Kon Ka Kinh National Park Wildlife guide – update 2023

Kon Ka Kinh National Park is a protected area located in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam. It covers an area of approximately 416 square kilometers and is known for its rich biodiversity, including a diverse array of plant and animal species.

The park features a range of different ecosystems, from evergreen forests to grasslands and wetlands. It is home to a number of rare and endangered species, such as the Indochinese tiger, the gaur (a type of wild ox), and the gray-shanked douc langur (a type of monkey).

Visitors to Kon Ka Kinh National Park can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing. There are also several waterfalls within the park that are popular with visitors.

Kon Ka Kinh National Park is an important conservation area in Vietnam and is recognized as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It is an excellent destination for nature lovers and those interested in exploring the beauty and diversity of Vietnam’s natural landscapes.

Find out about: Vietnam Birding Tours & National Park Tour

Fact: One interesting fact about Kon Ka Kinh National Park is that it is home to the Kon Ka In volcanic peak, which is an important geological feature in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam. The peak is part of a dormant volcanic complex that last erupted approximately 30 million years ago. 
The area surrounding the peak is rich in mineral deposits, including gold, copper, and iron, and has been the site of mining operations in the past. However, in recent years, the park has been prioritized for conservation efforts, and mining has been prohibited in the area to protect the park's natural resources and biodiversity.

Kon Ka Kinh is a must-visit for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Here are 9 highlights to look forward to:

Here are 9 highlights of Kon Ka Kinh National Park:

  1. Kon Ka In Volcanic Peak: The park’s tallest peak, standing at 1,748 meters, and a geological highlight.
  2. Endangered species: The park is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, such as the Indochinese tiger, the gaur, and the gray-shanked douc langur.
  3. Waterfalls: The park boasts several stunning waterfalls, including Drai Sap, Drai Nur, and Drai Rang.
  4. Trekking and hiking: Visitors can enjoy a range of trekking and hiking trails throughout the park, taking in its diverse flora and fauna.
  5. Birdwatching: The park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 260 species of birds, including the blue-rumped pitta and the black-hooded laughingthrush.
  6. Biodiversity: The park is home to a wide variety of ecosystems, including evergreen forests, grasslands, and wetlands, each with their own unique biodiversity.
  7. The Bat Cave: The park is home to a cave filled with thousands of bats, which visitors can explore.
  8. Cultural heritage: The park is also home to several ethnic minority groups, including the Ba Na and the Gia Rai, who have their own unique cultural traditions and way of life.
  9. Scenic beauty: The park’s stunning landscapes, including its mountains, forests, and waterfalls, offer visitors a unique and unforgettable experience of Vietnam’s natural beauty
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Visit Kon Ka Kinh for wildlife.

If you are visiting Kon Ka Kinh National Park specifically for wildlife, there are several things you can do to maximize your chances of seeing animals:

  1. Hire a local guide: Hiring a local guide is a great way to increase your chances of spotting wildlife. Local guides are familiar with the park’s ecosystems and know where to find specific species.
  2. Join a wildlife safari: Kon Ka Kinh National Park offers wildlife safaris, which are led by experienced guides who are skilled at tracking and spotting animals.
  3. Go on a night walk: Many animals are more active at night, so going on a night walk with a guide can increase your chances of seeing nocturnal species such as civets, porcupines, and flying squirrels.
  4. Visit the bat cave: The park’s bat cave is home to thousands of bats, which can be seen flying in and out of the cave at dusk.
  5. Look for signs of animal activity: Keep an eye out for animal tracks, droppings, and other signs of animal activity while hiking in the park.

Remember, wildlife sightings are never guaranteed, and it’s important to respect the park’s wildlife and their habitats. Keeping a respectful distance and minimizing your impact on the environment can help preserve the park’s natural beauty and biodiversity.

Tips

Visit Kon Ka Kinh

If you are visiting Kon Ka Kinh National Park and are not specifically interested in wildlife, there are still many things to see and do in the park. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Trekking and hiking: The park offers several trekking and hiking trails that lead through its diverse landscapes and offer stunning views of its mountains, forests, and waterfalls.
  2. Waterfalls: The park boasts several beautiful waterfalls, including Drai Sap, Drai Nur, and Drai Rang, which are great spots for swimming and relaxing.
  3. Cultural heritage: The park is home to several ethnic minority groups, including the Ba Na and the Gia Rai, who have their own unique cultural traditions and way of life. Visitors can learn about their customs and explore their villages.
  4. Scenic beauty: The park’s landscapes are breathtaking, with its mountains, forests, and waterfalls offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience of Vietnam’s natural beauty.
  5. Photography: The park is a great destination for photographers, with its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife offering many opportunities for capturing stunning images.
  6. Camping: Visitors can camp in designated areas within the park, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area

There is no ATM here so its better that take cash with you

Go with local guide

We don’t tell you this to sell more tours, but simply because it’s the best way to see more wildlife.

