Mui Ca Mau National Park Wildlife guide – update 2023

Mui Ca Mau National Park is a protected area located at the southernmost tip of Vietnam’s mainland, covering an area of approximately 41,862 hectares. The park is renowned for its diverse and unique ecosystems, including mangrove forests, salt marshes, and freshwater swamps, which are home to a variety of flora and fauna, including many endangered species. It is also an important site for migratory birds and serves as a critical stopover point along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Mui Ca Mau National Park offers visitors a chance to experience the beauty of nature and learn about the importance of conservation efforts in protecting our environment.

Find out about: Vietnam Birding Tours & National Park Tour

Fact: One fascinating fact about Mui Ca Mau National Park is that it is home to the southernmost point of Vietnam's mainland, where the Ca Mau Cape juts out into the Gulf of Thailand.

Mui Ca Mau is a must-visit for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Here are 9 highlights to look forward to:

  1. Hon Khoai Island: Located off the coast of the national park, Hon Khoai Island is a scenic spot known for its historic lighthouse and picturesque beaches.
  2. Birdwatching: Mui Ca Mau National Park is home to over 90 bird species, including the endangered spoon-billed sandpiper and the black-faced spoonbill.
  3. Mangrove forests: The national park is renowned for its extensive mangrove forests, which play a vital role in protecting the coastline from erosion and providing important habitat for numerous wildlife species.
  4. Crocodile Lake: This tranquil lake is home to a large population of saltwater crocodiles, as well as a variety of bird species and other wildlife.
  5. Khai Long Beach: This stunning beach offers pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.
  6. Cultural attractions: Mui Ca Mau National Park is also home to a number of cultural attractions, including historic temples and traditional fishing villages.
  7. Trekking: The national park offers a variety of hiking trails, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore the park’s diverse landscapes and observe its wildlife up close.
  8. Sunset viewing: The park’s location on the southernmost tip of Vietnam makes it an ideal spot for watching the sun dip below the horizon.
  9. Conservation efforts: Mui Ca Mau National Park is actively involved in conservation efforts aimed at protecting the park’s unique wildlife and ecosystems, making it an important destination for eco-tourists and nature lovers.
Mui Ca Mau National Park
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Visit Mui Ca Mau for wildlife.

As the southernmost point of Vietnam, Mui Ca Mau offers visitors a unique and diverse wildlife experience. The national park is home to various rare and endangered species, including the black-faced spoonbill, saltwater crocodile, and silver langur. Visitors can also spot flocks of migratory birds, such as sandpipers and plovers, during the winter months. In addition, the park features vast mangrove forests, which provide a vital habitat for various marine life and serve as a natural barrier against coastal erosion. A visit to Mui Ca Mau is an excellent opportunity to connect with nature and witness the beauty of Vietnam’s rich biodiversity.

Here is 10 reason to explore Mui Ca Mau National Park

  1. Diverse Birdlife: Mui Ca Mau National Park is home to a wide variety of bird species, including many rare and endangered ones like the Black-faced Spoonbill, Great Knot, and Nordmann’s Greenshank.
  2. Rare Mammals: The park is also a habitat for several rare mammal species such as the Fishing Cat, Otter, and Asian Palm Civet.
  3. Reptiles and Amphibians: Mui Ca Mau National Park is home to a variety of reptile and amphibian species such as the Siamese Crocodile, Green Turtle, and several species of frogs and toads.
  4. Marine Life: The park’s location on the coast means that it is also home to a diverse range of marine life, including several species of fish, crabs, and other marine invertebrates.
  5. Mangrove Forest: Mui Ca Mau National Park is known for its extensive mangrove forests which provide important habitats for many of the park’s wildlife species.
  6. Wetlands: The park’s wetlands are home to many waterbird species, making it an excellent destination for birdwatching.
  7. Endemic Species: Mui Ca Mau National Park is home to several species that are found nowhere else in the world, such as the Ca Mau Grackle and Ca Mau Salangane.
  8. Biodiversity Hotspot: The park’s diverse range of habitats and wildlife make it a biodiversity hotspot, attracting researchers and conservationists from around the world.
  9. Ecotourism Opportunities: Visitors to Mui Ca Mau National Park can experience its rich wildlife through guided tours, birdwatching, and other ecotourism activities, contributing to local conservation efforts.
  10. Conservation Success: Mui Ca Mau National Park’s success in protecting its wildlife and habitats has been recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), making it an important model for other protected areas in the region.

