Bali & Beyond - - CONTENTS - By Joseph Wang

The Bali Night Sa­fari at Bali Sa­fari & Ma­rine Park

Lo­cated on the out­skirts of Den­pasar, Bali Sa­fari & Ma­rine Park – which is rel­a­tively close to Gian­yar and Sa­nur – is one of the must-see des­ti­na­tions when you are on the area, es­pe­cially if you are look­ing for a break from vis­it­ing cul­tural sites in Ubud. For an ul­ti­mate unique ex­pe­ri­ence, why don’t you come to the park af­ter sun­set and dis­cover what the an­i­mals are up to when night­time falls by tak­ing the Bali Night Sa­fari pro­gram? Be­ing one of the sig­na­ture ac­tiv­i­ties at Bali Sa­fari & Ma­rine Park, the night sa­fari has been run­ning for more than two years, and has be­come one of the park’s lead­ing pro­grams along with the Sa­fari Jour­ney, Bali Agung Show,

and Ele­phant Sa­fari, as well as their din­ing venue and ho­tel; Tsavo Lion Restau­rant and Mara River Sa­fari Lodge.


The best time to come for the night sa­fari is at 5.30 p.m. as you have to reg­is­ter first. The staff will then ask you to wait in the VIP lounge where you can en­joy a wel­come drink while wait­ing for a shut­tle bus. Or bet­ter yet, take pho­tos with the igua­nas next to the wait­ing room like I did dur­ing my visit since the wait­ing room was packed with adults and chil­dren al­ready, all were buzzing with ex­cite­ment.

When the shut­tle bus ar­rives, it is time for you to em­bark on the first half of your Night Sa­fari. Hop onto one of the buses that will take you straight to the first point of the walk­ing sa­fari. The walk around the small part of the park only takes 30 min­utes. A guide will ac­com­pany you and ex­plain all about the an­i­mals that live in that area. The walk starts at the ko­modo dragon ex­hibit, a lizard species that is indige­nous to only a few is­lands in East­ern In­done­sia, and is known for its fe­ro­cious rep­u­ta­tion. How­ever, ko­mo­dos are ec­tother­mic, mean­ing you will need a lit­tle bit of luck to see them dur­ing night time as most likely they will be hid­ing to re­tain their body warmth.

An­other high­light of the walk­ing

sa­fari is to see the white Ben­gal Tigers, one of the rarest an­i­mal species on earth, as you near to the end of the tour. Once the walk­ing sa­fari is done, the guide will take you to the se­cond point of the Night Sa­fari where you can see the big cats in ac­tion in the “wild”.


So, how do you do a night sa­fari in the mid­dle of a park that is de­signed re­sem­bling an African sa­van­nah with hun­gry tigers around? You will be put in a cage, of course! Yes, the Bali Night Sa­fari is unique be­cause vis­i­tors will have to get into an open truck that is es­pe­cially de­signed with sturdy steel bars, mak­ing it more like a mov­ing cage. This might make you feel as if you’re the one who is ex­hib­ited in­stead of a vis­i­tor who is about to tour the park, but this is prob­a­bly the safest way to meet the lions and tigers.

Each truck can ac­com­mo­date up to ten guests. You will also be ac­com­pa­nied by two or three staff mem­ber to ex­plain all about the an­i­mals you en­counter dur­ing the short trip in the “wild”. Bring­ing you right into the heart of African sa­van­nah ex­hibit, the mov­ing cage will make you feel safe as you ex­plore the nightlife of the an­i­mals. The staff also brings some small car­rots for you to feed the her­bi­vores like ele­phants and ze­bras while they are ex­plain­ing the be­hav­ior of the an­i­mals.

As the truck moves closer to the Lion ex­hibit, the staff will re­mind you to keep your hands in­side the cage (for ob­vi­ous rea­sons). Once you are in the Lion’s nest and see the kings and queens of the jun­gle ly­ing around, the staff will take out some slices of meat to feed them from in­side the mov­ing cage. It is snack time for the lions! Un­for­tu­nately, by the time I was in the lion’s ex­hibit area, the li­on­ess seemed to be bored and was not re­ally in­ter­ested in the raw chicken meat. But it was still a great ex­pe­ri­ence to see these lions up close and per­sonal like that!

Mov­ing on, the tiger ex­hibit of­fers the best ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the night sa­fari. Be­ing ac­tive at night, the tigers hap­pily ate their

“snacks” – one of them even showed off a lit­tle bit by jump­ing onto the roof of the mov­ing cage and walk­ing around ca­su­ally up there. The staff told us that we can rub the belly – and how could I re­sist it as tigers are ba­si­cally adorable cats? My only con­cern was that if it took a leak while we were stand­ing be­low it, but thank­fully it didn’t – and I hope the tiger is trained enough to never do that so no one is un­for­tu­nate enough for that to hap­pen.

Af­ter feel­ing the thrill of be­ing up close and per­sonal with the tigers and the lions and feed­ing all the an­i­mals, it is time for you to feed your own hun­gry belly. Just head to Nkuchiro Bar and en­joy an all-you­can-eat feast, which is in­cluded in the night sa­fari pack­age. Then con­tinue the night by watch­ing a fire dance and a pup­pet show ti­tled “Afrika! Rhythm of Fire Show” for a su­perb end­ing to your night ad­ven­ture in Bali Sa­fari & Ma­rine Park.

A lit­tle tip to keep you com­fort­able dur­ing your night sa­fari; don’t for­get to bring mos­quito re­pel­lent. If you have not re­al­ized it yet, the night sa­fari takes you to an open air space with a lot of trees and bushes – and mos­qui­tos are in­evitable. So, ap­ply some mos­quito re­pel­lent and en­joy dis­cov­er­ing the an­i­mals’ nightlife at Bali Sa­fari & Ma­rine Park.

The high­light of the Night Sa­fari: the tigers will jump on the truck!

The safest way to meet the an­i­mals in the night: be­ing in a ‘mov­ing cage’.

A fire dance per­for­mance will en­ter­tain guests dur­ing din­ner af­ter the Night Sa­fari.

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