And not to get lost…

The local guides know the park from the inside out and know where the animals often forage. More importantly, the guides have well-trained eyes that will help you to discover everything from the smallest to the largest wonders of Kon Ka Kinh national park. You will be surprised what you would have walked past without noticing had you been visiting on your own!

Visit on weekdays

Kon Ka Kinh national park is Vietnam’s most popular national park. 80% of the visitors in Kon Ka Kinh are Vietnamese. It is great to see that locals are enjoying their own nature parks, which will only make them more aware of what still survives there. And hopefully helps in the protection of these wonderful places. But you might be looking for a place to get away from your busy daily life.

Try to avoid weekends and national holidays. If your planning only allows a visit on the weekend, it is definitely still worth visiting. But you will have to share the roads and the main attractions like the trails with many locals.

Like in other parks around the world with high visitor numbers, wildlife has learned that people are not to be feared. That’s why the popular parks often offer better wildlife observation opportunities than nature reserves with very low visitor numbers and therefore often bigger problems with poaching. The good news is that generally speaking, Vietnamese do not really like walking. Even less when it is in a jungle. So, even on busy weekends, you might still have the forest to yourself.

Do NOT feed the animals

Most people understand you should not feed the wildlife. In Kon Ka Kinh, the wildlife is quite shy but if you find some young macaque or mammals “DON’T FEED THEM”

Feeding wild animals can significantly change their behavior. Feeding or leaving unattended food to large animals, such as bears, can lead them to aggressively seek out food from people, sometimes resulting in injury. Feeding can also alter animal behavior so that animals routinely travel in larger groups, which can make disease transmission between animals more likely.

Bring a Outdoor clothings

Most of the time in Kon Ka Kinh quite humid and hot, you should prepare suitable clothing and suncream

Bring a compass

This really only applies if you are visiting without a guide. Even though there has been some improvement on the more popular trails, still some trails in there are not well-marked. And besides that, there are no good trail maps available. Often (wildlife) trails branch off the original tourist trails and might cause confusion.

All people we have met who thought they had a good sense of direction, get totally disoriented in these jungles. It is easy when following e.g., a river. But once you get into the continuous forest it is really hard. Even the most basic map can help you if you bring a compass. Study the map before you start the trek.

If you do get lost, and know there is a road to the east that cuts through the entire park, a compass will help you find it. Without it, you are completely lost and will rely mostly on luck!

A compass and some basic study of the area/map would have solved this situation. Phone signal has improved a bit in recent years. But still, once you are deeper in the jungle, you won’t be able to call for help. With an analog compass, you do not rely on battery life.

The souvenir shop in the park at the visitor center might have cheap compasses in stock. But to be sure, better bring one from home or buy it before you enter the park, and test if it indeed points in the right direction…

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Park restaurants close early?

Where you eat will largely depend upon where you stay as you’re likely to eat most of your meals dinner at least at your hotel or guesthouse. If you are out and about in the national park, you can eat at one of the restaurants at HQ. The Restaurant is located next to the information center and is a better option than Dipterocarpus doesn’t ask in terms of food and surroundings.

The menu consists of reasonably priced Vietnamese rice, noodle, meat, and fish dishes – expect to pay around 150,000 VND for a dinner of stir-fried chicken, rice, and a vegetable side with a drink, less if you just want noodles or a stir-fried rice.

Buy leech socks and insect repellent

On our tours, we provide leech socks when necessary, but if you’re visiting the park on your own and plan on trekking in the jungle, especially in the months of Jun to October, buy a pair of leech socks and insect repellent in the souvenir shop in the park.

And wear long pants that you can tuck into these leech socks. You will probably regret wearing shorts.It sounds more scary than it is, leeches are small worm-like creatures of 1 to 3 cm long. They don’t transmit diseases. Though there have been some unusual cases of hookworm entering the bite site.

This is not scary either and definitely not common. But if you start to notice a strong itch a couple days after and see a red trail meandering just below your skin starting from the leech bite site, then it is wise to either take deworm medication or freeze it with nitrogen ice or the freeze spray used for sports injuries.

