If you are an animal lover on a trip to Bali, you are sure to want to see the wildlife there, whether it is in a zoo or in the wild. In fact, Bali is known for the many monkeys that roam around temples and can be seen in the monkey forests. Once you’ve settled into your choice of accommodation from the many Canggu Villas available, the first thing on your agenda may be a trip to the monkey forest. Where is it?
In fact, there are two monkey forests; the best known one is at Ubud, not far from the centre of the city. It is known as the Sacred Monkey Forest at Padangtegal. Around 300 grey-haired macaques live there and can be seen in the forest and around the 3 temples that are also in the forest. While looking at the monkeys, don’t forget to note the many beautiful, moss covered statues amongst the greenery.
These monkeys are wild and can come and go as they please into the jungle and out again. However, they have become used to tourists so won’t run away and hide like most wild animals. Don’t make the mistake of feeding them, as cute as they look. Firstly, it is not healthy for monkeys to live on bananas and peanuts, and secondly it interferes with their natural feeding cycle. Since many people do feed them they are quite likely to snatch you purse to look for a snack, so keeping your distance is best.
Other monkey forests can be found at Alas Kadaton, near Kutuh, about 25km from Denpasur and Uluwatu Monkey Forest, featuring the Uluwatu Temple and located on stunning white cliffs. They have the same kind of monkeys, but are smaller in area than Ubud’s Monkey Forest. Each one has its own specific attractions, so are worth a look.
If you love birds, take a look at the Bird Village of Petulu, near the Ubud botanic gardens, Kutuh Kaja. If you get there in the evening you will be fascinated by the sudden influx of herons from all over Bali that fly in to spend the night there. The village is small and there are something like 100 birds in every tree.
Believed to be supernatural guardians of the village, the people hold a ceremony to honour the birds every 6 months. It is said that the birds are reincarnated Balinese who were slain in riots back in 1965. The village held a ceremony to honour the dead and shortly afterwards the herons arrived. They lay their eggs and raise their young in this village.
Other wild animals can be found at several wildlife parks where they can enjoy living in safety in large areas that mimic their natural habitat.