The Gibbon Experience is an eco tourism forest conservation project. The project funds forest protection and community projects in Bokeo Nature Reserve, Northern Laos. You get to stay in tree houses and use the zip line cable gliding network to scour the primary forest in search of the illusive Black Gibbon. And he was very illusive, we didn’t see any!
However it really didn’t matter as the over all experience was really very good. We started on the Sunday, with a briefing on how it all works, especially the safety side of zip lining. We then set off in two 4×4’s towards the Bokeo nature reserve. It was a two hours journey, about 45 mins of that was driving into the jungle, through dirt tracks and streams.
We arrived at the village and split into two groups, once again I was very lucky with my group, 3 Canadians and 3 French et moi! We had all chosen the waterfall option so that meant the first day had a smaller amount of trekking and plenty of zip lining and the second day a trek deeper into the jungle to a beautiful waterfall, where we swam, yes it was cold! and then continued to trek.
This was actual jungle we were in, and the trekking was sometimes a little bit tough as we were going up and down hills, relieved then to see another zip line which would carry us a great speed along the zip lines that ranged from between 250 meters and 550 meters! And what a view, quite stunning, and from a view-point you could only dream of. On the two nights we stayed in two tree houses, standing between 40 and 50 metres up in the trees We were supplied with a rubber mattress a warm duet and mosquito nets. Have a look at the pic of the toilet, next to that was the shower. You literally shower facing out into the jungle, nothing between you and jungle, what a way to shower, it was so cold, but quite liberating! Many that’s why we didn’t see any gibbons, they got an eyeful of me starkers in the shower.
The tree houses apparently take up to a year to construct and they replace the roof very year. You can only imagine how they construct them. Boun our guide was also on the construction team, the roof they can actually change in a day! These guys are very comfortable in the air, they fly out of the tree houses backwards holding a steaming hot kettle, with Boun singing One direction, it was great fun.
What else can i say I would highly recommend it, it was hard work but so rewarding, and so beneficial that these national forests are being taken care of, well this one at least with the company employing one hundred people and profits being fed back into reforestation. Any way have a look at the pics and the videos to give you a sense of me flying through the trees!
The view from our Tree house
Toilet and shower…what a view!
The morning view
Me Zip lining! And Betty from Canada straight behind…
I have more photos and some great videos but they’re taking so long to upload, Ive given up for now…..I will try again in Chiang Rai