Kui Buri National Park

19 May 2013 11:10 - 27 May 2013 18:13 #1013 by jonathanbkk
Kui Buri National Park was created by jonathanbkk
My first trip to Kui Buri (about 3.5 hours from Bangkok) was last week and I can tell you I was very impressed with the amount of large animals that can for the most part be easily seen there.

Kui Buri is a place where they "guarantee elephant sightings" and after my first day seeing roughly 50 of them I am certain this is the case. Also quite consistently they have large herds of Guar/Kra-Ting that can be seen in the grasslands.

I still have to go through my photographs and get together the best shots, however here is a quick video of a teenage bull who snuck up on us and allowed some video to be shot of him before he started to show signs of aggression for us being a bit close, also looks as though he is beginning must.

More pictures, videos, and a trip report to follow

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20 May 2013 13:00 #1015 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Kui Buri National Park
Let's start with saying that this is a fantastic video! Good job! Nice set of tusks.

I haven't been to Kui Buri, but it's on the list of parks that I would love to visit. How restricted is the place? I heard about a viewpoint with a view on the grasslands where Gaur and elephants should be easily seen (too easy?; is that year-round?), but I suppose it's quite popular. Is it possible to get to more quiet areas; hiking, more quiet watching towers, and do you need to bring a ranger?
Are there roads to do some driving? Night outings?
How many days do you recommend one should spend in the park? If you saw about 50 elephants in 1 day, maybe the answer is clear, but hopefully there is more to see. If the area consistently attract large herbivores, you should think the carnivores should be not too far away. I believe I've seen some video of a researcher talking about the tigers in the park. Not many, if I remember correctly, but still a few survive.

Too many questions, I should just wait for your trip report, haha.

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23 May 2013 00:35 #1037 by jonathanbkk
Replied by jonathanbkk on topic Kui Buri National Park
Ok so long overdue is my report for Kui Buri National Park. This being my first trip it was exciting to drive into the park. As mentioned from Bangkok it is about 3.5 hours (without any traffic) and about 1 hour from Hua Hin.

At the park entrance, and at least for your first trip I would recommend the driver and guide (750 baht) which supports students and locals studying in the community who will drive you into the park and serve as your spotters.

For this part of the part of the park the encourage arriving about 3pm and staying till about 6:30pm to see a majority of the animals.

Going in the first stop is a Ranger sub station where there is a small pond where Elephants in groups usually come to cool off.

At about 4-5pm you will head over towards the grasslands which is about another 20 min drive. Here is where your most likely to see other herds of elephants, 50-200 Guar as well as potentially Banteng (wild cattle). Expect you will be sharing the area with others and you will need a long lens to capture the action. Also a strong chance a herd will cross right in front of you so always be on guard. The bull I photographed and for video snuck up almost within 40 meters before I noticed it even before the Ranger did. A few of the photograph areas always have a risk of a surprise and they did warn me frequently of this while there.

The drive in and out is usually exciting with herds of elephants moving around. On the first day we ran into a giant bull in must who charged our truck but we had the angle to get past him, he let out a yell as we passed. Also spotted were Sambar, wild pig, and Bull Guar. Dhole, tiger, and leopard (also melanistic) are said to be present but didn't manage to spot any.

Rangers said there is a 20km trek into the jungle which I would like to try late in the year which requires two days sleeping in the Jungle. I would like to get more time to explore Kui Buri for sure, seems quite the hot spot for animals.

Bull Elephant near the Grasslands, a bit too close for comfort





Family group at the Ranger sub station water hole



Grassland Group



Herd of Guar in the distance



Hog Deer, part of a re-introduction program started about 3 months ago



Banteng Male and Female (very far off so my lens couldnt really reach them)




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24 May 2013 02:27 #1039 by Bagheera
Replied by Bagheera on topic Kui Buri National Park
Fantastic pictures, I have never seen such a large herd of Gaur before! but then again I have never been to KuiBuri!
Do you know if the park remains open during the rainy season?
Cheers

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25 May 2013 07:00 #1045 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Kui Buri National Park
That's indeed a very large herd of Gaur. Amazing. And bathing elephants, never got the luck to see that.
And Banteng, a species that I haven't seen yet. Seeing loads of tracks when I visited HKK, but I guess I should have spend some more time at the watching towers there. Discovered the towers (2, not sure of there are more...) only on the last day of the trip...

Thanks for posting your experiences.

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25 May 2013 07:57 - 27 May 2013 17:20 #1047 by Paul T
Replied by Paul T on topic Kui Buri National Park
Jonathan - fantastic write up and shots!! Incredible! Great video as well!!

Onflipflops - are they open to the public? B4 you needed permission to access them. Always wanted to go to them.

ADMIN NOTE: HKK thread portions moved to HERE

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22 Sep 2014 10:11 - 22 Sep 2014 10:41 #2331 by Alex
Replied by Alex on topic Kui Buri National Park
Just got back from a weekend trip to Kuiburi and Sam Roi Yot National parks. Had a really amazing time and saw a few interesting things. I haven't got quite the same photography skills (or camera lens!) of some of you guys though!












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22 Sep 2014 18:00 #2332 by jonathanbkk
Replied by jonathanbkk on topic Kui Buri National Park
Great shots Alex!

I have wanted to get back there after the closure and good to see a decent herd of Guar there after what happened to them.

What were the hours that they were open can you recall? Did the Rangers or your guide have anything to say about the park after it just being re-opened?

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22 Sep 2014 18:38 #2334 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Kui Buri National Park
Nice shots!
Indeed good to see that there is still a reasonable sized herd of Gaur walking around after losing, how many?, 25-30 or so?
If it was truly a disease that killed them, then it seems like the population has got immune.

The Great Hornbills is that in Kui Buri or Khao Sam Roi Yot? Never been to these two parks, don't know if they occur in both parks.

BTW The snake is a Golden Tree Snake, Chrysopelea ornata. Maybe you already knew, but for those who don't ;)
One of the 3 gliding snake species.

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29 Sep 2014 09:46 #2360 by Alex
Replied by Alex on topic Kui Buri National Park
They no longer allow you to drive your own vehicles into the park, so you only seem to be able to enter between about 3pm-6pm which is when the park pick-ups are running. The vehicles have to drive through a chemical dip before entering the park. Our NP guide could speak a bit of English, but got pretty confused when i asked any questions about Gaur dying (my Thai is dreadful too!). There were at least 30 of the Gaur in the herd we saw though, probably more than 40, so they still seem to be doing well there.

The Great Hornbills were in Kuiburi. We were just looking out at the Gaur herd when a continuous stream of more than 20 of them flew overhead! I've seen big groups of Oriental Pied Hornbills but never with these. Pretty amazing. I had my 3 and 5 year old children with me and they loved the trip!
I had no idea what the species of snake was, so thank you!

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