Why birding in Yok Don National park
Dominant habitat is deciduous forest with seasonal pools and areas of semi-evergreen forest along rivers and streams and low hills. The Srepok River, a major tributary of the Mekong River bisects the park flowing over the border into Cambodia. Yok Don’s dry dipterocarp forest shares a similar avifauna with that of adjoining areas of north-western Cambodia and offers a chance to see some species that are otherwise difficult or impossible to find at other sites in Vietnam.
These include Yellow-footed Green-pigeon, Black-headed, Yellow-crowned, and Rufous-bellied Woodpeckers, White-rumped Pygmy-falcon, Blossom-headed and Alexandrine Parakeets, Small Minivet, Rufous Treepie, Burmese Nuthatch, Purple Sunbird, and Mekong Wagtail.
A lot of luck however would be needed to see some of the rarer species that have been recorded here such as White-winged Duck, Masked Finfoot, Black-necked Stork, White-shouldered and Giant Ibises, and Red-headed and White-rumped Vultures.
Yok Don is the largest national park in Vietnam, it holds a forest dominated by dipterocarps which are open in the dry season or called a deciduous forest, the ecosystem that is almost as productive as the African savanna. Gaur, Banteng, Elephant, Kouprey, Water Buffalo, Tiger, Asian Wild Dog, Eld’s Deer, Muntjac, and Wild Boar are some of the large mammals who inhabit this ecosystem. The Birdlife of this park is also different which not found in other types of habitats such as White-rumped Falcon, Collared Falconet, Rufous Treepie, Black-headed Woodpecker…
One of the important factors that greatly increase the biological diversity of the park is the presence of scattered wetlands. These relatively small, shallow wetlands support habitats for large waterbirds such as Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant, Black-necked and Woolly-necked Storks, Giant and White-shouldered Ibis
What to see?
About 300 species have been recorded for the park, the high number of lowland birds, many widespread species are very common here such as Sooty-headed Bulbul, Indian Roller, Greater Flameback, Black-hooded Oriole. Beside those common species, many sought after species that are only can be seen here and no where else in Vietnam.
Most highlights Yok Don Np.
Mekong Wagtail, White-rumped Falcon, Collared Falconet, Black-hooded Woodpecker and other woodpeckers, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Alexandrine, Grey-headed, Blossom-headed Parrakeets, Yellow-footed Green Pigion, White-rumped and Red-headed Vultures
When is the best time for birding in Yok Don Np?
“The best time for birding in Yok Don is from Dec to Apr when the forest does not have many leaves and it’s dry.
Where birding in Yok Don Np.
The are many trails to birding when you access the national park, the main trail being conquered road, quite easy to drive in the forest, and birding by car.
Tips for birding in Yok Don Np.
About an hour’s drive from Ban Me Thuot city (40 km). There are flights from Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City to Ban Me Thuot airport every day. From Da Lat, you can travel on relatively bad road 27, it takes about 7 hours however this is a good way to connect to the excellent birding site of Da Lat
Many hotels in Ban Me Thuot, basic accommodation at park HQ, and an acceptable lodge at the Ban Don tourism area
The best tour cover Birding in Yok Don Np.
Hot-spot for Birding in Vietnam
all birding in hot-spot informative info [updated Jan 2023]
Nr.: Nature reserve; Np. National Park; mt. Mountain