The Five Fabulous Seasons at Shinta Mani Wild – A Bensley Collection
1 December 2022
Each of the 15 exquisitely designed tents at the luxurious Shinta Mani Wild – A Bensley Collection is located on or overlooking the Tmor Rung River. With approximately 40 acres of land for each tent, it feels as if you have the wilderness all to yourself. There are 5 distinct seasons at Wild and a changing menu of activities is curated for each one. Bill Bensley shares his thoughts on each season with us.
A refreshing chill in the dry night air makes sundowners, campfires and massages, on the northern stone riverbed a delight. Butterfly season is full on and continues through March.
The Khmer New Year sees low water levels that make many areas more accessible to mountain biking and hiking deeper into the rainforest. This season sees a trickle in the river rise a half meter and we are grateful for the odd 15- minute showers that cool and refresh our jungle valley. Bill loves zip-lining in the rain! Expedition boats may be suspended during this period depending on water levels.
June – July
We sit at the southern-most position of the enormous 2 million hectare Cardamom Forest and her southern catchment area. All the mist, rain and monsoons of this park dance through Shinta Mani Wild. One can witness a torrential outpouring and our 17 intermittent rivers and streams come alive. Trees begin to fruit and that attracts the birds. Although currently a rare occurrence, some years our favourite visitors appear nearby the camp – a heard of wild elephants. We hope that as time goes by, sighting them will become more frequent. The southern stretches of the Tmor Rung River have ample water to facilitate fantastic kayaking for bird watching. The many drongos and kingfishers are just delightful.
This is a great time for foraging as well. I love to visit the acaia forests to forage for delicious pink mushrooms which have a slightly bitter, but delicious taste. Try popping the pink mushrooms into and egg white omlette with mozzarella and red capsicum – yum!
August – October
In our valley we have three major waterfalls that the locals call ‘The Raging Sisters’. This is my favourite time of the year as our three Raging Sister Falls bulk up by at least a multiple of ten. Raging Big Sister Falls produces a mountain of mist. The sheer power of unbridled water is mesmerizing. While we know that the Pileated Gibbons do not have a preferred mating season, it seems as though this season they are especially vocal in the early mornings. It seems like their calls to establish their territorial boundaries are louder and more serious. Sometimes we take sundowners to the northern fields where the forests open up to reveal much larger views than our southern jungles. In the rainforest one can find orchid flowers all year round but I have found that this season tends to be the best.
November - December
The cry of the Raging Sisters waterfalls calms and this is a great season for swimming in the river and exploring the estuary on our Bensley designed expedition boats.
Sample snapshot of Activities (seasonal)
- Trekking in the National Park – from easy walks on riverside trails on the Wild property to full day hard-core slogs in the Cardamom. (1-8 hours – full or half day)
- Traverse Secret Backwaters in the pristine estuary on our six-meter long luxury expedition boats, designed by Bill Bensley, complete with picnic, sun loungers on the top deck and kayaks. (4-5 hours – half day)
- Wildlife Alliance Rangers Anti-Poaching Patrol – join the armed Wildlife Alliance Rangers on their anti-poaching patrol on their motorbikes and see first-hand, the vital conservation work they carry out each day protecting animals from poaching, removing shares and protecting the National Park from encroachment and illegal logging (2-8 hours – full or half day)
- Butterfly Walk - Your Bensley Adventure Butler will guide you on a property hike to see the gorgeous butterflies that live here. We are home to over 140 species of butterflies. If you are lucky you may see some that congregate in a flutter numbering in the hundreds, a colourful feast for the senses. (1-2 hours – half day)
- Forest Foraging – Joins our Cambodian Executive Chef who is an expert forager and discover a new way to experience the forest as you help fill Chef’s basket of goodies for the Wild foraged tasting dinner
- Mountain Biking – The wild sanctuary and surrounding part and countryside have mountain biking opportunities for riders of all levels.
- Kayaking and/or Birdwatching– the local rivers and estuaries and perfect for flatwater kayaking. Your best opportunities for bird watching are along these barely used routes. Your options are only limited by water levels and your curiosity. 2.5 hours – half dayCatch and Release Fishing - Spend a few hours fishing in the many streams at our Wild sanctuary as you contemplate the beauty of the forest. All fishing is strictly catch and release. 1-3 hours – half day)
- Khmer Tonics Spa – all of this adventuring calls for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Enjoy our range of treatments using natural products made from medicinal plants foraged from the rainforest and bottled onsite. Set among dramatic natural boulders and forest, enjoy your treatment in one of the spa treatment suites or opt to have a foot massage in one of the river pools.
For more information and reservations, please contact Shinta Mani Wild – A Bensley Collection, please contact:
Tel: +855 12 223 782
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