West Bali National Park (Taman Nasional Bali Barat) is a national park located in Buleleng Regency, Bali, Indonesia. The park covers around 190 square kilometers, of which are 158 square kilometers of land and the remainder is the sea. This is approximately 3% of Bali’s total land area. To the north, it includes a 1,000-metre (3,300 ft) long beach, reef, and islets. A seaport at Gilimanuk is west of the park, and the village of Goris is to the east. The National Park can be reached by road from Gilimanuk and Singaraja.
The Bali Barat Park is mountainous and it consists of a 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 water (3,520 ha.).
As the Bali Barat Park is a protected area, accessibility and land use are subject to a zoning system that defines the degree of allowed activities. If you plan to explore the park, you will have to hire an official Park guide.
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.
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
The Bali Barat National Park shows high biodiversity 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. At Menjangan island, you will find hectares of colorful coral reef gardens, which makes it a perfect destination for snorkeling and diving.
ACTIVITIES IN BALI BARAT NATIONAL PARK
In order to maintain the unique flora and fauna, some of which are threatened with extinction, visitors have access to a tendered area for a variety of sports activities, sightseeing and impressive panoramic views. Access is only possible with a permit and a tour guide and promises unforgettable moments in the green lungs of Bali. You can get the entrance ticket for a fee at the visitor center of Cekik and Labuhan Lalang.
** Hikes, trekking adventures, and mountain bike tours
On narrow paths, you will hike through the impressive jungle landscape with its unique fauna of lizards, monkeys, giant squirrels, deer, and rich bird life. The tours, which you can book at the visitor center of Cekik and Labuhan Lalang have different levels of difficulty and length and lead you for half a day or a whole day through an almost untouched natural paradise, past waterfalls, through densely forested mountains, mangrove swamps, and extensive palm savannahs.
** Diving and snorkeling
In front of the long, snow-white sandy beaches of the Prapat Agung peninsula and the island of Pulau Menjangan stretch impressive coral reefs with a colorful underwater world cavorting in the turquoise waters. 12 dive sites offer spectacular dives into mystical caves, along steep walls, or to an ancient Shipwreck from the 19th-century lead. The coral gardens, well-lit by the sun, offer a true Eldorado for snorkelers on the north side of the island.
** Excursion to the island of Menjangan Island
From Labuhan Lalang you can reach the island after about a 30-minute boat ride. Menjangan island is not only a paradise for divers but also home to the Menjangan, a rare species of muntjac deer. You can observe them in their natural environment and while swimming in the turquoise waters of the Bali Sea or explore the temple complex of Puri Gili Kencana.
** The Bali Tower
Bali Tower is an impressive observation tower built from five tree trunks, each 80 centimetres in diameter and 33 meters long. Due to its enormous height, you will get a spectacular panoramic view of the forests shining in lush green and the blue sea from the observation deck.
HOW TO GET THERE
Bali Barat National Park is easily accessible from Gilimanuk, the ferry port where ferries to and from Java come and go. Gilimanuk is reached by ferry from Java or by car from Denpasar or Singaraja. From Gilimanuk to Cekik (PHPA headquarters) will take about an hour and from Denpasar to Cekik takes about 5 hours by car.
Mosquitoes are more active in the afternoon and evening. Remember to wear long, lightweight clothing that keeps arms and legs covered, and use insect repellent as well.
Sturdy footwear for trekking through the sometimes-lush undergrowth is essential.
If you want to take an early morning tour of the natural paradise of West Bali National Park, you should look for accommodation in nearby Cekik or Gilimanuk, as traveling from cities further away will take more time due to the infrastructure.
There is no possibility to get drinks and snacks in the national park. Be sure to pack enough provisions. Around the village of Cekik there are many stores that cater to visitors to the park.
Divers and snorkelers should be aware of current weather conditions as they may cause strong currents.
There are not many options for hotels near Bali Barat National Park: Nusabay Menjangan WHM, Menjangan Ecolodge, Naya Gawana Resort & Spa, Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa, Mimpi Resort, Menjangan Dynasty Resort.