Tips

Visit Mui Ca Mau National Park

Mui Ca Mau National Park is located at the southernmost tip of Vietnam, where the Mekong Delta meets the Gulf of Thailand. This protected area covers an area of approximately 43,000 hectares and is home to a diverse range of habitats including mangrove forests, freshwater swamps, and mixed lowland forests. The park is also an important stopover site for migratory birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatching enthusiasts.

Aside from birdwatching, Mui Ca Mau National Park also offers opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and boat tours to explore the mangrove forests and waterways. Visitors can also learn about the traditional livelihoods of local communities such as fishing and shrimp farming. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife including otters, macaques, and fishing cats.

Mui Ca Mau National Park is a unique and ecologically important destination for nature lovers and those interested in learning about the biodiversity of Vietnam.

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 Mui Ca Mau national park. You will be surprised what you would have walked past without noticing had you been visiting on your own!

Visit on weekdays

Mui Ca Mau national park is Vietnam’s most popular national park. 80% of the visitors in Mui Ca Mau 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 Mui Ca Mau, 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 Mui Ca Mau 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 Mui Ca Mau 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 Mui Ca Mau National Park you can choose to stay.

What is there to see?

Mui Ca Mau National Park is a biodiverse area located at the southernmost tip of Vietnam. Here are some of the things you can see when you visit:

  1. Bird Watching: Mui Ca Mau National Park is a paradise for bird watchers. With over 230 species of birds found here, including many rare and endangered species.
  2. Mangrove Forest: Mui Ca Mau National Park is home to a large area of mangrove forest, which provides a habitat for many aquatic species such as fish, crabs, and shrimps.
  3. Endangered species: The park is home to many endangered species such as fishing cats, otters, wild boars, and the endangered white-rumped langur.
  4. Scenic Views: The park has a beautiful landscape, with forests, wetlands, and mountains. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding areas.
  5. Local Communities: The park is also home to many local communities, who rely on the park’s natural resources for their livelihoods. Visitors can learn about their unique culture and way of life.
  6. Eco-tours: There are several eco-tours available that allow visitors to explore the park’s unique ecosystem and learn about the importance of conservation efforts.
  7. Trekking: The park has several trekking trails that lead through the forest and wetlands, providing an opportunity to see the wildlife up close.
  8. Boating: Visitors can take a boat tour through the mangrove forests, allowing them to see the area from a different perspective.
  9. Environmental Education: Mui Ca Mau National Park is a great place for students and researchers to learn about the region’s unique ecosystem and the importance of conservation efforts
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Other activities

Aside from birdwatching and wildlife spotting, Mui Ca Mau National Park offers various activities for visitors. One popular activity is hiking, where visitors can explore the diverse landscapes of the park and enjoy scenic views. There are several trails to choose from, ranging from easy to difficult, and visitors can hire a guide to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Another activity is boat tours, where visitors can cruise along the mangrove forests and rivers to observe the park’s wildlife and landscapes. Visitors can also explore the nearby coastal areas and beaches, such as Dat Mui Beach, Hon Khoai Island, and Hon Da Bac Island, where they can relax, swim, and snorkel.

For those interested in local culture and history, Mui Ca Mau National Park offers opportunities to learn about the traditional practices and livelihoods of the local communities, such as fishing and farming. Visitors can also visit nearby villages and markets to sample local cuisine and handicrafts.

How to get to Mui Ca Mau National Park?

Mui Ca Mau National Park is located in the southernmost part of Vietnam, in the Ca Mau Province. The most convenient way to get there is by taking a flight or bus to Ca Mau City, which is approximately 70 km away from the park. From Ca Mau City, visitors can hire a taxi or rent a motorbike to reach the park.

Alternatively, visitors can also take a boat from Rach Gia City to Dat Mui Commune, which is located in the heart of the national park. However, this option can take longer and is subject to weather conditions.

Weather & Climate in Mui Ca Mau National Park

Mui Ca Mau National Park is located in the southernmost province of Vietnam, Ca Mau, which has a tropical monsoon climate. The weather in the region is generally hot and humid throughout the year, with two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season.

The rainy season typically lasts from May to November, with the heaviest rainfall occurring between June and September. During this time, the park can experience occasional flooding and strong winds. The dry season runs from December to April, with lower humidity and cooler temperatures.

Overall, the best time to visit Mui Ca Mau National Park is during the dry season when the weather is more comfortable for outdoor activities such as bird watching and hiking. However, visitors should always check the weather forecast before traveling to the park as weather patterns can vary from year to year.

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