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Vietnam - Yok Đôn - The jungle is calling

The first location I looked at is the Yok Đôn National Park. At this time of year there are usually only a few tourists in the park, or as in my case none at all.

The park is home to more than 40 species of mammals including the rare Asian elephant, fish cat and clouded leopard as well as more than 200 species of birds and a breathtaking 85 species of butterflies. Unfortunately, Yok Đôn has to contend with illegal clearing and poaching. The rangers are all trained on the weapon, but do not carry it with them by default. By the way, half-high hiking shoes and long clothing are an absolute MUST on such tours, because there are a large number of different poisonous snakes, quite poisonous ants and also what feels like a hundred trillion mosquitos, which also transmit malaria. And the latter are obviously particularly interested in German blood ...

The forest is sometimes very dense and difficult to penetrate with the eyes. The animals outside the permitted areas are extremely shy, because they hardly ever see people. These are conditions that I love, real challenges.
For an initial assessment of the situation, I used two of the ranger stations as starting points. Like everyone I have met in the country so far, the rangers are very friendly and funny, even if there is no common language, because they do not speak English and I do not yet speak Vietnamese. Life here is very simple but also terrific when you look at nature. So that the rangers don't get bored in their free time, all stations are equipped with solar power and e.g. satellite TV, huge water tanks catch the rainwater.

What the jungle has to offer is eaten here. Fish, plants, fruits and meat, but no wild animals, are served on the plate. You don't have a soup made from jungle plants every day and if it tastes delicious, the day is saved

Usually entering the forest without a guide is not allowed and that is a big disadvantage for me, because I cannot plan as I am used to. But I hope to get a special permit on my next visit.

The conditions have proven to be extremely difficult, but I believe that the chances for photos of the rare cats in the dry season, when there are very few natural water points, could be very good. Therefore, I will return again for a longer stay.


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