The Bali Barat National Park was founded in 1941 and its main aim was to protect the Bali Starling and the last of the wild banteng, from which most of the Balinese cattle descend. The park lies in the most western part of North Bali and today it comprises a total area of 19,000 ha. The original park used to extend much further to the east than it does today and comprised about 77,000 ha.
The Bali Barat Park is mountainous and 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.).
The park is surrounded by six villages with a varied ethnic population (Balinese, Javanese, Madurese and Bugis). Administratively these villages are either governed by the districts of Buleleng or Jembrana.
Accessibility and land use within the National Park is bound to a zoning system which defines the degree of allowed activities. The peninsular Prapat Agung, with its extensive web of footpaths, is the most accessible part of the park. The cape is cut off from the rest of the reserve by the main Singaraja-Gilamanuk road as well as by the forestry plantations inland of Teluk Terima.
Marine protected areas
The Bali Barat National Park shows a high bio diversity in a relatively small area. In 1998, 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, a haunt for 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. The best snorkeling is done in the area of Menjangan island, with hectares of colorful coral reefs.
The Park has 175 species of plants, 14 of which are endangered species like bayur (Pterospermum javanicum), ketangi (Lagerstroemia speciosa), burahol (Stelechocarpus burahol), cendana, or sandalwood (Santalum album), and sonokeling (Dalbergia latifolia).
With ca. 160 different species Bali Barat National Park is a paradise for bird-watchers. At Tegal Bunder you will find the Bali Starling Recovery Project where the PHPA is trying to reintroduce the Bali Starling, one of the most endangered species of birds of the world.
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 (Mud Bay) whilst the Frigates and Boobies roost on Pulau Burung.
Other birds you will find in the National Park:
Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier), Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis), Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica), Edible-nest Swiftlet (Collocalia fuciphaga), White-bellied Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta), Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica), Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne coronata), White-breasted Wood-Swallow (Artamus leucorhynchus), Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica), Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach), Striated Warbler (Megalurus palustris), Collared Kingfisher (Halycon chloris), Sacred Kingfisher (Halycon sancta), Javan Kingfisher (Halycon cyaniventris), Small Kingfisher (Alcedo caerulescens), Rufous-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx rufidorsus), Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis), Racket-tailed Treepie (Crypsirina temia), Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis), Savanna Nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis), Collared Scops-Owl (Otus bakkamoena), Crested Serpent-Eagle (Spilornis cheela), Javan Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia bitorquata), Banded Pitta (Pitta guajana), Mangrove White-eye (Zosterops chloris), Lesser Adjutant (Leptopilus javanicus), Great Thick-Knee (Esacus magnirostris).
A variety of animals can be found in the National Park, among others:
Banteng (Bos javanicus), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis), Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Ebony Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus auratus), Barking Deer or Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), Pangolin or Trenggiling (Manis javanicus), Large Flying Fox or Kalong (Pteropus vampyrus), Black Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor), Water Monitor (Varanus salvator).
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).
Trekking along the coast of Prapat Agung over a distance of 25 km (clockwise from Sumber Klampok to Tegal Bunder), is recommended. The fee is Rp 2,500 but you must be accompanied by a guide and here is where the costs comes in. Some guides can charge as much as Rp 250,000 for a two day hike.
Best time of 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.
Permits and Guides are available at the PHPA headquarters at Cekik, at the PHPA office in Labuhan Lalang or at the PHPA office in Denpasar.
Distances: Gilimanuk-Negara-Cekik: 43.3 km | Singaraja-Seririt-Cekik: 85 km.
Bali Barat Contact information
Office: Kantor Pos Gilimanuk
Cekik 82253, Bali
Tel. : +62-365-61060 or 61173