Discovering Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam

Cat Tien national park

Cat Tien National Park is a large national park with 720 km2 located in the south of Vietnam. The park is home to many species such as the golden-cheeked gibbon, leopard cats, pangolins and crocodiles. There is also a large different bear types including the sun bear, the Asiatic black bear, and many other species

Some of these animals are in danger. In October 2008, they build a bear rescue center for moon and sun bears. The center is one hectare of the semi-natural enclosure to rescue and rehabilitate the bears.

The main purpose of the center is to help them develop their wild instincts while living in this semi-natural area. So that when people release them to the jungle, they can survive.

Currently, there are around 35 bears are living in this area. The staff working in the center provide them a nutritious and balanced diet. They also give veterinary cares and some activities to stimulate these animals’ innate natural behavior.

This place is open to the public. Students are able to visit in order to see Vietnam’s wildlife in a semi-natural environment. This is also a good chance for the authorities to raise awareness for the local wildlife in Vietnam. Especially when they are facing some threads

Preparation for the adventure

Before taking a visit to Cat Tien National Park, children need to prepare for this great adventure! So here are some survival skills that they may require whilst on site.

First of all, the children must have good protection to protect them from the mosquitoes and leeches. This could be long clothes or protective socks. They can also bring leeches socks to avoid any risk, and maximize safety.

Children can bring their compass to the excursion if they have one. It would be a good way to learn how to orientate themselves. Extra food and water are also necessary.

But if they forget, they can still follow the advice from the universal edibility test. So how does it work?

First, they have to separate the plant into all its parts. Then take one part of it, smell it, if it is okay then put it on their inner elbow.

If it does not burn after a few minutes they can prepare it the way they want to eat it, but boiled would be the preferred option.

Then, they will have to touch the plant with their lips, and if after 15 minutes it doesn’t burn, students can put it in their mouth. Keep it in the mouth for 15 minutes to see if the taste turns very bitter or soapy and if not, it should be safe!

If the children don’t have water, they will need to find some in nature and learn how to filter it. To do so, they should take a clean sock or any piece of cloth and filter the water, so they can get rid of the deposit.

Then, make the water boil so pathogens and other aquatic life will be destroyed, thus making the water clean and safe for consumption.

How about night time?

And what about staying safe during the night? The park offers the possibility for the children to pitch their own tents or to rent one to spend the night inside the park. This is a great opportunity for them to be deeply involved in nature. There are bathrooms and a restaurant very close to the camping spot, making the stay highly convenient for the pupils.

Furthermore, the park also has many other activities to enjoy the wildlife of Cat Tien National Park, such as the crocodile lake, or the Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre. Children can reach all of these places by walking, but also by cycling. There is also the possibility to undertake night treks, which would allow the children to witness firsthand the plethora of nighttime wildlife that the park has to offer.

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