“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable”, Rainer Marie Rilke – Letters to a young poet.
This quote beautifully sums up what we are about at Gee’s Nature Tours. Nature is amazing, if you just take the time to stop and examine it.
If you are interested in nature and want to immerse yourself in it, and you are in or coming to Cambodia, then you have come to the right place. We will take you on tours in weird and wonderful places, explaining as much as we can about what we see along the way, including “the small things hardly noticeable”.
We are interested in bigger things, too, but it important to set expectations appropriately. Seeing large animals in Cambodia is difficult. We will try and we are working on ways to improve the chances. For example, most of our tours are based around camping out in nature, with night time activities, in the hope of seeing nocturnal creatures.
“in the end, we will conserve only what we love, we love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught” – Baba Dioum, 1968.
Who we are
We are a family operation. I am married to a beautiful Cambodian lady (Theary), and she and other members of the family help to ensure our tours run smoothly, and you and I can concentrate on the nature around us.
I am Gerard Chartier (a.k.a. Gee) and I am a very keen (some might say, “obsessed”) amateur naturalist. I am an Englishman, who has been living in Cambodia since 2009. I have always had an interest in nature but it did not really develop until I came to Cambodia and was so immersed in nature at Rainbow Lodge (an eco-lodge in Tatai Commune, Koh Kong Province), where I lived for eight years. I was first attracted by the beautiful butterflies here and started photographing them. My curiosity was piqued and I wanted to find out what species they all are. That was the start of my efforts to learn about and document as much of the nature around here as I can. I have been doing so ever since. There is still so much to be done!
I have done some work with international scientists, including co-authoring papers and providing specimens of insects and arachnids (spiders, scorpions, etc.) for scientific study. This has led to the discovery of several new species that I know of to date, but all are yet to be published, so I cannot say more about them at the moment.
Where we are
We have a plot of land within the boundaries of Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary, less than 10 km from the bridge in Tatai, Koh Kong Province. Our land is surrounded by a wide variety of habitats in easy walking, kayaking or boating distance, including:
the river itself
open meadows (both dry and flooded)
flooded forests of Meleleuca cajuputi
the main coastal mangrove forest.
Who are our tours for?
All of our tours are aimed at people with a keen interest in nature. All tours are carried out at a gentle pace, with lots of time for trying to spot things and for me to explain what see. I do not profess to know everything but I know enough to provide interesting information to tour participants. All tours are guided by me. Most tours are focused on the beautiful river in Tatai, the streams that run into it and the land that meets the streams. On full day tours, we can also go out to the main mangrove forest.
Given the slow pace with lots of explanations, our tours are not necessarily suitable for young children, who can become easily bored. I leave that decision to their parents, who know them best. I have guided young kids who have been enthralled!
What we offer
Tours always involve a mixture of boating and walking around in nature. They can also involve kayaking, either to experience nature from another angle or to get to places we cannot get to by boat or on foot.
All tours are aimed at immersion in nature and I will explain as much as I can about the things we encounter along the way. Our tours are not hikes or route marches through the jungle, but gentle exploration, getting up close and personal with nature.
Depending on your interests, time scales and budget, different tour options might be more suitable for you. We can devise an itinerary for you to best match your circumstances. Please complete the form below to tell us your preferences.
Our tours are priced simply based on the amount of time they take.
$150 for a full day (approx 9 hours, including a lunch break)
$120 for a three-quarter day (approx 7 hours, including a lunch break)
$90 for a half day (approx 4 hours)
Prices are inclusive of drinking water, lunch (for tours longer than half day), kayaks and paddles (where applicable), Tatai pick-up and drop-off. Prices are a total tour fee, irrespective of the number of participants but we take a maximum of 5 people on our tours. If you are travelling as a family of six, pleasecomplete the form anyway, and we will see what we can do. If you are on your own, please complete the form anyway, and we will try to fit you in with others, so you can share the costs, or you can indicate that you are willing to pay the full cost, if you would prefer to be on your own.
What you might see
It is always difficult to get the right balance between demonstrating the richness and diversity of this area and setting expectation too high in terms of what you are likely to see on any given day. I will say with absolute certainty that you will not see tigers, which are extinct in Cambodia, or elephants, which, while present in the nearby Cardamom Mountains, do not frequent coastal marshes, or the forests nearby. You can see in this gallery a huge variety of flora and fauna but please remember that this is an accumulation of things I have seen over many tours and personal explorations during my time in the area. Below is a gallery of more scenic photos (again from multiple tours).