Exploring the wildlife in Vietnam is an amazing experience, although unfortunately, extensive deforestation has led to the loss of numerous animal habitats. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the best chance of witnessing wildlife can be found within the protected national parks in Vietnam.
Tragically, animal poaching has further contributed to the disappearance of many species that once roamed the country, making sightings of wildlife in the wild quite rare. However, there are still opportunities to encounter fascinating creatures in the designated areas listed below. Vietnam is home to diverse wildlife, including majestic animals such as the Asian Elephant, Sun Bear and Red-shanked Douc Langur, among many others. Despite the challenges faced, conservation efforts and the preservation of natural habitats offer hope for the future of wildlife in Vietnam.
1. Yok Don National Park
Yok Don National Park is an unparalleled destination for spotting wildlife in Vietnam, offering a unique opportunity to witness the majestic presence of elephants, making it the only place in Vietnam where sightings are guaranteed. The park is home to two types of elephants. The first type consists of elephants that were once used for riding or in industries but have been released into the park. These elephants are monitored by dedicated rangers who ensure their well-being and track their movements, providing visitors with a guaranteed chance to see these gentle giants.
Additionally, there are wild-born elephants, which are more rare to spot and potentially dangerous, making encounters with them even more extraordinary. Beyond elephants, Yok Don National Park boasts a diverse array of wildlife, including wild bulls, deer, gaurs, boars, and a lots of different bird species.
2. Pu Mat National Park
Discover the extraordinary wildlife in Vietnam in the jungles of Pu Mat National Park. Like Yok Don National Park, there are wild elephants found, however the chances of encountering one in this park are very slim. That is the same for the Saola, one of the world’s rarest mammals that was recently rediscovered, proving its existence in Pu Mat, the only known habitat for this species.
Luckily there is wildlife in Pu Mat National Park that you do have a good chance to see, such as a variety of monkeys, birds, and amphibians. The park is quiet off the beaten track, with the closest city being Vinh, which is for a good reason, hardly visited by tourist.
3. Cat Tien National Park
Cat Tien National Park is another great national park to spot wildlife in Vietnam. The night safari is one of the most fun ways to find animals, like porcupines, sambar deer, civets, and Chinese muntjac as they forage for food under the moonlight.
Explore the park’s beauty by bicycle, take boat trips and hike along scenic trails are other great ways to go out and find the park animal inhabitants.
Joining a gibbon trekking tour takes you deep into the forest to find some wild gibbons, and a short boat ride to Fairy Island (Dao Tien) leads to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center, dedicated to the rehabilitation and conservation of endangered animals. The Bear Rescue Center is also worth a visit, offering protection and care for bears rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Lastly, Bau Sau, known as crocodile lake, is renowned for its diverse wildlife, including a wide array of bird species and, as the name suggests, its resident crocodiles.
4. Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong National Park, located in the tourist-favorite province of Ninh Binh, is a prime destination for wildlife enthusiasts in Vietnam. With its convenient proximity to Hanoi, this park offers easy access to witness the captivating wildlife in Vietnam.
The park is inhabited by various fascinating animals such as macaques, gibbons, slow lorises, flying squirrels, and black giant squirrels. While the park has seen the unfortunate loss of species like Asiatic black bears, wild dogs, elephants, rhinos, and tigers due to overhunting and prey scarcity, there is still a possibility that clouded leopards and jungle cats live within the park.
5. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park boasts an incredible array of wildlife, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. The park is home to a remarkable 154 mammal species, including the majestic gaur, and although tiger sightings have been rare, there is a possibility that these creatures still roam the area.
The park’s biodiversity extends to its avian residents, with an impressive 303 species of birds, including 83 species listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam and 110 species in the Red Book of the world. Additionally, the park showcases a rich diversity of reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, and fish. Beyond its remarkable wildlife, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park stands as one of Vietnam’s best national parks, offering an amazing environment to explore and discover.
6. Ba Be National Park
Ba Be National Park is a fantastic place for wildlife spotting in Vietnam. The park is teeming with diverse wildlife, including various bird species, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. You can encounter colorful birds soaring through the trees, observe mammals like deer and wild boar, and come across fascinating reptiles and amphibians. The forests and lakes create a natural habitat for these animals, which provide great opportunities for travelers to spot wildlife.
7. Bach Ma National Park
Bach Ma National Park, located close to Hue, is a haven for wildlife in Vietnam. The park is home to a rich variety of animals, including rare bird species, monkeys, deer, and reptiles. With its lush forests and diverse ecosystems, Bach Ma National Park is a great place to go hiking and trying to spot animals. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or simply appreciate the nature, exploring Bach Ma National Park is a great thing to do.
8. Tram Chim National Park
Tram Chim National Park is a paradise for bird watching in Vietnam. Situated in a wetland area, it serves as a vital habitat for various waterfowl species. With over 230 different bird species from 49 families, including rare and endangered ones like the red-headed crane, piping plover, and white-winged duck, the park boasts a quarter of Vietnam’s recorded bird population. This makes Tram Chim National Park one of the best destinations for bird enthusiasts to witness these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.
9. Con Dao National Park
Con Dao National Park is a remarkable wildlife sanctuary in Vietnam, distinguished by its exceptional marine life. Unlike other national parks on this list, it encompasses both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Within its waters, you can encounter extraordinary marine creatures such as Dugongs, Dolphins, and various species of marine turtles like Green turtles and Hawkbill turtles. This makes Con Dao National Park a truly special destination where you can explore the captivating diversity of both land and sea.
10. Tam Dao National Park
Tam Dao National Park, located just a 2-hour drive from Hanoi, is a relatively unknown destination where you can spot a variety of wildlife. The national park boasts a rich and diverse fauna, with 281 species from 80 families and 26 orders, encompassing animals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. These animal including macaques, civets, barking deer, and various bird species.