Tram Chim National Park Wildlife guide – update 2023

Tram Chim National Park is a wetland nature reserve located in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. It covers an area of 7,612 hectares and is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including many endangered species.

The park is known for its large flocks of waterbirds, including several species of storks, egrets, and ibises, which can be seen feeding and nesting in the wetlands. The park also contains several lotus lakes and is home to the rare and endangered Sarus Crane. Tram Chim National Park is a popular destination for birdwatching, eco-tourism, and learning about wetland conservation efforts in Vietnam.

Tram Chim National Park – How to Explore wild & Nature in 2023
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Find out about: Vietnam Birding Tours & National Park Tour

Fact: Tram Chim National Park is home to the largest colony of Sarus Cranes in Vietnam, with an estimated population of around 120 individuals. This rare and endangered species is the tallest flying bird in the world, standing up to 1.8 meters tall, and is an important cultural symbol in Vietnam, where it is known as the "Dancing Crane." 
The park has implemented conservation measures to protect the Sarus Crane and its habitat, including the restoration of wetland habitats and the construction of artificial nests to encourage breeding. The park has also established a breeding center for Sarus Cranes, which has successfully raised and released several young cranes into the wild.

Tram Chim National Park is a must-visit for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Here are a 9 highlights to look forward:

  1. Birdwatching: Tram Chim National Park is home to over 200 species of birds, including the Sarus Crane, Asian Openbill, Lesser Whistling Duck, and many others.
  2. Sarus Crane: The park is home to the largest colony of Sarus Cranes in Vietnam, and visitors can observe these majestic birds feeding, nesting, and performing their elaborate courtship dances.
  3. Lotus flowers: The park is known for its beautiful lotus flowers, which bloom in the wetlands from July to November.
  4. Wetland ecosystems: Tram Chim National Park is an important wetland ecosystem, and visitors can learn about the ecology of the Mekong Delta and the conservation efforts being undertaken to protect the region’s unique habitats.
  5. Boat tours: Visitors can take boat tours through the wetlands to observe the park’s wildlife and enjoy the peaceful scenery.
  6. Night safaris: The park offers night safaris, where visitors can observe nocturnal animals such as owls, nightjars, and civets.
  7. Trekking: Visitors can explore the park’s trails on foot, passing through forests, grasslands, and wetlands.
  8. Cultural experiences: The park is located in an area with a rich cultural heritage, and visitors can learn about the traditions of the local communities, including their farming practices, handicrafts, and festivals.
  9. Environmental education: Tram Chim National Park offers educational programs for visitors of all ages, teaching them about the importance of wetland conservation and sustainable tourism practices
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Visit Tram Chim National Park for wildlife.

Tram Chim National Park is a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts, particularly those interested in birdwatching. The park is home to over 200 species of birds, including many rare and endangered species such as the Sarus Crane, Asian Openbill, Lesser Whistling Duck, and many others.

Visitors can observe these birds feeding, nesting, and performing their courtship dances in their natural habitat. The park is also home to several other species of animals, including mammals such as otters, civets, and deer, as well as reptiles and fish that live in the wetland ecosystems.

Boat tours and trekking through the park are great ways to experience the wildlife of Tram Chim National Park. Additionally, the park offers night safaris, where visitors can observe nocturnal animals such as owls and nightjars.

Tips

Visit Tram Chim National Park

Visiting Tram Chim National Park is a great way to experience the beauty and wildlife of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Here are some tips for planning your visit:

  1. Best time to visit: The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is from December to May when the weather is dry and cool.
  2. Getting there: Tram Chim National Park is located in Dong Thap province, about 150 kilometers southwest of Ho Chi Minh City. Visitors can take a bus or taxi from Ho Chi Minh City to the town of Tam Nong, where the park is located.
  3. Accommodation: There are several accommodation options near the park, including guesthouses and homestays in Tam Nong town. Some visitors choose to stay in Ho Chi Minh City and take a day trip to the park.
  4. Activities: Visitors can take boat tours through the wetlands, observe the park’s wildlife, trek through the park’s trails, and enjoy cultural experiences in the nearby villages.
  5. Environmental education: Tram Chim National Park offers educational programs for visitors of all ages, teaching them about the importance of wetland conservation and sustainable tourism practices.
  6. Safety precautions: Visitors should bring mosquito repellent and wear comfortable clothing and shoes for trekking. It’s also important to respect the park’s wildlife and follow the park’s rules and regulations to protect the park’s ecosystem

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 Tram Chim National Park. You will be surprised what you would have walked past without noticing had you been visiting on your own!

