West Bali National Park
Located in the most north-westerly point of Bali, the national park includes the whole area of the Prapat Agung Peninsula, and large swathes of land around the towns of Gilimanuk, Cekik and Banyuwedang which lie in the regencies of Jembrana and Buleleng. This national park is approximately 100Km from Bali’s capital city, Denpasar, or about 50 km west from the northern city of Singaraja, capital of Buleleng regency.
West Bali National Park has a total area of 19,002.89 hectares, covering 15,587.89 hectares of land and 3,415 hectares of water. The habitat is very varied with rainforests, dry savannas, acacia scrubs and lowland forests, as well as more montane forests in the higher region. There are also some pockets of dense mangrove forests. In the north of the park is an obvious north jutting peninsula called Prapat Agung. Around this peninsula are long stretches of protected beach and offshore coral reefs as well as a small offshore island called Menjangan . The latter is a very popular diving destination.
One hundred and sixty species of birds have been recorded in the park, including the near extinct Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), Bali’s only endemic vertebrate species,the fauna icon of Bali. It was the key reason why this national park was created in 1941. By 2001, it was estimated that as few as only six individual starlings were thought to have survived in the wild, all of them in this park. Since then, captive breeding and re-introduction efforts have continued apace, but poaching pressures remain a large problem. With that in mind, a second re-introduction program was started in the remote regions of Nusa Penida, off the coast of Sanur Beach in 2004. In June 2011, West Bali National Park received 60 endangered Bali Starling for release, 40 from the Surabaya Zoo and 20 from Taman Safari Indonesia . Keen birdwatchers can find a checklist of likely species and their status here
Bali Barat National Park
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.