The Bali Barat National Park, founded in the year 1941, was originally an initiative by the Dutch with the purpose to protect the endangered Bali Starling bird and the last remaining wild banteng, a native animal from which most of the Balinese cattle descend.
The park can be found in the most western part of the island. Nowadays it has a total area of 19,000 ha. but at the beginning the park extended much further eastward than it does today, at that time covering a total area of about 77,000 ha.
The Bali Barat Park is mountainous and it consists of primary monsoon forest, mangrove forest (310 ha.), lowland rain forest, savanna, sea grass vegetation types (40 ha.), coral reefs (810 ha.), sandy beaches, and both shallow and deep sea waters (3,520 ha.).
As the Bali Barat Park is a protected area, accessibility and land use are subject to a zoning system which defines the degree of allowed activities. If you plan to explore the park, you will have to hire an official Park guide. More information about park guides can be found further down this article.
The park is surrounded by six villages with a mixed ethnic population (Balinese, Javanese, Madurese and Bugis). Administratively these villages are either governed by the Buleleng or Jembrana district.
At the peninsular Prapat Agung one will find an extensive web of footpaths, which makes it the most accessible part of the park. The cape is cut off from the rest of the reserve by the main road Singaraja-Gilamanuk, as well as by several forestry plantations inland of Teluk Terima.
At Menjangan island you will find hectares of colorful coral reef gardens, which makes it a perfect destination for snorkeling and diving.
Marine protected areas
The Bali Barat National Park shows a high bio diversity in a relatively small area. At the end of the last century, 110 species of coral belonging to 18 families were recorded, of which 22 species were of the mushroom coral family (there are just 29 species of mushroom coral recorded worldwide!), and there were at least 27 species of Acropora coral found in an area as big as only 2 ha.
The Marine reserve includes the cape shores and several sanctuary islands, with many seabirds, in the bay of Gilimanuk, on the island of Menjangan and the excellent coral reefs surrounding it. The good drop-offs on Menjangan's south side are only surpassed by the particularly superb reefs on its northern shores. The island is a popular spot for locals and tourists wishing to dive for a variety of fish and coral reef exploration.There are no dangerous currents to contend with in this area.
Marine life at Menjangan island
The Park has over 175 species of plants, 14 of which are endangered like cendana, or sandalwood (Santalum album).
With about 160 different species Bali Barat National Park is a paradise for bird-watchers.
The Bali starling or Rotschild's Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) is also the mascot of the Park. It loves a clean habitat and has a short flying range. Being easy to catch, this species needs special care and protection to safeguard its decreasing population.
The wildlife consist mostly of sea and shore birds, the most conspicuous being the Brown Boobies and Lesser Frigate birds. There are two colonies of Terns that nest on a sandy cay at the entrance to Teluk Lumpur (also known as Mud Bay) whilst the Frigates and Boobies roost on Pulau Burung. The number of White Starlings left in the wild is unknown.
How to reach the Park
Bali Barat National Park is easy accessible from Gilimanuk, the ferry port where ferries to and from Java come and go. Gilimanuk is reached by ferry from Java or by bus from Denpasar or Singaraja. From Gilimanuk take a minibus or ojek to Cekik for the last three kilometer. Here you will find the PHPA headquarters. An other entry point is Labuhan Lalang, accessible by minibus from Gilimanuk. Labuhan Lalang lies at the main road to Singaraja, which cuts through the park. To reach Menjangan island you can hire a motorboat from Labuhan Lalang (30-40 min).
Gilimanuk-Negara-Cekik by car (43.3 km);
Singaraja-Seririt-Cekik by car (85 km).
Permits and Guides
Permits and hiring of guides: at the PHPA headquarters at Cekik, at the PHPA office in Labuhan Lalang or at the PHPA office in Denpasar.
Best time of year to visit
The best time of the year to visit the Bali Barat National Park is at the end of the dry season / start of the wet season, roughly from August to December.
Office: Kantor Pos Gilimanuk
Cekik 82253, Bali
Tel. : +62-365-61060 or 61173