Bali Safari and Marine Park is a nice choice to avoiding the overcrowded Kuta. 50 minutes by car from Kuta, the entrance is easily missed as it looks like an ordinary alley or ‘gang’ in Bahasa Indonesia. But you can rely on the signage along the road, it help me a lot!
Find an open space in parking lot is quite difficult. I came at 10 in Sunday morning & nearly can’t find a slot to park my car! You can bring bags, camera, even plush toys (I really surprise when they let me carried plushies) to enter the park, but big no to food & drink! Even a non-branded tumbler is prohibited. Beyond the entrance, the only way leads to a shuttle station. It can get really frantic at the shuttle station as people tries to go in to the shuttle as if it was the only shuttle around.
If you are separated from your party, fear not! The shuttle only takes you in 5 minutes ride to the main entrance, Lobby Barong. There, you can relax & patiently wait for your separated party. They will have some dance performance here, and I managed to watch Tari Baris (Warrior Dance) at the moment I arrived. And, having a donut or a cup of coffee is a nice stop before leaving the park later.
My first sightseeing is the Hanoman Court, where they perform Animal Educational Show. Please keep in mind that it is not a circus show. Different kind of animals are summoned onto the stage and they left just as quickly. The only “trick” displayed is a couple of Orangutan who peels a coconut and put the peels in a trashcan. After seeing the 30 minutes show, the next question is…where to go?
My answer to that question is Safari Explorer Cruise! About 45 minutes ride in a stripe colored bus with nice aircond inside. The bus will take us into the safari, start with Asian animal, and ends with African animals. A staff inside the bus will guide you through the tour, both in English and Bahasa if the guests consist of both local & foreign tourists. The bus also gives us a glimpse of their famous Mara Lodge and Tsavo Restaurant. And what is next in the fun package? Petting Zoo? The Poo paper? Elephant Village? Don’t forget about the water park because this is safari and marine park!
At this point, I’m really in not mood to ask around, so we are keeping walking in around until we found animals and we are free to take a picture (with our own camera/smartphone). Beware! A photo with staff’s camera & print will cost you Rp 100,000 (USD 9-10) which is quite pricey. Oh, the food & drinks are more expensive than the minimart. So, this is why they won’t let us bring our own food & drinks inside.
But you know, considering this HUGE animal shelter needs a bunch of money to run, I don’t mind at all. I have 2 cats at home and they need no small amount to taking care of; the food, litter, shampoo, veterinarian. So I don’t mind at all to spend some extra money on food & drinks, considering the park’s expenses. So, please follow my advise: you have to shop with pleasure here! The fries are not bad and the plush souvenirs are so cute! Not to mention that Panda hat…also, the staffs are super friendly and their smile will put you on a good mood, even when you are asking for directions or just asking the souvenirs prices.
Bali Safari & Marine Park website is quite visitor friendly. You can check on the website about the fees, tours, the lodge rates, opening hour & interactive map! You can check their webiste for pick-up shuttle from Sanur/Kuta/Ubud/Nusa Dua. They also have calendar events which is stop at 2013, but they do have regular schedule like Animal Education, Bali Agung theater, Elephant bath. They have animals in every corner to be taken picture with. Don’t miss this! So far I have photos with a yellow banana snake, a blue cockatoo, a binturong, OrangUtan, and a chameleon. So fun!
FYI, the address of Bali Safari & Marine Park is Jalan Bypass Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra, Km. 19,8 Gianyar 80551 Bali. Operational hour are 09.00 AM to 05.00 PM. Ticket price is USD 35 or Rp 135,000 if you have Indonesiian residence ID. For contact, you can dial 361-751300 or email to[email protected].
- Visit the park on weekdays as it should be less crowded than weekends.
- Always ask and bring the park’s map wherever you go. The map also has schedules for the shows.
- Since most part of the park is an outdoor venue, wear a cap or a hat to protect yourself from the heat.
- Sometimes, the management held a promotional campaign at Airport or shopping malls where you can get promo deals.