Join us at our Vistor's Center to enjoy a tour with our talented team. Meet the rats, take photos and watch them detect practice landmines (don't worry, it's safe!) in a controlled and informative setting. From learning about our international nonprofit, to meeting some of the furry team behind the work up close and personal, we think you'll have a fantastic time. Our little friends will be accompanied by their trainers who will gladly answer any questions you might have about this little-known, tropical and sometimes life-saving, incredible animal. By the way, these aren't ordinary rats. These are Giant African Pouched Rats and are the size of a small house cat!
My name is Benji and I run APOPO Visitor's Center in Siem Reap. APOPO is a ground-breaking charity that works with talented HeroRATs to detect and remove landmines in Cambodia. I was dedicated to raise awareness about this deadly global issue, still affecting the lives of thousands of people in Cambodia, one of the most affected country in the world, and began the center a few years ago,. It has now grown to be one of the most popular destinations in Siem Reap!
The story of APOPO began in 1995 when Bart Weetjens, founder of the organization wondered if the rodents he used to keep as pets could be taught to sniff out landmines and other explosives. 20 years later, APOPO's HeroRATs have cleared over 22 million m2 of contaminated land and found over 50,000 explosive remnants of war in 6 countries.
The tour will take place outdoors in a covered area where we'll first discuss the history of the nonprofit, and the areas we've cleared of landmines. Then we'll meet one of the trained rats accompanied by a guide. You'll be able to meet the rat up close and personal, then see it discover dummy landmines in our practice area. Finally, you'll have the opportunity to cool down and have a snack while you watch a brief short film with amazing visuals.
Meet life-saving animals