Bali is a beautiful place and several majestic creatures enjoy its natural habitat.
However, this tropical paradise isn’t always blissful for wild animals and there are threatened species in Bali and some species have already been lost.
The good news is that many Balinese families have built businesses around protecting the natural habitat and animals of the island now and you can see many wild animals in Bali, while ensuring that you do some good for the future propsects of the fauna here in Bali.
Our guide will introduce you to the most common creatures in Bali and to where you can see them during your holiday here.
The Main Wildlife In Bali
There are 9 main sets of creatures that you’re likely to encounter in Bali and here’s a brief introduction to them all.
The long-tailed macaque is Bali’s most famous monkey and there are monkeys all over the island.
The best-known refuge of Balinese monkeys is the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest but you can find them at Uluwatu Temple, Lempuyang Temple and many other places too.
They are famous for their acts of mischief and vindictiveness and if you go near a monkey here in Bali, be warned it may steal anything that it can get its hands on.
We also warn you not to get into a fight with a monkey. It will bring the other monkeys and you will get bitten and possibly seriously hurt.
Incredibly, the monkeys that live at the temple in Uluwatu are unique, in that they have devised a system of bartering what they steal from you, in exchange for locally purchased tasty treats.
These are the only monkeys in the world to have developed a skill set like this.
Snakes & Sea Snakes
Bali is home to a lot of snakes and many of them are venemous. However, it’s important to realize that, by and large, most snakes are more scared of you than you are of them.
If you do encounter a snake, it’s best to back away from it slowly, keep an eye on where it’s going (if it’s on your property) so you can get a snake catcher to remove it.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to kill or catch a snake. That will upset it.
The deadly venom of snakes such as king cobras or kraits is no joke, it’s best to avoid being bitten on this Indonesian island particularly as the local supplies of anti-venom are not always very good.
Sea snakes are found in the waters around Bali but they are, generally speaking, very timid and tend to avoid divers, swimmers and snorkelers.
This is good news because they are much more venemous than regular snakes.
Lizards & Crocodiles
There are two lizards that it’s hard to avoid when you visit Bali. The gecko which is a tiny little lizard that can’t do you any harm and which snacks on mosquitoes while you sleep.
And there’s the tokay. This gecko is a bigger, harder version of the smaller creature and makes a loud noise.
They are considered to be good luck in Bali and are seen as protectors of a home. So, don’t chase it out.
If you really must chase it out, use a broom, tokays can give a pretty severe bite.
Crocodiles are a bit of a rarity here in Bali, but the saltwater crocodile’s territory includes Bali’s beaches. They are not an endangered species, far from it, in fact.
The good news is that while crocodile attacks do take place in Indonesia, they don’t take place in Bali.
Visit East Timor, though, and you will find you’re ten times more likely to be eaten by a crocodile than you are to get malaria and die!
Cats & Dogs
Bali has a few stray cats wandering the streets but the biggest issue is the street dogs.
The Bali dog, which is also known as the Kintamani Dog, is thought to be one of the oldest continuously domesticated species of dog on the planet.
This knowledge won’t help you if you get bitten by one, though, mammals in Bali can carry rabies and dogs are the highest risk for human contagion.
Sadly, as lovable as Bali’s dogs appear, it’s best to leave them alone, unless you meet one in a setting with its owner present.
Cows, Pigs And Wild Pigs
Balinese cows are a unique bread of cow, the Sapi Bali, in fact. Bali cows are used to help plow rice fields and to keep grass at bay.
Sadly, they’re no longer really needed on farms as modern technology has replaced them.
The good news is that because Bali is a Hindu territory, the cows are considered to be sacred animals and are taken care of.
You won’t find anyone selling milk from these cows though as they don’t produce enough to make it worth milking them.
There are also pigs (often wild pigs) that are commonly used in meat production.
Bali is home to a lot of bird species, 280 in fact, and some of them are native and others are from outside of the island.
Following a rapid decline in bird populations, local conservation groups have geared up their efforts to protect birds here and bird numbers are now increasing on the island.
Turtles are a big deal in Bali. These attractive and interesting acquatic creatures bring in a lot of interested tourists.
Unfortunately, this has led to some questionable ethics in the turtle tourism business and we’d recommend that you do your research before you support any turtle-related event in Bali.
You can find Hawksbill, Green, Loggerhead and Olive Ridley turtles in Bali.
You will need to visit Taman Nasional Bali Barat Park and Menjangan Island to find some deer in Bali.
The name “Menjangan” means “deer” in an archaic Indonesian language.
While Indonesia is home to several types of deer, the ones on this iisland are the “Barking Deer” or Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak).
Manta Rays & Mola Mola, Nusa Penida
Taman Nasional Bali Barat is the only Indonesian national park within he boundaries of Bali.
It covers an area of 190 square kilometers (that’s about 73 square miles) and includes Menjangang Island. That’s about 3% of Bali’s total land area.
It is a mixed-habitat park with forest, mangrove swamps, coral islands and montane forest.
There are four extinct volcanic peaks in the center of the park, Gunung Patas is the largest.
It is home to over 160 species of animal including deers, wild boars, flying foxes, leopard cat, the Bali starling and more.
Where Is It? VFCG+X44, Sumber Klampok, Bali, Indonesia
Bali Reptile Park
This is a conservation organization which specializes in caring for reptiles in as close to their natural habitats as possible.
You can see a King Cobra or a Komodo dragon here as well as play with a tortoise. It’s a very ethical place with a wonderful ethos that puts animals first.
