Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
Shinta Mani Wild sits on a waterfall-dotted wild waterside, where three of Cambodia’s national parks converge in a 400-acre river valley. Bensley’s 15, 100sq m tented villas are actually built out on platforms over the water, so guests really are immersed in its rushing, teeming energy. The verdant Bokor, Cardamom and Kirirom parks, though, prove too much of a temptation to loggers and poachers. They want to encounter the besieged wild elephants and gibbons for all the wrong reasons.
So, when you stay here, your help is needed by Bensley and his partners (the charity Wildlife Alliance, researchers from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and the Cambodian Government itself). He’s funded a foundation and ranger station and you can go out with rangers on patrol as they protect this natural wonderland, playing your part in clearing the area of animal snares and even mines. All the time you’ll be surrounded by forest, or slipping through the water by kayak.
Most excursions also become foraging trips, which can include anything from catching crabs, prawns and langoustines in the river to harvesting wild herbs on the forest floor. Sustainable food is central to the entertainment ethos here; in fact, reverence for naturally grown ingredients developed at Shinta Mani Wild is informing the whole country’s attitude to how Cambodia eats, and what’s needed to keep traditions viable in future.
All sound a bit worthy? Don’t fret: your conservation work comes with its own rewards, including access to the Boulder Spa, and unforgettable al fresco gatherings often attended by Bensley’s mobile cocktail bar, built into an old Land Rover and manned by ever-obliging ‘Bensley Butlers’. Yet another exhilarating touch is Bill’s 380-metre zipwire which – if you go for it upon arrival – whizzes you from the gate lodge over the tumbling falls and directly into the Landing Zone Bar – where a substantial G&T awaits you. If Indiana Jones had been an eco-warrior, he’d have loved that.
At A Glance…
- Shinta Mani Wild is a luxury camp experience in Cambodia. Combining world class design, hospitality and conservation.
- Shinta Mani Wild is made up of fifteen custom designed 100sqm tents. The design was inspired to create the feeling of what it would have been like to be on a luxury safari with Jackie O, who travelled throughout the Kingdom with King Sihanouk in 1967.
- Located two and a half hours from Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, Shinta Mani Wild is perfect to combine with a longer trip in Cambodia.
Why 360 Loves It…
- We love the arrival method you can take to reach Shinta Mani Wild – ziplining across the river rapids taking you straight into the Landing Zone bar. If you’re not feeling that adventurous, jeep transfers are also available.
- Activities at Shinta Mani Wild include heading out with the rangers on motorbikes, spending a day with the team clearing the forests of snares and mines, jeep safaris.
- Partnered with Wildlife Alliance, who work towards catching poachers and illegal loggers, makes Shinta Mani Wild an extremely conservation-focused concept.