West Bali is the least visited part of the island, as far as tourists go. There is one huge attraction here though, the Bali Barat National Park. Most of the part has not been developed for tourism, and is more like a national forest area in the US.
Bali Barat National Park has some interesting points to it, including a short circular hiking route, which starts at the Ranger Station. Along the north edge of the park, close to the coast, one will find fertile grasslands. There is a fishery research project going on at Pantai Gondol.
The wild Samabar deer roam free, in on the NE slops of the park. Balinese Sapi (local cattle) are descended the wild benteng, that live on the SE slopes of the park. Benteng are rare but you might be luck. A hundred years ago Bali and Java had tigers, wouldn’t that be a treat! The mountains sitting on an East-West axis, split the park in 2, with the wetter scenery on the southern side, the dry grassland on the northern, which is dotted with acacia, palms and shrubs.
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In the far NW of the park lies Menjangan Island, a favourite with divers. Bali’s only remaining native bird, the Bali Starling is still alive in the national park. Close to the Ranger Station is a breeding facility for the Bali Starlings.
The deal with access to the park is you need a permit, obtainable at the park HQ, for overnight travel, or extensive trekking. The only hiking trails are near the park HQ, but intrepid souls might fancy heading off into the wilderness.
If you need a permit you have 3 choices:
1. Indonesia Forestry Service (PHPA) office, Jl. Suwung 40, BOX 329, Denpasar.
2. Park HQ,
Jl. Raya Gilimanuk, Cekik
8am- 2pm Mon-Thurs, 8-11am Fri, 8am-noon Sat.
3. Ranger Station