Where Is It? Batubulan, Sukawati, Gianyar Regency, Bali 80582, Indonesia
Bali Safari & Marine Park
This excellent park is heavily involved in conservation exercises and is part of the breeding program for the Bali Myna.
They have elephants, orangutans, and many other species from the Indonesian islands available to see.
You can take a bus tour through the park to enjoy the larger creatures as they roam freely.
Where Is It? Jl. Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra No.Km. 19, Serongga, Kec. Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80551, Indonesia
This is a conservation center with over 450 rare animals that are all being prepared for a return to the wild at some point in the future.
You can also have breakfast with orangutans here, which is a lot of fun.
Where Is It? Jl. Raya Singapadu, Singapadu, Kec. Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
Uluwatu Temple, The Sacred Monkey Forest, and Other Monkey Habitats
There are plenty of places to meet monkeys here and you can easily Google to find other places than the ones listed above depending on where you are on the island.
Bali Bird Park
With over 1,000 birds of more than 250 rare species, there are a lot of birds to meet at this wonderful park.
They also have some interesting additional attractions such as 4D Theaters and Pelican feeding!
Where Is It? Jl. Serma Cok Ngurah Gambir Singapadu, Batubulan, Kec. Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
Turtle Conservation & Education Centre (Serangan)
This is probably the most ethical and most trusted turtle conservation center in Bali.
The centre works with local fishermen to rescue turtles that get injured during the fishing process and then returns them to the sea when they are healed.
This is a great place to stroke a turtle or watch them being released back into the wild.
Where Is It? Jl. Tukad Punggawa, Serangan, Denpasar Selatan, Kota Denpasar, Bali 80229, Indonesia
Bali Butterfly Park
There are only 15 native species of butterfly in Bali and you can find them all here.
It’s the biggest butterfly park in Asia and there are hundreds of other butterfly species to enjoy too.
They also have some fairly creepy exhibits of scorpions, spiders, and beetles. Some people love them, some people, like the author, skip this bit.
Where Is It? Br.Sandan Lebah, Jl. Batukaru No.76, Sedandan, Kec. Tabanan, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82181, Indonesia
Extinct Animals In Bali: The Bali Tigers
The Bali Tiger was from the same family at the Sumatran tiger. Sadly, the Bali Tiger is now extinct and Sumatran tigers are also endangered.
There was also a Javanese tiger but this went the same way as the Bali Tiger.
However, if you want to see a Sumatran tiger, you still can, and there are Sumatran tigers at the Bali Safari.
Endangered Animals In Bali: The Bali Myna (Or The Bali Starling)
The Bali Myna or Bali Starling is a very pretty bird that has white feathers, blue skin around the eyes, black tips on the wings and tail and only lives on the island of Bali.
Sadly, the Bali Starling is critically endangered and it’s thought that only 50 adults still live in the wild.
There are over 1,000 breeding pairs in legal captivity which are being used to try and repopulate the species but it’s estimated there are twice as many captive birds in the black market, sadly.
You can only find these birds in the wild in West Bali National Park, Nusa Penida, and Melinggih Kelod, Payangan (which is the site of the main release program on the island).
Other Areas Of Indonesia To Visit For Wildlife
There are of course other places in this part of Asia with interesting wildlife to see:
Komodo Island: Komodo National Park & Komodo Dragons
Komodo dragons are Indonesia’s most famous wildlife and the only place to see a Komodo dragon in the flesh is to head to the island of Komodo and the Komodo National Park.
Try not to get bitten, mind you, as the Komodo dragon has a venemous bite (and yes, it is venemous, early diagnoses of a bacteria-ridden bite turned out to be off the mark).
Borneo And Sumatra: Orang-Utans
Of all the native animals in Indonesia, the one with the saddest story to tell is the orang-utan. If we are descended from a common ancestor, then the orang-utan is our closest living relative on the planet.
Sadly, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade have taken their toll on the orang-utan and it’s now a critically endangered species.
You can find them in both Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo as well as in Sumatra and there are conservation efforts underway to improve their long-term chances of survival.
What Wild Animals Are In Bali?
There are no big animals left in Bali but there are plenty of birds, snakes, monkeys, and lizards to see.
How Can I See Wildlife In Bali?
If you want to see cows plow rice fields, just visit any farm during the rainy season. Alternatively, opt for one of the conservation centres mentioned above to see a range of animals including the crowd favorite, elephants.
Does Bali Have Big Cats?
No. There is a local leopard species but it’s a small wild cat, not the huge creature of African jungles. Otherwise, the Balinese tiger is now extinct.
Does Bali Have Aligators Or Crocodiles?
Bali has crocodiles but no aligators. Balinese crocodiles are saltwater creatures but though Bali is officially part of their territory, crocodile sightings on the island are rare.
Are There Wild Tigers In Bali?
No. All the local tigers are extinct. You can see tigers in Bali but only in conservation centers and they are Sumatran Tigers not Balinese ones.
How Do You Book A Trip To See Wildlife In Bali?
We always recommend that you book any trip to Bali or in Bali through the Bali Res Centre.
That’s a locally owned and operated travel service that can always get you a competitive price on a package that’s just right for you and your traveling companions.
Final Thoughts On The Animals Of Bali
Conservation efforts came to Bali quite late (as they did to much of Indonesia, sadly) but this remains the only place in the world to see the Bali starling.
There are plenty of other animals to enjoy in Bali too and now that humans are working to sustain the environment and the species that depend on it, they should be here for future generations to enjoy as well.
People will travel great distances to see majestic creatures in the wild and we hope that in time, Bali becomes as popular as a nature reserve as it is for its awesome beach clubs like FINNS.