The ubiquity of intriguing temples, gorgeous beaches and top-notch sunset bars are no doubt reasons that constantly lure throngs of tourists to return to the scenic island of Bali. But what can families look forward to in the “island of Gods” besides all these? We know it can certainly be a struggle to suss out activities that will keep kids engrossed and on their toes!
Well, Bali Safari and Marine Park is perfect for you to kick-start an awesome adventure together! While the little ones squeal in delight and interact with these animals up close through a multitude of wildlife experiences, the adults can take this opportune time to forge stronger bonds and create even more precious memories together as a family.
Helmed as one of Bali’s most fascinating attractions, Bali Safari and Marine Park opened its gates to the world in 2007. This park in Gianyar boasts an incredible range of wildlife diversity from India, Indonesia and all the way to Africa! The Komodo dragon, Orang Utan and Bali mynahs are just some examples of endangered species endemic to Indonesia that you’ll be able to spot (keep those hawk eyes on)!
If you are still not convinced, here are eight reasons why Bali Safari and Marine Park must be in your next Bali itinerary!
1. You can witness the animals roam freely from your Safari bus
What is a trip to a wildlife park without hopping on a Safari bus to witness the animals in full view? Instead of having to walk to the various enclosures (under the sweltering heat) and peer for a quick glimpse of the animals, you can now sit back, relax and really just enjoy the ride.
This bus literally transports you right to their natural habitats where you can spot docile bambis, African hippos and blue wildebeests roaming freely. If you're visiting some time in April, you can also expect to see a family of mandrills that will be joining the wildlife collection! If lady luck is on your side, you might even see these animals lumber along right beside you. With quick reflexes, be sure to snap that coveted selfie!
As you listen to the informative commentary provided by your experienced guide during the slow 30-minute loop, be amazed by the park’s extensive wildlife collection of over 80 distinct animal species with the most epic display being the legendary Indian white tigers!
2. The tots can feel and feed the furry ones at the Petting Zoo
This incredible safari encourages interaction with its furry critters through the kid-friendly Petting Zoo. From goats and guinea pigs to rabbits and ponies (you can ride them too!), swoon over these adorable creatures and learn more about their diets and some intriguing fun facts. There is also a large collection of birds, ducks, hamsters and even iguanas around (for the braver ones!).
3. The exhilarating Night Safari journey will leave your jaws hanging
The roles are reversed during this heart-thumping Night Safari journey, especially when you can enter the tiger’s den in a special cage tram. Yes, you read that right. You will be the ones caged as these ferocious carnivores eye your every move.
After your guided walk around the park set off into the dark wilderness via the cage tram and keep your eyes peeled for nocturnal creatures that may slowly advance towards the cage. As the park ranger dangles a fresh slab of meat to lure the elusive tigers, watch how these hungry predators pounce and gobble it right above you. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, it is also one of the closest encounters you’ll ever get with a tiger without becoming its next meal! During the ride, you may also hand-feed gentle herbivores like elephants, giraffes and zebras.
Do not forget to catch the spectacular fire dance-cum-puppet show – Afrika! Rhythm of Fire Show – which runs for about 15 minutes. Watch these passionate dancers present an authentic tribal dance accompanied by drum beats and props. Round up an exciting evening with a delectable all-you-can-eat barbeque dinner at the lovely N’kuchiro Bar & Grill.
4. The mythical Bali Agung Show will leave you awestruck
Featuring an impressive cast of 180 actors, 40 elaborate puppets and more than 30 animals, including ten elephants and a flock of birds, "Bali Agung - The Legend of Balinese Goddesses" is an absolute must-watch! Yes, the humans are not the only actors in this show! This unique theatre production seamlessly weaves in the roles of the animals too. The story recounts a true tale of a 12th-century Balinese king, King Jaya Pangus, who weds a Chinese princess, Kang Ching Wie and fathers a child with another woman, better known as Bali's Goddess of fertility.
Sharing a mega 60x40-metre stage in a colossal theatrical complex that can seat up to 1,200 people, the talented actors put up an incredible show. From the vibrant display of well-choreographed dances to the traditional Balinese music accompaniments, this legendary play is one you’ll not forget.
5. There are FREE live animal shows to catch!
Bali Safari and Marine Park has no shortage of engaging animal shows! Be sure to get a front and centre seat and be tickled by the acts of the ever-friendly Orang Utan and gentle elephant giants. You might even see some surprise special guests that will leave you going “ooh” and “aah” throughout! The shows to look out for include: Animal Educational show and the Elephant Conservation & Educational show. On weekends, you can also expect to witness the fascinating Elephant Parade! Once the show ends, you can take photos with the main superstars! This is the perfect time for you to snap that long-awaited family portrait.
6. You can dine alongside Tsavo Lion Restaurant’s main residents
At Bali Safari and Marine Park, dining with the King of the Jungle is not a problem at all. Of course for safety precautions, there is a solid glass panel separating you and these majestic creatures. Tsavo Lion Restaurant is the first African-themed restaurant in Asia that allows you to feast on your meal while being in super close proximity to these mighty lions! This fine dining restaurant is located just beside the lion's exhibition area, giving you surreal views of the pride gathering and playing with each other.
The restaurant serves up a tantalising range of meals from western favourites such as Tasmanian Salmon to Balinese classics (Crispy Duck Leg, yum!). A vegetarian and kid’s menu are also available to cater to individual preferences. Need to use the washroom thereafter? Be warned – there may be prying eyes.
7. The Water Park and Fun Zone will allow you to soak in even MORE fun!
After spending quite a bit of time exploring the park’s vast acres, cool off at The Water Park where a dizzying array of water slides, toy water guns and fountains await. You can also expect to find toddler-friendly water playgrounds, a whirlpool and a swimming pool! Free lockers, shower and changing facilities are also readily available, giving you even more reasons to soak in more fun. While the young ones whizz and slide all around, the adults can retreat in another pool replete with a chill bar. This is certainly one of the best ways to deal with Bali’s humidity.
If you prefer to dodge being completely soaked, have fun at the Fun Zone instead! Hop on a Jungle Cruise boat ride or embrace the mad adrenaline rush as you whirl and twirl on the roller-coasters. You can expect to embrace fun in epic proportions here, no doubt.
8. You can ensure an educational fun-filled outing for all to enjoy
Conservation is and will always be an important element of wildlife parks and nature reserves. Here at Bali Safari and Marine Park, education and conservation is greatly emphasized through the various in-house breeding programs, shows and exhibits highlighting the current concerns for various species.
For example, the Elephant Conservation & Educational show mentions about how the elephants were rehabilitated to prevent them from being hunted in the wild. You will also garner a deeper understanding of the history of the conflict between elephants and humans and better fathom the importance of saving the homes of these gentle giants. Your trip to Bali Safari and Marine Park is more than just a family outing, it’s an eye-opening journey that will shine light on issues that are pertinent in today’s world.
Depending on the duration of time you have and your individual interests, choose the best package that meets the likes of your family! The entrance fees are dependent on the chosen package. If you wish to further immerse yourself in this exclusive safari experience, spend a couple of nights at the cosy Mara River Safari Lodge .
Located within the grounds of the Bali Safari Marine Park , all lodges feature an open-air terrace, granting guests the opportunity to observe different animals at close range. Guests also enjoy complimentary access to Bali Safari and Marine Park and enjoy special discounts for other additional attractions. The family suites are perfect for those coming with the little ones in tow.
This is one attraction you do not want to miss in Bali. In fact, you might actually think you’re right in the heart of the African savannah!