In November we went on a special Khao Sok tour for four days and three nights. It was with a group of three biologists from Germany and our good friend Santo was the guide. This trip was tailor made as the guests were particularly keen on seeing as much nature as possible – and that they did! Among the animals that they saw were wild pigs, eagles, hornbills, dozens of guar (wild bison,Bos gaurus), langurs, king fishers, snakes and they even got to see a barking deer. In fact this was trip was the first in a long time that guests have been lucky enough to see so much wildlife out and about. The sightings of all those Guars were especially noteworthy and exciting. As far as Khao Sok Activities go, this was turning out to be one of the best.
On the first day the group headed for Khao Sok National Park from Khao Lak. With Santo in the lead the ‘Nature Team’ made their way through Takuapa and along to the National Park in Surrathani. The first day was packed with wildlife, with bison making their first appearance for the trip, hornbills aplenty and some lovely sightings of king fishers. The most fascinating spectacle was the giant bee hives; there were more than 20 of these honey combs nestled high in the trees and they were just ginormous.
On the second day on Khao Sok Lake the guests went out on the kayaks for some more nature watching. This is the best way to see the nature undisturbed as you can make your way quietly along the water without scaring off the animals. The guys saw five langurs in the tree tops – that was a very lucky sighting. Of course there were many hornbills and a lot more guar sightings. A long tailed macaque made an appearance too, as well as some water monitors.
The three guys from Germany studied various biology subjects and now work in the scientific field researching different aspects of wildlife and/or nature. This trip was designed just for them, but of course it would be possible to do it again if others want to explore the natural treasures that Khao Sok has to offer. Possible Khao Sok activities are endless, trips to the national park can always be tailored to an individual’s requirements.
On the third day the group did a trek along a river, or Klong, stopping along the way for lunch. This consisted of a do-it-yourself barbecue, with a small fire and the food cooked in whatever mother nature offered lying around. They had chicken marinated in curry powder, local vegetables and rice. The rice was barbecued packed in leaves and cooked in a tube of bamboo over the fire, the chicken skewered on bamboo sticks and the coffee was drunk out of bamboo cups. Very resourceful!
Nature spots on the third day included more hornbills, guar, a couple of snakes and a special glimpse of the shy barking deer, or Muntjac. Barking Deers are native to South Asia, they are named after their distinctive bark that they use when alert to a nearby predator. Barking deers are omnivorous creatures that feed on fruit, grass, small animals, birds eggs and are even known to scavenge, feeding on left over carcases. Sightings in Khao Sok are not very frequent, but if you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of one before it runs away.
On the final day the nature explorers woke early for a sunrise safari. Along with kayaking, this is another great way to see the abundant nature and wildlife that Khao Sok has to offer. Just as the sun comes up the animals wake up and start their day, this is a really good opportunity to see them feeding. Plus this is a magical time of day for Khao Sok: shrouded in mist it really is a mesmerising place.
The last day gave the visitors the chance to catch a very large group of guar grazing together, this is a rare sighting so was extra special for their final excursion. Santo and other Khao Sok guides say that this was the best sighting in years, so a lucky ending to a fantastic nature excursion.
Khao Sok National Park is such an amazing place, anyone visiting Khao Lak really should make time to visit. The lake is absolutely beautiful in rain or shine, but the jungle also has it’s fair share of awesome sights. Khao Sok is definitely one of the most spectacular places to visit in Southern Thailand.