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Nam Et Phou Louey National Protected Area

The ecotourism products at the Nam Et-Phou Louey (NEPL) National Protected Area in Houaphan Province, Lao PDR (Laos) have been designed to create a direct link between conservation and tourism so that the money that tourists pay has a positive impact on encouraging local people to protect endangered wildlife.

This is achieved through both direct employment and incentives for seen wildlife for community service provider groups, and through the distribution of benefits to a larger number of surrounding villages for contributing to wildlife conservation.

In total 26 villages (more than 2000 households) are participating in the ecotourism activity with 4 villages being directly engaged to provide services for the tours.

The Nam Nern Night Safari

Opened in 2009, the Nam Nern Night Safari is a 24-hour boat-based tour into the core of the NEPL NPA. The highlight of the trip is a night-time wildlife-spotlighting activity, when long-tail boats drift down the Nam Nern River looking for wild and endangered animals before returning visitors to the ecolodge within the national protected area. Additional nature activities during the tour include bird watching, wildlife tracking, and a short morning hike. Visitors to the Night Safari stay overnight in traditional Lao bungalows, built and managed by the community and overlooking the Nam Nern River from the forest edge.

The Nam Nern Night Safari has gained public recognition and international visibility as well as won the prestigious ‘World Responsible Tourism Award’ both in year 2013 and 2014. The project employs directly around 40 families and involves 14 villages (more than 1100 households).

Trekking Tours

In 2016, two trekking products with 2 to 5 day itineraries were opened: “The Nests” and “The Cloud Forest Climb”. The trek project benefits 12 surrounding villages and offers to the visitors a unique opportunity to track wild species such as white-cheeked gibbon, leopards, bears and wild dog (dhole) using camera traps, which are set up along the trail and maintained by tourists. The data from these traps is incorporated into the protected area wildlife-monitoring program.
There are two ecotourism products at NEPL: the Nam Nern Night Safari, and a series of interconnected trekking tours including ‘The Nests’ and ‘The Cloud Forest Climb’.

Most of your tour fee goes directly to villagers in the communities around Nam Et-Phou Louey. A village development fund is shared equally between the 26 villages that surround the ecotours. In addition to being paid for the services they provide, villagers also receive a bonus based 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.

If you are checking for availability of the tours in Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area, please go to www.namet.org

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Listing Location

Nam Et - Phou Louey National Protected Area Headquarters & Visitor Center, Houaphanh Province, Laos

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