I can’t finish this series without dedicating one post to animals and monkeys in Bali. All of you probably know stories about the Monkey Forest or the Uluwatu Temple complex where monkeys often take sunglasses or cameras from visitors. I have told you already that you should buy fruit before taking a walk towards the actual temple. Monkeys are believed to be guarding this holy complex, so they are not to be disturbed. You will come across them sitting on the fortified walls, peacefully, like waiting to be given some treat.


Driving inland on a foggy day

Monkeys on the road

One would have the similar experience if going to the Monkey Forest. But have in mind that monkeys actually live among the lush rain-forest trees that Bali has in abundance. While going around the island, we were driving inland, climbing the roads up the misty hills. The road was curving up with a dense forest on both sides. At times it almost seemed like plunging into one of those white thick clouds. We drove in and by the time it got us worried, the cloud was clearing before us.


Fruit stall next to the rain-forest

As we approached another curve, there was a small stall. In the middle of nowhere, it seemed! There was nothing around, at least nothing was to be discerned because of the forest and the fog. Still, the stall was full of small fruit. The guide asked if I would like to feed small monkeys. Those were not the ones circling the famous landmarks, but the ones who came out of the forest knowing that there would be a stall with food someone just might hand out to them.


Feeding small monkeys

We stopped, I bought some fruit and there were small monkeys all around me immediately, being cautious and scared at first. But it didn’t take long before they came out more freely, ready to grab anything remotely eatable. They snatched the fruit with such speed that we were hardly able to take any decent photos. But this was one great experience and so much fun, especially for someone coming from Central Europe where the only animals one might encounter on the road are merely dogs or squirrels. And they don’t live in the – rain-forest!


Small ducks by the road…

Running ostrich

Even though I have visited the Singapore zoo before arriving to Bali, I was too curious to skip the local one. I just had to see what’s there. Even more so when the guide told me that we can take the ride through the zoo in a small glassed bus, driving through the terrains occupied by various animals. So, there were no cages? I just had to see that. And now when I think of the Balinese zoo, the first thing that comes to my mind is one huge ostrich running like crazy – chasing our cart! What a site to see and a story to tell, right!


…But small monkeys as well

Anyway, this really was a good idea. If you are traveling with children, this would be the right choice for you. It takes less than an hour for the small glassy bus to finish its route, but you will also be able to visit the white tigers section and even to cuddle one. Such a huge animal with such a soft fur! The one I approached was sleepy, resting, and I tried to be as quite as possible. Who could even imagine that this animal can be dangerous and even deadly when it was so cuddly, purring like a kitten.


Taking a zoo glassy bus

And so, our small bus took off, up the hills and down through ponds where hippos were resting. The lovely part was that you could actually take a glance at them through the window, even though they were inside the pond. The vehicle slowed down when we passed the herd of buffaloes or wild goats. And then, there it was! The ostrich was running behind our small bus. It went faster and faster. By the time our driver speeded up the bus, it was seriously chasing us.


A protective parent – an ostrich at the zoo

“Don’t worry, its eggs just hatched and, like any other good parent, it has to protect its offspring, right!”, our driver said.

Oh my, I was chased by an ostrich, wait till I get home and tell the story!


Special building for the tigers

This was also the place where I took the elephant ride for the first time. It was funny, because it was turning away from the path all the time, trying to eat the greenery by the pathway.


Beautiful white tiger

“Oh, she’s just a teenager, a spirited girl, hope you don’t mind. She takes some grass to eat and comes back, sometimes I think that she does that just to defy me”, the guy who took care of the elephant said. I found it so cute, since he wasn’t trying to force her but rather, it was like they had an everyday “family fight”.


Directions at the Bali zoo

Python at Tanah Lot

And one more thing I did here for the first time when it comes to fauna! It was during our visit to the Tanah Lot Temple. While strolling around after I took the blessing from the priest at the shrine, and while admiring the lavish vegetation all around, I saw – a python?! A real, big, scary python! There was a guy next to it offering tourists to hold the python for a while and take pictures.


Elephants area

I have actually never thought of pythons or snakes of any kind, neither was I thinking about holding one, ever! But when I saw this, it made me wonder. I know, I know, so touristy of me! But hey, the only time I saw the actual python is at the zoo, through the glass window. And people were taking this snake into their own hands here!


Goats on the cliff

My guide was speaking to the guy and tried to reassure me, “not to worry”, “it won’t take more than five minutes”, “he’s going to take the quick photo” and that would be it. Well, why not, this was the perfect opportunity to do something like this. It’s not like pythons are crawling in the streets of Belgrade, right!


Hippos in the zoo pond

So, the guy helped me with putting the snake around my neck. It was heavy! They said about 50 kilos. I took its neck in one hand and the tail in the other. The guide took my camera, I tried to smile for the photo, but it seemed like it was taking a while.

“Hey, would you please hurry”, I said.


The 50-kilos python next to the Tanah Lot

He was smiling, saying that “the lighting was not perfect for the picture”. He took one, but then he said he would have to do it again because I didn’t smile… It went on and on for couple of minutes that seemed like 15 to me. And then the snake moved! Its body curled, all cold and heavy, it gave me the chills! My guide noticed how serious I got and started to laugh:

“Don’t worry, Danijela, it got its meal earlier, it’s not hungry!”


