See gibbons in their natural environment of the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary
Jahoo Gibbon Camp is a responsible community-based ecotourism and conservation project in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, where visitors have the chance to see yellow-cheeked crested gibbons and black-shanked douc langurs, as well as rare bird species. The Bamboo Lounge within the Forest Camp allows you time for leisure and relaxation, even as you breathe in the lush green bounty of beauty all around you.
The local ethnic minority community- Bunongs people play a pivotal role in helping manage the sanctuary and protect the deforestation of the Seima forest.
The Jahoo Gibbon Camp is one part of the larger forest area of Keo Siema Wildlife Sanctuary. Managing the Jahoo Camp is a joint effort by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Cambodian Government. The local Bunong community also lends a helpful hand in maintaining the forest area and looking after the many animal and bird species found there.
To preserve the sanctity of the forest, the entry to the sanctuary is exclusive and allowed only on pre-booking. The funds collected through entry fees, goes back into helping the local community by providing education and improving water supply. The funds are also used for maintenance of the forest and to support the wildlife protection efforts, especially for the endangered Black Shanked Douc Langour.
The WCS involves the people from the Bunong community to habituate the Yellow Cheeked Crested Gibbons, a species of gibbons that are found only at Jahoo. The gibbons are divided into two groups, one group consists of gibbon couples and another consists of families of six gibbons. They’re then acclimatised to the surrounding Keo Seima Forest, which is largely managed by the local community at Andoung Kralong.
Ms. Harri Washington, who is an ecotourism consultant at the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary believes that this place is the perfect spot for wildlife enthusiasts to observe and understand gibbons. She says, “The gibbons tend to spend so much time in the forest around people that they have become used to human presence. It doesn’t bother or disturb them. This makes it the perfect opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat.”
The Keo Seima Protected Forest Wildlife Sanctuary (KSPF) is spread over a massive area of 2000 km2, home to many endangered animal species. It is located in the Eastern part of Cambodia and is better the local ethnic tribes and communities within the sanctuary look after the conservation, protection and tourism aspect of it all.
The Jahoo Gibbon Camp is one part of this sanctuary and is home to seven species of gibbons, including the exotic yellow-cheeked crested gibbon. For wildlife enthusiasts, who have a particular penchant for primates, this place is a treat! It is also home to over 40,000 black-shanked douc langurs, the only population of this species in the world. It truly is a primate-lover’s paradise!
Jahoo Gibbon Camp is a truly responsible tourism and conservation project that is home to seven species of Gibbon, including the yellow-cheeked crested gibbon, whose plaintive calls can be heard every morning echoing through the forest.
For sixteen days every month, two local gibbon researchers get up before dawn and spend the morning in the forest looking for one of our two groups, and collecting data on their behaviour and tolerance of human contact. Collected data is being analyzed, and results will be used to help improve the habituation process.
For those wishing to stay overnight Safari style accommodation which consists of simple bamboo tents with beds, toilets, shower, and the Bamboo Lounge where home-cooked dinners are served.
The camp is currently undergoing refurbishment, carried out in phases, to improve the bamboo infrastructure.
The most popular option to visit the project is a 1 day Gibbon and Wildlife watching tour. Leaving very early morning from Sen Monorom , you arrive at 5.30 to the Jahoo Gibbon Camp. During the early morning walk with your guide, you will focus on locating one of two residential troops of Yellow-Cheek Gibbon that reside in the area. You should also look out for pig-tailed and long-tailed macaques and the silvery lutung, also known as the silvered leaf monkey or silvery langur. For bird watchers, there are opportunities to catch a glimpse of peacock pheasants, green peafowl, Siamese fireback, great hornbill, and Orange-necked partridge, among others. The forest is also home to one of the largest concentrations of woodpecker, including white-bellied, heart-spotted, black and buff, great slaty and pale-capped woodpecker. After lunch at Jahoo Gibbon Camp you will continue your trek along other more isolated trails in the forest, before transferring back to your hotel in Sen Monorom in the late afternoon.
For those wishing to spend more time at the site, the project can organise multi-day tracks that let you explore some of the more remote areas of the Seima Protected Forests or residential visit – just relax at the site – disconnect from the world.
If you’re not a wildlife enthusiast, the place has much to offer you. It allows you to disconnect from the outside world for a while and connect with your inner self, for a change. Lounge in the comfortable arenas or read a book while you breathe in the fresh forest air even as you learn to love yourself a little more.
The Jahoo Gibbon Camp isn’t open for walk-ins, so you cannot simply saunter into the campsite looking to trek or see animals. You will find tour operators who can organize an itinerary for you and pre-book the visit.
Jahoo is located in Mondulkiri Province, in the North Eastern bend of Cambodia. To get access to the campsite, you will have to reach Sen Monorom, which is the provincial capital of Mondulkiri. To get to Sen Monorom, simply hop onto one of the VIP minibuses that start run across the length and breadth of Cambodia.
Taking a bus from Phnom Penh will get you to Sen Monorom in 6-7 hours. But if you are travelling all the way from Siem Reap, it may take up to 9 hours to reach Sen Monorom, so plan accordingly.
From Sen Monorom, you simply have to flag one of the many buses that go to Jahoo Gibbon Camp. The camp is at a distance of 25 km from here.
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