When it opened in 2006, Nature Lodge Cambodia was the one of the country’s first ecotourism offerings. Ten years later, it’s something of a role model for other enterprises that have sprung up all over Cambodia.
Wildlife conservation, forest preservation and heritage protection are among the lodge’s top priorities. As such, the lodge itself has been designed to fit as seamlessly as possible into Sen Monorom’s landscape.
The restaurant/common area is located at the heart of the property and is built around the trunks of trees that long preceded the owners’ arrival. A vast deck made from salvaged timber that was logged locally (loggers are instructed to burn any wood that appears imperfect) fringes the restaurant, and a small organic garden that supplies the kitchen with veggies and herbs is visible below.
The rest of the seven-hectare property is dotted with bungalows of all shapes and sizes. Some resemble quaint English cottages, others are inspired by the bamboo-walled, grass-roofed shelters you can spot in the area.
Nature Lodge is the perfect base for outdoor activities in Sen Monorom. They even manage their own community conservation project called L.E.A.F. (Local Environmental Awareness Foundation), which offers guided treks through Nature Lodge’s vast wildlife corridor, 4×4 tours of Sen Monorom, and overnight stays at a jungle camp. L.E.A.F also has a relationship with two mahouts who walk their elephants into the wildlife corridor to interact with visitors through feeding and bathing.