|Safari Park Entrance Sign – Gianyar is a district in Bali.|
Although we have visited the Singapore Zoo countless times, the Bali Safari and Marine Park offers a whole new experience. There were many photo ops with wild animals (for a fee which goes toward their conservation efforts), the animal shows were educational, and the Safari rides were eye-opening.
|Let the fun begin!|
|Souvenir shot of our little Safari explorer…|
This post summarises our recommended highlights at the Bali Safari and Marine Park.
1. Safari Tram Tour (USD 14 per person, tax inclusive – no child concession)
The Safari Tram Tour brings us on an incredible wildlife adventure in an air-conditioned tram which brought us really close to the wild animals. From the tram, we ventured into the habitats of free-roaming Sumatran Tigers, Elephants, Hippos, Sun-Bears, Deers and Cheetahs! It truly felt like we were the visitors who were infringing into their private spaces as the Safari Tram drove by!
|Safari ride in Air-conditioned comfort|
|Sumatran Elephants having their breakfast…|
|A giraffe playing peek-a-boo…|
|Sun-Bears taking a siesta…so cute!|
|Never seen a bear up close!|
|An antelope came forward to say ‘Hi’…|
|The beauty of a Safari ride is that you can come close…very close to these animals.|
|The mighty Khan deep in thought…|
|That majestic gaze…|
|A lazy Cheetah at the side of the road…|
|The demeanour of a lethal athlete…|
|Thirsty Hippos taking their baths…|
2. The Elephant Conservation Show (Free, See Schedule)
We enjoyed the Elephant Show tremendously as it tells the tale of how deforestation by humans drove the wild Elephants homeless and how the villagers worked together to prevent these innocent Elephants from being wiped out. Kids get to learn about animal conservation from this show and I actually developed more fondness for the gentle giants – the elephants – from this visit.
3. The Animal Educational Show (Free, See Schedule)
The Animal Educational Show showcases various animals’ behaviors such as the native Indonesian Binturongs (an endangered crossbreed of a bear & a cat), Elephants, Orang Utans, Cockatoos, Eagles, Snakes and even common house pets like Cats, Poodles and Hamsters! Dana loved this show and requested to watch it twice. Be warned though that the Hannuman Theatre where the Animal Show is staged does not have shelter. The Balinese sun can be scorching hot so have your spritzers, sun hats, sunblocks and portable fans on hand. Bring along plenty of drinking water to keep your family members hydrated.
|Exotic animals are showcased alongside common ones, highlighting the solidarity of animals in the animal kingdom.|
The other show we highly recommend is an hour-long cultural show called ‘Bali Agung‘. It is a highly entertaining production which tells the legend of a Bali’s Goddesses using a massive cast – 150 Balinese dancers, musicians and shadow-puppet masters. We bought tickets to the show without knowing what to expect and came away impressed. As avid travellers who have seen our fair share of ‘cultural shows’, this stands out for its impressive choreography and concept of using a fusion of styles in their music along with talented team of performers (both humans and animals). Of course, Daddy took the chance to introduce the two traditional art forms of Indonesia to Dana: the Gamelan and Wayang Kulit.
|Entrance to Bali Agung…|
You can book your tickets online or at the Safari Park itself. Do note that all guests have to surrender mobile phones, video cams and cameras before entering the theatre as no photography or videography is allowed. Bali Agung is a visual spectacle not to be missed as it gives the entire family a musical overview of Balinese culture!
5. The Night Safari Ride (USD 30 per person with tax – no child concession)
The Night Safari was the icing on the cake for us. We hesitated in going on the Night Safari initially as we weren’t sure if the costly ticket price would duplicate the Safari Tram Ride which we had seen earlier in the day. Moreover, we had been to Singapore’s Night Safari twice.
After some thought, we decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and boy, were we glad we did! In fact, we wished the Night Safari ride would last longer! The ride started by putting us in a moving metal cage (yes…cage) on top a truck into the dark terrain of the safari, illuminated by the occasional beam from a single torch. The free-roaming animals were already accustomed to the truck’s arrival – the moment we were near, they drew close to be fed – elephants, zebras etc… The highlight was the carnivorous tiger who leapt onto our cage and started slobbering down on us as he waited eagerly for the ranger to feed him. The moment his fangs got on to a sinew of the raw flesh, he started tearing it right through in full view of the frightened onlookers – us…who were just less than 5 feet below him!
|‘Captive Audience’ in the cage…|
|Supper for the Zebras…|
|We never seen a hungry tiger that close!|
|A pitch dark exciting Night Safari!|
5. Animal Encounters (IDR 50k to 80k per encounter – about SGD 6 to SGD 10)
There are many opportunities to feed and take photos with animals for a small fee throughout the Park. Dana took her first Camel Ride here. Although she enjoyed the ride, she developed an allergic rash on her back thighs the next day (which sent us scrambling for a pharmacy which the locals termed as ‘Apotik’ or Apothecary). Fortunately, the itchy rashes subsided after much prayers and appropriate medication. We weren’t sure if it was due to the Camels or the Orang Utan. If your kids want to participate in any of these animal encounters, be sure to clad them in long pants and pack in some anti-allergy medication.
|Just doing what she was told – Get On…|
|Adding another animal to the list she’s ridden on: Ponies, Elephants, Horses and…Camels!|
|This is real… an actual tiger cub (gulp)!!|
|With Ah Meng’s Balinese cousin…|
|Cheeky Orang Utan asked Dana to give him a head rub!|
|Close-up with a Kyte…|
|Bananas for you, Elly!|
|She had a blast feeding the elephants again and again…|
|These look organic!|
|The Komodo dragon – a native of Indonesia!|
|The white Bengal Tiger…|
|We got close to the ‘King’ of the Jungle during breakfast…|
|What a fun adventure at the Bali Safari and Marine Park!|
Jl. Bypass Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra, Km. 19,8
Gianyar 80551, Bali – Indonesia
Tel. +62 361 751 300
E-mail: [email protected]