It is not always necessary to trek into the darkest depths of the forests in order to see Khao Sok’s wildlife. Our Jungle House is located right on the park’s perimeter, and so a good number of the animals can be seen in and around the resort. This is one of the quieter and least disturbed resorts, with a corner banking the river all to itself, and much of the natural flora left intact. This in turn encourages the wild animals to remain here, and so guests are often rewarded with sightings by simply walking along the pathways, or from the veranda of their rooms.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of Khao Sok wildlife is the long-tailed macaque. Troops of these cheeky primates can often be seen squabbling with each other as they noisily leap from tree to tree along the riverbank. They’re used to people and so can often be approached somewhat closely. Harder to see but heard almost daily are the charismatic Lar gibbons. The evocative territorial duets of a paired male and female reverberate around the calm air of the valley most mornings.
Birdlife is plentiful, with many brightly coloured and sweet singing species to be found. Aesthetic species include banded woodpecker, blue-eared Kingfisher, black-capped kingfisher, chestnut-breasted malkoha, banded pitta, blue-winged pitta, Asian fairy bluebird, black-naped oriole, blue whistling thrush, crimson sunbird and scarlet-backed flowerpecker. Common iora, Oriental magpie robin, white-rumped shama, black-crested bulbul and Abbott’s babbler are amongst the most eloquent vocalists. In addition to these birds some guests are even lucky enough to see some of the larger, more majestic birds such as the great hornbill, Oriental pied hornbill or birds of prey like the lesser fish eagle and crested goshawk.
There are some fascinating reptiles that can be seen around the resort, including the water monitor lizard, the largest lizard of the region, growing up to 2 metres long. There’s an abundance of agamas and skinks that can be seen during the daytime, and geckos at night. The snakes are here too, although there is no need to worry, as we’ve never had a guest bitten by any of them. Red-tailed racer, Oriental vine snake, mangrove snake, Wagler’s pit viper, and even the king cobra have been seen. Most of them rest up during the daytime, preferring to hunt at night. Frogs make up the diet of many snakes, and the night resounds with the calls of male burrowing frogs, ox frogs, hill frogs, puddle frogs, as well as river and Asian toads.
Tropical forests abound with invertebrates, and the forest here is no different. The lush vegetation and river around Our Jungle House supports a great number of bee, ant, wasp, termite, beetle and spider species. Butterflies and moths are plentiful too with the golden birdwing, common tiger, magpie crow, common rose and great Mormon being the most striking. Of the moths it is without doubt the spectacular Malaysian moon moth and Atlas moth that steal the show.
So do not worry that you’re missing out by taking time out to enjoy the surrounds of the resort. There’s plenty of Khao Sok wildlife for the ‘armchair’ wildlife enthusiast to enjoy.