I am the oldest of 5 children. Counting partners and children, my immediate family now numbers 13. As we travelled through Europe in 2014 we hadn’t seen the family in nearly a year. So my Dad, very generously, organised a holiday home in Seminyak for a family reunion to spend the week together.
Where We Stayed
We found this gorgeous place on FlipKey with 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. Perfect for our situation. Every couple had their own bedroom and bathroom. And connected to our bedroom and bathroom was a concealed bedroom with bunks for our kids. The place included breakfast every morning, cleaning and more. It really was a wonderful holiday.
Having visited the park previously I have to admit a lacklustre desire to head back. However after an invitation from Bali Safari and Marine Park we decided to take our family who hadn’t been before. The staff at our house helped us to hire 2 drivers and vans, and we made our way to the park in Gianyar.
As mentioned in our previous post from 2012 it is still cheaper to buy tickets online or in advance than at the door. We were required to show our bags to security before heading in. Frustratingly, they do not allow outside food and drink, including water bottles. You may be able to get away with it if you let them know it’s for your baby/kids, like we did.
Our Favourite Parts Of Bali Safari and Marine Park
Entrance – There’s no doubt. The entrance to the park is pretty exciting, almost Jurassic Park-ish. We hopped on a safari-themed vehicle which carried us a short way through the jungle to the actual entrance to the park. It’s a delicious appetiser to set the atmosphere.
Animals Shows – We scheduled our day around the numerous animal shows scattered around the park. The kids adored the Elephant show. The shows are focused around the theme of understanding and appreciating nature, as well as helping wild animals by sustaining their natural habitat.
Safari – The safari tour queue was so much quicker this time. We did not have to wait very long before hopping on another safari-styled bus and ambled through various regions, such as the savannahs of Africa and jungles of Indonesia. Stopping regularly near the gorgeous freely-roaming animals, we had ample time to appreciate them with audible oohs and aahs. The lions, cheetah and hippos were our family’s favourites.
Lunch – It’s hot in Bali. So finding a comfy cool spot to eat and recuperate was top of our priority list come lunchtime. Having different budgets in our family we decided to skip the luxury Tsavo Lion restaurant and opted for the more budget-friendly Uma Restaurant.
Uma is more like a refined food court where we ordered whatever we liked from various themed mini-restaurants. They filled in a piece of paper and at the end, as we left the restaurant, we paid for it. Smart concept, especially when it’s not easy to agree on what type of food to each for lunch, and the food quality was quite good. In the corner of the restaurant was a cute play area for younger kids which kept Mia and Caius amused.
Fun Zone – Since our last visit they have been further developing the amusement park. Our entry ticket package included one Fun Zone ride so Mia and I made a b-line straight to the brand new white water rapid-themed thrill ride which had just been opened. It was pretty awesome. We could fit between 4-6 people seated in a tube, which was carried high, in a similar fashion to a roller coaster, then released down a giant waterslide. We got saturated, and laughed (and screamed) all the way down.
Josh and Caius took the slightly more docile flume ride which they both loved (and got equally drenched).
Conservation – The Park is run by the Taman Safari Group who is involved in ensuring the future survival and wellbeing of many Indonesian animal species. Conservation plays a central focus in the park, from the educational activities to the theatre performances.
Needs Some Work
Marine Park – You can hardly call this a marine park. It has some 40 different species of fish and is like walking around a fresh-water aquarium. The highlight would be the twice-daily Piranha feeding times.
Water Park – The water park really needs work. The floors were (still) covered with tiles that became very slippery when wet. Unfortunately my 25-year-old brother fell and hurt his back. The splash pools at the end of the waterslides were dangerously shallow. I hurt my leg when I came down a slide and my feet hit the bottom of the pool at break neck speed. It seems to be aimed at smaller kids and safer for them too.
We Never Went, But We Want To
Night Safari – New to the park is a Night Safari through the African Savannah. Also included in this is a show featuring fire dancers, drumming and puppets. If you’ve been to Singapore Night Safari it sounds very similar and I’d love to give it a try.
Safari Lodge – Thatched dwellings facing towards the enclosures inhabited by rhinos, zebras and oryx. Almost like you are in Africa! They would make a fun accommodation option for a night or two when staying in Bali.
Bali Safari and Marine Park offers an experience that is quintessential Bali - there are elements that need improvement, but the highlights make it worthwhile. Getting up close to amazing animals along with the safari tour is definitely exciting. If you enjoy zoos and are looking for something a little different, then you might like a visit to Bali Safari and Marine Park.