Travel

Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve – 7 Highlights & Travel Guide

The Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve is a place for true adventurers, who enjoy going into the jungle for hiking and maybe even camping under the star heals. The nature reserve is well off the beaten track, with the nearest towns of Pleiku and Quy Nhon 150km away – destinations that are also rarely visited by foreign travellers.

For the real adventurers who do venture here, impressive dense jungle awaits with wild animals and some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam.

About Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve

Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve is located on the border of the two provinces of Gia Lai and Binh Dinh. The primitive jungle here is what used to cover much of the impressive central highlands. There was once a time when tigers, bears, elephants and other large animals had their home here.

That said, the park is still home to wildlife and has a very diverse flora and fauna with hundreds of different trees, plants and flowers. There are over 60 different species of mammals, around 170 species of birds and 160 species of butterflies. Of the mammalian species, 25 are listed in the Red Book of Protected Species. In the visitor center at the entrance of the park is a small museum where you can learn more about which animals live in the park.

The Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve mainly consists of very dense jungle and primitive forests. Several rivers and streams run through the park that flow into beautiful waterfalls.

In addition to the beautiful nature, you will also find several villages of the Ba Na ethnic minority who live here in traditional ways with their own unique culture.

Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve highlights

1. K50 waterfall

kon chu rang nature reserve – 7 highlights & travel guide

The highlight of Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve is without a doubt the K50 waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam. The location in the middle of the jungle, far from the beaten track and where you can only reach with a trekking makes the waterfall extra special. The waterfall is 50 meters high and between 20 meters and 100 meters wide, depending on the season. To see the K50 waterfall at its peak, it is therefore best to visit in the rainy season or just at the beginning of the dry season.

2. Jungle trekking

kon chu rang nature reserve – 7 highlights & travel guide

Not only the best way, but also the only way to explore the Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve is with a trekking. Except for the part to the K50 waterfall, there are no real paved paths through the park. It is therefore not possible to walk on your own; at all times you should go out with a local guide or with the park rangers. Far from the beaten track in the middle of the jungle, the adventure is all the greater.

3. Camping

kon chu rang nature reserve – 7 highlights & travel guide

To take the adventure to an even higher level, you can also camp in the Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve. This is especially for the real adventurers who want to explore more of the park than the falls. You can arrange this with an organized tour where you set up a tent and make a campfire in the middle of the park. With no city nearby, you can see an amazing starry sky on clear nights. Normally the tours are two days and one night where you go through the park during the day.

5. More waterfalls

kon chu rang nature reserve – 7 highlights & travel guide
kon chu rang nature reserve – 7 highlights & travel guide

The K50 waterfall may be very impressive, but it is not the only waterfall in Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve. There are no less than 12 waterfalls. When you start hiking early in the morning or when you go camping in the nature reserve, you have enough time to visit several.

6. Animals spotting

Many large animals such as the tiger, bear and elephant are no longer found here, but you can still go out to spot beautiful animals, including some of the most unique wildlife in Vietnam. The Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve is home to the gray-shanked douc langur and red-cheeked gibbon from the monkey family. These are most active in the early morning. At night you are more likely to see the Pangolin and the pygmy slow loris. In addition, there are also many birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.

7. Ba Na minorities

kon chu rang nature reserve – 7 highlights & travel guide

The Central Highlands is also home to several ethnic minorities. In this area you will mainly find the Ba Na minority, who mostly live in houses on stilts with a huge communal house in the center of the village. A visit to such a village is definitely recommended and a great insight into their culture. The Ba Na people have their own language, dress, dishes, festivals and way of life. There are also villages in the area where you can stay in a homestay with this ethnic minority.

How to get there

Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve is well off the beaten track and there are no larger towns nearby.The two closest large cities that have an airports are Quy Nhon (140 km) and Pleiku (150 km). From both towns you can either take a bus to Kbang (Google Maps), which is the closest village to the park and from here rent a car with driver or a motorbike for the last 40 km. You can also rent a motorbike or car with driver directly from Quy Nhon and Pleiku which is easier and convenient if you also want to combine it with visiting other places in the central highlands.

Best time to visit

The Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve can be visited all year round, but if you want to see the falls at the peak, it is best to go in the rainy season from May to October or just after. The only drawback is that there is a greater chance that you will walk through the park in the rain.

Tips for visiting Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve

  • Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve is not a very touristic place, especially for foreign travelers. Arrange your trip to the park in advance. Sign up with the park rangers or even better is to go by organized tour.
  • Once in the park you can drive to the starting point of the K50 by motorbike. The road is very narrow and very steep at several points. Only drive yourself if you have a strong motorbike and you are a very experienced driver. Alternatively, you can go on the back of a motorbike of a park rangers, although you need to arrange this in advance.
  • Only bring warmer clothes when you go camping. You will be walking a lot, so you will naturally get warm. Wear several thin layers that you can easily put on or take off depending on the weather. Always take something with you to protect you from the rain.
  • There are places in Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve where you can swim, so don’t forget a swimsuit and towel.
  • The trails in the park are not paved and well laid out. For the adventure this is only great, but it is therefore not accessible if you have difficulty walking. Also make sure to bring good hiking or trekking shoes (no flip flops!).

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