Visit on weekdays

Tram Chim national park is Vietnam’s most popular national park. 80% of the visitors to Tram Chim 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.

Plan a trip for Tram Chim

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Do NOT feed the animals

Most people understand you should not feed the wildlife. In Tram Chim National Park, the wildlife is quite shy but if you find some young bird 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 Outdoor clothings

Most of the time in Tram Chim National Park

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 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 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 scarier 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 Tram Chim National Park 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 Tram Chim National Park you can choose to stay.

What is there to see?

Tram Chim National Park is a beautiful wetland ecosystem and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Here are some things to see and do in the park:

  1. Sarus Crane: The park is home to the largest colony of Sarus Cranes in Vietnam, and visitors can observe these majestic birds feeding, nesting, and performing their elaborate courtship dances.
  2. Birdwatching: Tram Chim National Park is home to over 200 species of birds, including many rare and endangered species such as the Asian Openbill, Lesser Whistling Duck, and many others.
  3. Wetland ecosystems: The park is an important wetland ecosystem, and visitors can learn about the ecology of the Mekong Delta and the conservation efforts being undertaken to protect the region’s unique habitats.
  4. Boat tours: Visitors can take boat tours through the wetlands to observe the park’s wildlife and enjoy the peaceful scenery.
  5. Lotus flowers: The park is known for its beautiful lotus flowers, which bloom in the wetlands from July to November.
  6. Trekking: Visitors can explore the park’s trails on foot, passing through forests, grasslands, and wetlands.
  7. Cultural experiences: The park is located in an area with a rich cultural heritage, and visitors can learn about the traditions of the local communities, including their farming practices, handicrafts, and festivals.
  8. Night safaris: The park offers night safaris, where visitors can observe nocturnal animals such as owls, nightjars, and civets.
  9. Environmental education: Tram Chim National Park offers educational programs for visitors of all ages, teaching them about the importance of wetland conservation and sustainable tourism practices
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Other activities

In addition to the activities mentioned previously, there are several other things to do in Tram Chim National Park:

  1. Photography: The park’s stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife make it an excellent destination for photography enthusiasts.
  2. Fishing: Visitors can try their hand at fishing in the park’s wetlands, which are home to a variety of freshwater fish.
  3. Cycling: The park’s flat terrain and scenic trails make it an ideal destination for cycling.
  4. Kayaking: Visitors can rent kayaks and explore the park’s waterways at their own pace.
  5. Picnicking: The park has several picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a meal amidst the natural beauty of the wetlands.
  6. Cultural tours: Visitors can take guided tours of nearby villages and learn about the region’s cultural heritage, including traditional handicrafts, local cuisine, and festivals.
  7. Planting trees: Tram Chim National Park organizes tree-planting activities, allowing visitors to contribute to the park’s conservation efforts.
  8. Relaxation: Visitors can simply relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the wetlands, soaking in the natural beauty and tranquility of the park.

How to get to Tram Chim National Park?

Tram Chim National Park is located in the Dong Thap province of southern Vietnam, approximately 150 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. Here are some ways to get there:

  1. By car: Visitors can rent a car or hire a taxi from Ho Chi Minh City or other nearby cities to reach the park. The journey takes around 3-4 hours.
  2. By bus: Several bus companies operate daily services from Ho Chi Minh City to the nearby city of Cao Lanh, from where visitors can take a taxi or motorbike taxi to the park.
  3. By motorbike: Visitors can also rent a motorbike and ride to the park themselves. However, it is important to note that the roads in the area can be quite challenging and may not be suitable for inexperienced riders.

Once you arrive at the park, you can explore it on foot, by bicycle, or by boat, depending on your preferences and the activities you wish to do.

Weather & Climate in Tram Chim National Park

Tram Chim National Park is located in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam, and therefore experiences a tropical climate. The weather is generally hot and humid throughout the year, with two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season.

The rainy season lasts from May to November, with frequent rainfall and occasional flooding. During this time, the wetlands of Tram Chim National Park are at their most vibrant and lush, with an abundance of wildlife and vegetation.

The dry season runs from December to April, with lower humidity and little to no rainfall. This is the best time to visit the park if you want to avoid the rain and enjoy clear skies and warm temperatures. However, the dry season also means that water levels in the wetlands may be lower, which can affect some of the park’s activities such as boating and bird watching.

Overall, the best time to visit Tram Chim National Park is from December to May, when the weather is pleasant and the park is at its most accessible. However, visitors should be prepared for high temperatures and humidity, as well as occasional rain showers even during the dry season.

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