The snake was moving!

Oh, I started laughing myself! What a crazy experience! I was holding the huge snake around my neck, but luckily it wasn’t hungry. How surreal that sounds, right!

Just like my whole Balinese journey! Surreal and so memorable!

The End

The full Bali SERIES




  • Steve


    Rhinos by the pond?! At least you got the others right

  • 31/03/2018

    I love monkeys! I love monkeys! I love any wildlife in the wild! I so want to see them right now. When I hear there are roaming monkeys around, I am there with a camera. I love watching them and how they interact with other monkeys. Love this post.

  • 31/03/2018

    I would so not have been there with that python! I love the ostrich chase though and the small monkeys being fed

  • 31/03/2018

    Monkeys are such clever and bold animals aren’t they? And they really have learned how to coexist with humans, and take advantage of tourism for sure. With the zoo, I can imagine this would be great for kids to see the rich variety of wildlife up close. I hope you don’t mind my mentioning that personally, I am against elephant rides, as the way elephants are trained to accept being ridden is quite shocking.

    • 31/03/2018

      Oh, I know, I agree. That’s why I mentioned that the small elephant and the guy seemed like “family members”. Don’t really know how elephants were treated at the zoo “behind the scenes” and I hesitated whether to go for a ride or not for that same reason, but eventually I did. Hopefully, I didn’t encourage some horrible training, fingers crossed.
      Thanks for mentioning it, Kavita. <3

  • 01/04/2018

    I still have the video of the monkey eating a tourist’s sunglasses and another monkey running off with another tourist’s iPhone. Haha! These monkeys are cute but you can’t really go near them. The view in Uluwatu Temple was the best. It’s the best. I never got to see the Pythons and the Tigers. It was a short trip to Bali. We only went to temples and beaches. I’d want to see a tiger, though. Python? Not so much.

  • 02/04/2018

    That is one big python on your neck! I didn’t visit the Bali Zoo on my trip mostly because I am not a fan of zoos. But the white tiger and the ostriches look pretty cute! I did see a LOT of monkeys myself, but I am not very fond of them so I did not offer any food. If anything, I’m actually quite apprehensive of them and that’s why, I even skipped the Monkey Forest in Ubud. But I can see that you had a great time and all the wildlife you saw, is really cool!

    • 05/04/2018

      Having in mind that I come from Central Europe, it was all too exciting for me. We don’t have rain-forests nor small monkeys in the country side. 🙂

  • 02/04/2018

    I saw the monkeys and the snake at the Tanah Lot. But other experiences eluded me.
    The python around you scared me actually. I wouldn’t be able to do any such thing.

    • 05/04/2018

      Oh, I thought so too, but I did it after all.
      I appreciate the experience, but I don’t think I’d do it again though. 😀

  • 03/04/2018

    These monkeys are so friendly, they always get by with people that are visiting the zoo. It is nice to see animals that are well nurtured by the care takers of this zoo. Enjoyed reading your experience, thanks for sharing!

    • 05/04/2018

      Hehehe, not so friendly when they snitch your things. By the time you realize what happened, the monkey is long gone. 😀
      But the whole scene is extremely interesting to witness, amazing how they actually adapted to tourism here.

  • 03/04/2018

    Yayyy! Thoroughly scrolling down the post I was actually terrified but excited at the same time if I could see you holding a phyton. Never in my dreams could I ever hold or touch one, nor wrap around me! You’re brave but so cute at the same time! It’s not dangerous, isn’t it? And so monkeys are! When we were on an island in Thailand and doing road trips, they were also free and everywhere on the road, just have to be careful not to get your stuff snatched away! haha Tho heard so much about monkeys in Bali, especially Ubud! Monkey zoo looks doing well!

    • 05/04/2018

      It seems that holding the python is not dangerous if the thing is not hungry! 😀
      At least that’s how my guide was teasing me, with all those “don’t worry, the snake is full”. 😀

  • 03/04/2018

    Feeding monkeys is so so so enjoyable. I have done it in Thailand and Africa. I love the way monkeys look at you when you have food for them. Once, one of the monkeys tried to put its hand in my pucket to get some food 🙂

    • 05/04/2018

      Oh, I know the feeling. They were pulling my camera bag. 😀
      I understand how it can get annoying, but when you think about it, that’s what we’ve done to them. We’ve occupied their territory and turned it into such crowded and busy places. What else to do in order to survive under the circumstances, right! 🙂

  • 15/04/2018

    Nice necklace 😉

  • 18/04/2018

    We saw Bali last summer, it was overall quite an interesting experience. Quite a bit different from my previous experience in Dubai! Appreciate the infortmation about animal life.

    • 18/04/2018

      Oh, it’s totally different than Dubai, I know what you mean, visited both.
      So glad it was helpful, thanks! 🙂

  • 17/06/2018

    Love to read your writing, the most fascinating when I traveled to Singaraja through the mountains area and passed the monkeys. It was fun feeding those monkeys

  • 24/06/2020

    A. Yes, Bali is a great place to visit with your kids as you can do some great explorations being here. This place is easy to get around and there are some great spots where you can take your kids to and have an amazing time.


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