwater dolphins.  They reside in deep pools near the Cambodia border, and if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of them.  We then return to King Fisher Lodge by car, arriving there by the late afternoon.


Overnight in Ban Kiet Ngong at King Fisher Ecolodge – Bungalow 

Meal:   Breakfast

Day 12.     Kingfisher  - departure        


Depending on your departure flight, you may have free time at leisure, before crossing back to the mainland by boat, then onto Pakse by car to the airport for your departure.


Meal:   Breakfast

Day 13.     Bangkok       

At leisure - sightseeing activities available on request.


Day 14.     Fly home       


Transfer to airport for flight home.


Price is subject to change, availability and season


Tour Includes:

  1. All transfers as per itinerary

  2. All sightseeing as per itinerary with an English speaking guide.

  3. Excursions as mentioned

  4. Domestic flights Domestic flight (These are included in the quoted price, however a local payment is required to our ground agent for the flights. The amount you pay for the internal flights will be taken off the price quoted above and will be broken down clearly in your invoice)

  5. Transportation in private vehicle

  6. Meals as mentioned (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner where specified - excludes drinks)

  7. Public liability insurance

  8. All government  taxes

  9. Accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis throughout the tour.

  10. boat trips as per itinerary



Tour Excludes:

  1. All International flights & Visa fees

  2. International airport tax (Included in Airline Ticket)

  3. Meals, unless mentioned

  4. Optional tours & activities mentioned in the itinerary.

  5. Beverages and personal expenses

  6. Other excursions and entrance fees

  7. Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident of illness)


When to Travel

Late October to March is when the temperature is most pleasant. However, Indochina is a year-round destination although conditions may vary especially when venturing off the beaten track. During May and June it can get particularly hot and July to September is the season of the south-western monsoon, when wet conditions make some roads impassable.


Whilst many people avoid the “off season”, there are plenty of good reasons to travel during this time, when hotel rates are reduced and the attractions are delightfully free of crowds.