Tree Tops Jungle Safaris
Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park

Wildlife in Khao Sok
This area is one of South-east Asia’s most vital wildlife habitats. Almost 50 species of animal live here, including wild elephants, gibbons, civets, Malay sun bears and long-tail macaques. Joining them are over 300 species of bird, 38 species of bat and insects galore!

Don’t be too disappointed if you don’t see any animals - they don’t come out to give us a show! In fact they know exactly where we go and so will purposefully stay away. However, even if you can't see them, you’ll still be able to hear them all around!

The Elephant
The largest land mammal in the world can be found in Khao Sok National Park, although there are reported to be only around 100 of them residing here in the wild.

Elephants are very social animals and live in herds. They weigh 2,000-3,000 kg and need 250kg of food and 200 litres of water every day!

They munch away on bamboo, bananas, grass, fruit, leaves - and mud! They choose to eat mud as the rest of their diet doesn’t provide them with enough minerals.

If you are lucky to see elephants in the wild, stay well clear until they have passed. They are very protective of their young and will have no hesitation in charging at you if they feel threatened in any way. Admire these beasts from afar and you will be rewarded with a fantastic sight!

The lar gibbon or white-handed gibbon can be found in Khao Sok. They are either chocolate brown or creamy blond in colour and can normally be distinguished by a white ring around their face and, of course, white hands and feet!

They move around using their long arms to swing from branch to branch (rather than jumping like monkeys do). These strong arms take them far across the canopy (several km per day) in search of fruit, their staple diet.

A visit to Khao Sok wouldn’t be the same without hearing this gibbon’s call or song, normally heard early in the morning. A female’s song is different to that of a male, but you’ll often hear a couple singing a duet, letting the world know that they are together and that this is their territory.

The hornbill is one of the oldest birds on earth – dating back 15 million years it’s prehistoric. Listen to the sound of its wings in flight (whoosh, whoosh, whoosh) and you might be mistaken for thinking you’re on the set of Jurassic Park!

There are 54 species of hornbill with the helmeted hornbill and black hornbill being the most common in Khao Sok. Their most prominent feature is a horn on the top of their bill, although no-one knows its purpose

When it comes to nesting, hornbills are very choosy, spending several days trying to find just the right tree. Once they’ve found the right one, they’ll return there year after year.

The nest is made in the hollow of a tree and, when the chicks are born, sealed with regurgitated food, droppings and mud brought by the male to ensure a predator-proof nest! A model stay-at-home mum, the female will mother her chicks for four months until they’re ready to fly from the nest.

Malaysian sun bear
Malaysian sun bears are the smallest bears in the world. Black in colour with a distinctive white crescent displayed across their chest, they roam the forest year round.

In the case of the sun bear size doesn’t matter! These bears might be small but they have sharp claws and teeth and are very aggressive! If you see one, back off!

They are the best climbers of all the bear species and spend a lot of time sprawled out on a branch lying on their stomach with all four legs hanging down! Cute…, but extremely dangerous.

The cicada is a small insect which makes a high-pitched shrill sound – you can’t fail to hear it! This distinctive shrill is actually a male cicada singing a love song to attract a mate. They make this noise by contracting their thorax up to 1,000 times per second!

Each species of cicada has a different song and so as not to confuse the females, each has its own time slot during the day to sing. Spend a bit of time in Khao Sok and you may start to become familiar with the different songs.

Cicada nymphs start off wingless and may spend up to 15 years below the forest floor, slowly developing and working their way up to the surface. Once they emerge, they then work their way up the trunk of a tree and transform into an adult with wings. Having spent so long below the surface, no wonder they want to sing their hearts out!

Of course there’s many other animals that you might see: civets, squirrels, rats, geckos, lizards, snakes, spiders - the list goes on…Keep your eyes and ears open – you never know!

Khao Sok National Park