Cat Tien Overview

Cat Tien National Park, located in southern Vietnam, stands as a testament to the country’s commitment to conservation and biodiversity. Situated approximately 150 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City, the park spans across three provinces: Dong Nai, Lam Dong, and Binh Phuoc, covering an area of about 720 square kilometers (278 square miles). Established in the late 20th century, Cat Tien is recognized for its significant ecological diversity and has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, highlighting its global importance for conservation.

The park’s landscape is a diverse tapestry of tropical lowland forests, wetlands, and grassland habitats, providing a sanctuary for a wide array of flora and fauna. It is home to several endangered species, including the Asian elephant, Siamese crocodile, and the Javan rhinoceros, though the latter has not been sighted in recent years. Cat Tien also boasts an impressive avifauna, with over 350 bird species recorded, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.

One of Cat Tien National Park’s most notable features is its ancient Lagerstroemia trees, some of which are believed to be several hundred years old, standing as silent witnesses to the forest’s enduring beauty. The park is also home to a bear sanctuary and a primate rescue center, which care for animals rescued from illegal trade, emphasizing the park’s role in wildlife rehabilitation and conservation.

Visitors to Cat Tien National Park can immerse themselves in nature through a variety of activities, including jungle trekking, bird watching, mountain biking, and nighttime safari walks, offering the chance to experience the park’s wildlife up close. The park provides eco-friendly accommodation options, ranging from guesthouses to camping sites, allowing visitors to extend their stay in this unique natural environment.

Cat Tien National Park is not only a haven for biodiversity but also a place for education and research, contributing to the understanding and preservation of Vietnam’s natural heritage. Its rich ecosystems and conservation efforts make it a crucial area for ecological study and a must-visit destination for eco-tourists and nature enthusiasts.

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Park Map
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Cat Tien National Park Highlights


Cat Tien National Park is a vibrant ecosystem, home to an array of wildlife species that illustrate the rich biodiversity and natural beauty of Vietnam.

Siamese Crocodile
Once thought to be nearly extinct in the wild, the Siamese Crocodile is a critical species for freshwater habitats, indicative of the park’s conservation success.

Asian Elephant
Majestic Asian Elephants roam the park’s forests, their presence a key indicator of the ecosystem’s health and the success of conservation efforts.

Gaur (Indian Bison)
The mighty Gaur, Asia’s largest bovine, is a symbol of the park’s wildness, grazing in herds and maintaining the health of grasslands and forests.

Green Peafowl
With its iridescent tail and elegant display, the Green Peafowl is a stunning sight, contributing to the park’s avian diversity and ecological balance.

Javan Rhino
Among the world’s rarest large mammals, the Javan Rhino’s presence in the park highlights the critical importance of Cat Tien for endangered species conservation.

Black-shanked Douc
This striking primate, with its distinctive coloration and arboreal lifestyle, is a key species for promoting forest conservation and biodiversity in the park.

Lesser Adjutant
A rare stork, the Lesser Adjutant is often seen in wetlands within the park, its presence indicative of healthy aquatic ecosystems.

With their loud calls echoing through the forest, Gibbons are a hallmark of the park, important for their role in seed dispersal and forest regeneration.

Sun Bear
The smallest of the bears, Sun Bears are vital for forest health, their foraging habits helping to disperse seeds and control insect populations.

Critically endangered, Pangolins are unique for their insectivorous diet and protective scales, playing a crucial role in controlling termite and ant populations in the park.

Cat Tien National Park’s diverse inhabitants, from the secretive Sun Bear to the elusive Javan Rhino, showcase the critical importance of this ecosystem in global biodiversity conservation.

Cat Tien National Park Pictures

Engaging Cat Tien National Park

Embark on a jungle trek through the lush forests of Cat Tien National Park, immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of the wilderness. Follow experienced guides along scenic trails, discovering hidden waterfalls, ancient trees, and diverse wildlife along the way.

Jungle trekking offers opportunities to encounter rare and endangered species, such as gibbons and Asian elephants, while experiencing the pristine beauty of Vietnam’s natural landscapes.

Embark on an open-air safari adventure through Cat Tien National Park, providing a thrilling way to explore the park’s diverse landscapes and encounter its rich wildlife. Climb aboard a safari vehicle with knowledgeable guides who will lead you on an exciting journey through the park’s forests, grasslands, and wetlands.

Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of iconic species such as Asian elephants, deer, and wild boar, as well as elusive predators like leopards and dholes. The open-air safari offers excellent opportunities for photography and wildlife observation, providing an immersive and unforgettable experience in the heart of Vietnam’s wilderness.

Experience the magic of the jungle after dark with a night safari in Cat Tien National Park. Venture into the nocturnal world of the forest, where the sounds of insects and frogs fill the air and nocturnal creatures emerge from their hiding places.

Armed with flashlights and guided by expert rangers, you’ll have the chance to spot owls, civets, and other creatures of the night, offering a unique and immersive wildlife experience under the stars.

Cat Tien National Park Trails

Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake) Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 10 kilometers round trip, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: This trail leads to Crocodile Lake, a serene body of water home to several freshwater crocodiles.

The hike through the dense rainforest offers opportunities to spot wildlife, including birds, primates, and possibly elephants.

The trail ends at a viewing platform overlooking the lake, where hikers can observe crocodiles in their natural habitat.

Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 2 kilometers round trip, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: An easy walk that takes visitors to the Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre, dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of endangered primates like gibbons.

The trail offers insights into conservation efforts and a chance to see these incredible animals up close.

Heavenly Bamboo Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 5 kilometers round trip, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: This easy and scenic trail winds through diverse habitats, including bamboo forests, offering a peaceful hike with the chance to spot a wide range of bird species.

It’s named after the abundant heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) found along the path.

Bear Rescue Center Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 1 kilometer round trip, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: A short walk that leads to the Bear Rescue Center, where visitors can learn about efforts to protect and rehabilitate rescued bears from the bile farming industry.

It’s an educational experience that highlights the importance of wildlife conservation.

Grassland Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 8 kilometers round trip, with some elevation gain.

Description: This trail takes hikers through the park’s unique grassland ecosystem, offering a chance to see a different side of Cat Tien’s biodiversity.

The open landscape is ideal for spotting deer, wild boars, and various bird species.

The trail’s moderate length and occasional elevation changes make it a satisfying hike for those looking to explore more extensively.


1. What is Cat Tien National Park known for?

Cat Tien National Park is known for its rich biodiversity, lush forests, and unique ecosystems. The park is one of the largest protected areas in Vietnam and is recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Cat Tien is particularly renowned for its population of endangered species, including the Javan rhinoceros, Asian elephant, and Siamese crocodile. It’s also home to a variety of other wildlife, such as gibbons, deer, and over 350 bird species.

Visitors to Cat Tien National Park can explore its scenic landscapes, trek through pristine forests, and embark on wildlife watching tours, offering unforgettable experiences in the heart of Vietnam’s wilderness.

  • Cat Tien, Park Site,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Local Vietnam, Cat Tien National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Vinpearl, Cat Tien National park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • UNESCO, Cat Tien National Park,, retrieved April 2024.