Trekking to the Nam Et ‘Nests’

Suspended above the shady forest floor, the Nam Et ‘Nests’ are spherical eco-pods where you can snuggle down to rest after a challenging day’s trekking. Floating in your cosy bamboo bubble, you’ll hear the songs of wildlife in contrast with the natural silence, and feel the gentle swaying of the canopy rocking you to sleep as you experience tree-dwelling in the dense jungle.

What to expect from the Nam Et 'Nests' trek...

The National Biodiversity Conservation Area of Nam Et-Phou Louey covers almost 6,000km² of beautiful, yet vulnerable, natural parkland in northern Laos; an area of forest which seems to stand still in time.

This mountainous ecosystem is home to a rich variety of endangered wildlife including the five ‘key species’: the White-cheeked Crested gibbon, gaur (Indian bison), otters, Sambar deer and the critically endangered Indochinese tiger. Eco-tourism has become a vital tool in preserving this habitat from further harm, and wildlife trekking is the top activity on everyone’s list.

Two- and three-day guided treks immerse you in this unspoilt region; you’ll meet people from the surrounding villages and get a glimpse into their way of life, before being led right into the heart of the conservation zone. The treks are family-friendly, but the terrain can be challenging so is best suited to experienced trekkers, or at least very fit and intrepid beginners!

After about four hours tough hiking, stopping to learn about the medicinal plants and animals tracks that you spot along the way, you will finally reach the site of the Nests. 

Having walked-up a good appetite, you’ll be treated to a traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cooks over an open fire, before wrapping up warm and heading out to the nearby observation platform.

Sympathetically designed to blend-in with the trunks of the trees, the observation platform overlooks the Poung Nied salt lick, and gives you an undisturbed view of animals that wander to this popular spot. If you stay quiet and still, enjoying the gentle hum of the forest, you may be treated to the sight of Sambar deer and civets, or even bears and wildcats, gathering at sunset.

When night descends and the forest wildlife disperses, you will return to the campsite to climb up into your Nest for a well-deserved sleep. After a restful night, the sounds and rhythms of the forest will wake you at dawn as you welcome in a new day – an experience to reminisce about for many years.

All images copyright Janina Bikova/Nam Et Phou Louey

Location: Northern Laos

Duration: 3 days

Accommodation: Nam Et ‘Nests’

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