Bali Barat National Park
West Bali National Park

West Bali National Park

One hundred and sixty species of bird have been recorded in the park, including the near extinct Bali Starling, Bali’s only endemic vertebrate species, and a key reason why this national park was created in the first place. By 2001, as few as six individuals were thought to survive in the wild, all of them in this park. Since then captive breeding and re-introduction efforts have continued apace, but poaching pressures are a large problem. With that in mind, a second re-introduction program was started in remote regions of Nusa Penida in 2004. Keen birdwatchers can find a checklist of likely species and their status here.

Bali – Ijen – West Bali NP – Munduk Highland


The Bali Barat National Park, founded in the year 1941, was originally an initiative by the Dutch with the purpose to protect the endangered Bali Starling bird and the last remaining wild Banteng, a native animal from which most of the Balinese cattle descend.

The park can be found in the most western part of the island. Nowadays it has a total area of 19,000 ha. but at the beginning the park extended much further eastward than it does today, at that time covering a total area of about 77,000 ha.

The Bali Barat Park is mountainous and it consists of primary monsoon forest, mangrove forest (310 ha.), lowland rain forest, savanna, sea grass vegetation types (40 ha.), coral reefs (810 ha.), sandy beaches, and both shallow and deep sea waters (3,520 ha.).

As the Bali Barat Park is a protected area, accessibility and land use are subject to a zoning system which defines the degree of allowed activities. If you plan to explore the park, you will have to hire an official Park guide. More information about park guides can be found further down this article.

At the peninsular Prapat Agung one will find an extensive web of footpaths, which makes it the most accessible part of the park. The cape is cut off from the rest of the reserve by the main road Singaraja-Gilamanuk, as well as by several forestry plantations inland of Teluk Terima.

At Menjangan island you will find hectares of colorful coral reef gardens, which makes it a perfect destination for snorkeling and diving.

Mammals found inside the park include Banteng, a species of wild cattle from which the familiar Bali cows are descended. Java Rusa and Indian Muntjac deer are quite widespread, and Menjangan Island is in fact named after these (Menjangan means deer in Bahasa Indonesia). Wild Boar and Leopard Cats are both quite common but seldom encoutered.

A Bali Tiger (a full sub-species of Tiger) was shot here in 1937, and despite rumours to the contrary, that is the last ever confirmed sighting of an animal considered extinct since that moment.

The Bali Barat National Park shows a high bio diversity in a relatively small area. At the end of the last century, 110 species of coral belonging to 18 families were recorded, of which 22 species were of the mushroom coral family (there are just 29 species of mushroom coral recorded worldwide!), and there were at least 27 species of Acropora coral found in an area as big as only 2 ha.

The Marine reserve includes the cape shores and several sanctuary islands, with many seabirds, in the bay of Gilimanuk, on the island of Menjangan and the excellent coral reefs surrounding it. The good drop-offs on Menjangan’s south side are only surpassed by the particularly superb reefs on its northern shores. The island is a popular spot for locals and tourists wishing to dive for a variety of fish and coral reef exploration.There are no dangerous currents to contend with in this area.

PARK TREKKING

The terrain and landscape of the Bali Barat National Park largely consists of monsoon forest and savanna. Lush mangrove vegetation also occupy some of its coastal area along the bay of Banyuwedang and Gilimanuk, Prapat Agung peninsula and Menjangan Island.

Characterized by small annual rainfall, much less from the rest of Bali particularly the south, the Park deserves distinct nature both in flora and fauna. To explore its unique terrain and wildlife, trekking inside the Park can truly be a discovery. Depending on physical capacity, we arrange park-trekking ranging from two up to five hours.

PARK SAFARI

An afternoon exploration into the heart of the Bali Barat National Park, along the western coast of Prapat Agung peninsula. Largely occupied by monsoon and savanna, Prapat Agung is home to many varieties of Bali Barat species, making this peninsula become the main zone of the Park conservation. It samples several species of vertebrates such as kera hitam (black monkey / Presbytis cristata), kera abu (macaque monkey), menjangan (barking deer / Cervus timorensis), kancil (Trangulus javanicus), babi hutan (wild pig) and kucing hutan (wild cat).

Reptile biawak (giant lizard / Varanus salvador) and Aves ayam-hutan hijau (green junglefowl / Gallus varius), eagle and owl also occupy this area. Several endangered floras include sawo kecik (Manilkara kauki), panggal buaya and cendana (Santalum album).

To reserve the best moment and opportunity to observe the wilds in their natural habitat, this safari tour is exclusively organized to be only during the dry season from the months of June to October with a set-up time from 03:00 pm until approximately 06:00 pm. The wild approaches coastline during dry season and move deeper into the park during the wet from November to April. The whole tour is arranged by car to depart from Mimpi Resort to Tegal Bunder, a Ranger Post near the captive breeding center for Bali Starling.

Exploration starts here through unpaved road leading along the western coastline of the peninsula. Lampu Merah, another Ranger Post opposing the ferry harbor of Gilimanuk and East Java coast, will be the last stop. This whole exploration from Tegal Bunder to Lampu Merah will approximately take 1.5 hours to cover an approximate distance of 12 kilometers. From this last stop, you will be escorted back to the resort through the same road as no other returning access available by car.