The leech bite does not hurt, usually, you don’t feel anything at all. The only ‘problem’ with leeches is that if they attach long enough, more than 30 seconds or so, they will inject anticoagulant. When you remove them afterward, they will keep bleeding for quite a while. So, getting blood stains on your clothing is the only real trouble.

For some people, just the idea of being ‘attacked’ by leeches is the biggest issue Lol.

Accommodations

Traveling to Kon Ka Kinh you will not have to worry about the accommodation to stay overnight. There are many options for you to choose from, from the homestay to the resort. Below are some options for accommodation in Kon Ka Kinh National Park you can choose to stay.

What is there to see?

There is a lot to see in Kon Ka Kinh National Park. Here are some of the main attractions:

  1. Kon Ka In Volcanic Peak: This is the highest peak in the park, and visitors can enjoy a trek to the summit for stunning views of the surrounding area.
  2. Waterfalls: There are several beautiful waterfalls in the park, including Drai Sap, Drai Nur, and Drai Rang. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of these cascading falls and take a dip in the cool waters.
  3. Wildlife: The park is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including the Indochinese tiger, the gaur, and the gray-shanked douc langur. Visitors can spot these animals on a wildlife safari or while hiking in the park.
  4. Trekking and hiking: There are several trekking and hiking trails in the park that lead through its diverse landscapes and offer a chance to spot wildlife and take in the stunning scenery.
  5. Birdwatching: The park is a paradise for birdwatchers, with over 260 species of birds, including the blue-rumped pitta and the black-hooded laughingthrush.
  6. The Bat Cave: The park is home to a cave filled with thousands of bats, which visitors can explore.
  7. Cultural heritage: The park is home to several ethnic minority groups, including the Ba Na and the Gia Rai, who have their own unique cultural traditions and way of life. Visitors can learn about their customs and explore their villages.
  8. Scenic beauty: The park’s landscapes are breathtaking, with its mountains, forests, and waterfalls offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience of Vietnam’s natural beauty
Kon Ka Kinh National Park
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Other activities

In addition to the activities mentioned earlier, here are some other things to do in Kon Ka Kinh National Park:

  1. Rock climbing: The park offers several rock climbing routes for experienced climbers, offering a unique and challenging way to experience the park’s stunning landscapes.
  2. Mountain biking: The park’s rugged terrain and scenic beauty make it a great destination for mountain biking, with several trails available for all skill levels.
  3. Birdwatching: With over 260 species of birds, including several rare and endemic species, Kon Ka Kinh National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers.
  4. Fishing: Visitors can fish in the park’s rivers and streams, with several species of fish available.
  5. Cultural tours: Visitors can take cultural tours of the park’s ethnic minority villages, learning about their customs, traditions, and way of life.
  6. Nature photography: The park offers many opportunities for nature photography, with its diverse landscapes, wildlife, and plant life providing a wealth of subjects for photographers.
  7. Relaxation: Visitors can simply relax and enjoy the park’s stunning scenery, taking in the sights and sounds of Vietnam’s natural beauty

How to get to Kon Ka Kinh?

Kon Ka Kinh National Park is located in the Gia Lai province of Vietnam, and there are several ways to get there:

  1. By air: The nearest airport is in Pleiku, which is about 100 kilometers from the park. From there, visitors can take a taxi or hire a private car to get to the park.
  2. By bus: There are several buses that run from Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, and Da Nang to Pleiku, which is the nearest major city to the park. From there, visitors can take a taxi or hire a private car to get to the park.
  3. By train: The nearest train station is in Pleiku, and there are several trains that run from Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, and Da Nang to Pleiku. From there, visitors can take a taxi or hire a private car to get to the park.
  4. By motorbike or car: Visitors can also rent a motorbike or car and drive to the park, which offers a great way to explore the surrounding countryside.

Once in the park, visitors can hire a local guide or join a tour to explore its many attractions and activities.

Weather & Climate in Kon Ka Kinh

Kon Ka Kinh National Park has a tropical monsoon climate with two main seasons: a rainy season and a dry season.

The rainy season typically lasts from May to October, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in June, July, and August. During this time, visitors can expect frequent showers and thunderstorms, and the park’s rivers and waterfalls are at their fullest. Temperatures during the rainy season range from 22°C to 28°C.

The dry season typically lasts from November to April, with lower humidity and cooler temperatures. The temperature during the dry season ranges from 18°C to 25°C, and visitors can expect sunny and clear skies. This is a great time for trekking and hiking in the park.

Overall, the best time to visit Kon Ka Kinh National Park is during the dry season from November to April when the weather is pleasant and the park’s natural beauty is at its best. However, visitors should be prepared for occasional rainfall even during the dry season.

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