What wildlife can I see on Nam Nern Night Safari tour?

The Nam Et – Phou Louey national protected area has gained its popularity as being home to the last wild tigers in Lao PDR as well as for many other wild species endemic to Indochina as Gaur, Sambar deer (status: vulnerable), and the White-Cheeked Gibbon (status: critical).

The area displays an outstanding diversity of carnivores that includes:

  • Six cat species (tigers, leopard, clouded leopard, Asian golden cat, marbled cat and leopard cat),
  • Dhole (status: vulnerable),
  • Two species of bear (Asian black bear and sun bear, status: vulnerable),
  • 11 small carnivores including civets, mustelids, and mongoose.

Want to see larger list of all the species? –> Click here. 

The Nam Nern Night Safari, the 24 hour eco-tour inside the protected area is promoted as “One of the few opportunities in Laos to see rare wildlife”. While visitors can see a range of wildlife during the tours, some species are very difficult to spot as they hear people approaching from a long way off. For example, due to its secretive nature and low numbers, the tiger is almost impossible to spot. This tour is very different from an African safari where lions may lounge by the road while clients take selfies. So the questions you may ask is: What wildlife can I actually see during the Nam Nern Night Safari tour?


The chart above presents the percentage of seen wildlife per species on tours in period of 2010-2015. Almost all our clients (90%) have seen at least few of the animals listed above and the average sightseeing per tour is 5 animals. The most common wildlife to be seen during the Nam Nern Night Safari tour is the rare Sambar Deer, Civets and Monitor lizards. Other common species are Muntjacs, Slow Loris and Otters. Some lucky clients have seen Asian Black Bears, Porcupines, Asian Golden Cat, Tiger Tracks and even a Leopard!

You are sure to see also high number of various bird species especially during day time. Preliminary surveys of the avifauna in the NPA were first undertaken in 1998 (Davidson 1998) and resulted in a list of 299 species. Of these, three species are listed as endangered or near threatened (NT), including Rufous-Necked Hornbill Aceros Nipalensis (VU), the beautiful Nuthatch Sitta Formosa (VU) and Blyth’s Kingfisher (NT) (IUCN 2009). However, the most common species you will most likely see during the tour are: Crested and Common Kingfisher, Red Jungle Fowl, Silver Pheasant, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Drongo, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Spotted owlet.

The Nam Nern Night Safari is for those who wish to immerse in the heart of protected area and try their luck to spot the rare wildlife in cautious manner to preserve the animal natural behaviour. When doing the night safari, you encourage the local people to protect endangered species as the money received by villagers depends on the wildlife health and on the numbers of wildlife seen by the tourists.

We can’t guarantee that wild animals will hang out by the river to greet visitors, but we can promise you will learn about the wildlife conservation in Laos from naturalist guides and ex-hunters in the middle of the protected area, and if lucky spot wild animals.

See our previous client thoughts on Tripadvisor