BIRD WATCHING

The Bali Barat National Park is the preferred habitat of approximately 300 species of tropical birds, both migratory and endemic. Many of them are quite difficult to spot. From seed, insect to fish-eating species, all can be found here either along its monsoon habitat or coastal mangrove swamp.

For a more advanced birding, we arrange guided exploration into several birding sites of the Park. To reserve best observation moment, arrangement could be made either early in the morning from 07:00 to 09:00 am or late in the afternoon from 04:00 to 06:00 pm, both for approximately two hours. Depending on current season and other weather-related facts, birding-site options include coastal mangrove area of Teluk Terima including its small river, Tegal Bunder near the Starling rehabilitation center and coastal area of Cekik close to the Park headquarter.

STARLING VISIT

The Bali Barat National Park is home to Bali’s only endemic bird, the Rothschild’s Mynah which is more commonly known as the Bali Starling. The bird is pure white except for its black wing-tips and blue face. In the evenings, the mynahs normally fly down from the hills where they feed during the day to roost near the sea. The local Pilang tree (Acacia leucophloea) which occupies many parts of the park monsoon forest has been their choice of nest for ages. As it gets older, the tree normally looses off its skin making it slippery for any predator such as snake to climb and hunt the starling eggs.

Although Bali is its natural and only habitat, the numbers of Bali Starling have never been large. Today it is believed that less than 30 Bali Starling’s have remained uncaptured in the wild! A cooperative conservation program is being implemented by the Indonesian and overseas agencies to try to introduce some of these captive birds back to the wild.

There are currently two rehabilitation centers in the Park. One is located in Tegal Bunder just on the gate to Perapat Agung peninsula and another in Teluk Berumbun opposite menjangan island’s Pos I. The first can be reached by a 20-minute car drive but the second can only be reached by an approximately 45-minute boat ride from the resort. Tegal Bunder is considered as the first rehabilitation stage where the captive birds will be intensively introduced back to wild before finally being pre-released in Teluk Berumbun. Some breeding is also done in Tegal Bunder.

TEGAL BLUNDER TRAIL

Is most popular with birdwatchers, and it is an easy two hour walk. The ranger checkpoint is at the village of Slumber Klampok about 20 minutes west of Cekik. From the same checkpoint you can take the more strenuous Gunung Klatakan Trail to the south east. This is tougher walking for about five hours, but it takes you through some memorable rainforest. There are other trails and opportunities for interesting hikes, but these are the two most popular and the easiest. Ask guides about other opportunities at the time, particularly those involving hiking deeper into the Prapat Agung Peninsula.

MENJANGAN ISLAND

The uninhabited Menjangan Island is a must-do for any visitor to Bali interested in marine life, snorkelling or diving. Boats leave from the beach at Labuan Lalang at the northern edge of Teluk Terima bay, and can chartered on the day. Groups of tourists often club together at Labuan Lalang in the mornings for that very purpose. Any boat charter must be accompanied by a guide, and you must purchase a permit (Rp 25,000 per person) from the national park office in the main Labuhan Lalang car park. Many of Bali’s dive operators based in the southern tourist regions offer dive excursions specifically to Menjangan. The snorkelling here is probably the best on Bali with good clear water and calm seas.

PURI GILI KENCANA

There is a notable temple on Menjangan called Puri Gili Kencana which is certainly worth a visit. You can walk around the whole of Menjangan in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you take it slower though there is plenty of natural coastal beauty to absorb.

GILIMANUK BAY

Gilimanuk Bay snakes into the south western tip of the Prapat Agung peninsula, and the park office can arrange a guided boat trip for you in a traditional outrigger. The bay is quiet and supports a rich diverstity of marine life. There are some notable areas of mangrove forest fringing the bay, and these act as a natural nursery for the diverse fish life in the area.

BANYUWEDANG HOT SPRING

Partially located on the resort’s ground, the hot springs of Banyuwedang supply the resort with high quality sodium-chloride-calcium-sulphate water, at a basic temperature of 46.4 C. According to a testified spa and mineral water analysis by the German company Hydroisotop, the water is to be classified as aqua ex fonte thermale oligominerale with a comparatively low content of solute gases and radioactivity (Radium and Radon).

The water is comparable to other well-known thermal spring waters such as Achen, Neuenahr, Pyrmont and Baden-Baden of Germany, Evian and Vichy of France, Bath of UK and other mineral waters like Hirschquelle, Gerolsteiner, Nauheimer and Rosbacher Urquell.

There is no accommodation on Menjangan Island though the mainland is only a short boat trip out to some good diving and snorkeling locations.

Mimpi Resort is situated looking over the lagoon where boats leave to transport divers to Menjangan Island. With hotel style rooms from US$95 or villas from US$195. They can arrange dive trips with all equipment included.

Aneka Bagus Resort with 60 rooms with thatched roofs, 39 standard rooms, 5 individual villas, 9 junior suites and 3 family suites. Prices from US$37 per night.

Taman Sari Bali Cottages located on Pemuteran Beach not far from Menjangan Island. Prices from US$42 per night.

Amertha Bali Villas and Spa located at Pemuteran Beach. Prices from US$75 per night.

Menjangan Jungle & Beach Resort prices from US$55 up to US$210 including breakfast. Can arrange transfers to Menjangan Island for diving trips.

Waka Shorea Resort prices from US$166.50 per night.

Novus Gawana Resort and Spa located on Menjangan Bay close to the West Bali National Park. Room rates from US$180.