Bali animals: The Most Dangerous Animals In Bali
Bali, Indonesia. An exotic island abundant in lush tropical nature and beauty, so much so that we decided to press pause on our full time travel adventure and make the move to Bali long term with our three young children (see our 10 reasons for moving to Bali here).
I would strongly recommend anyone thinking of visiting Bali to get this Lonely Planet guide to Bali & Lombok (a nearby island)- there is so much to do and see that narrowing down your options before you book/go is a must so you don’t miss out on the best bits!
The most dangerous animals in Bali can’t be narrowed down to one species. For a few it will be a grumpy Komodo dragon that they got too close to but for many people it’s the mosquitoes that can transmit dengue and Zika, and because of their prevalence they are probably the animal that poses the biggest risk to tourists. We recommend taking precautions to avoid being bitten (especially if you have kids) such as wearing light long-sleeved tops and light loose trousers, avoiding stagnant or slow-flowing water sources and staying in during the evening. Check out our post on 11 ways to avoid the Zika virus here.
The next most common potentially dangerous animal in Bali is dogs, both domestic and stray. We have had four nasty experiences with dogs since we set off from the UK, including three bites, both from ‘domestic’ dogs. The majority of pet dogs in Bali are not trained to be sociable, they are used as guard dogs for homes and businesses and as such many are pretty hostile. Many are also allowed to roam the streets so you are likely to come into contact with dogs on your trip. There are also lots of stray dogs; they look cute but are often afraid and neglected or abused and potentially carrying diseases including rabies so we do not recommend touching them.
There are often jellyfish in the waters around Bali but these are usually just a bit painful and not dangerous. I got stung while trying to signal to my Mum that there was one next to her while snorkelling in Nusa Penida; it was a tiny little guy but it left a sting and a rash. It was no big deal, a bit like a stinging nettle, but a bigger one could hurt (advice is to pee on it to neutralise the sting; you make your own choice!) These are definitely not the most dangerous animal in Bali to worry about; occasionally there will be a group of poisonous jellyfish such as the purple jellyfish; ask locals before you swim and check the local news for jellyfish warnings if you are worried. Wearing a wetsuit will help to prevent stings if you can deal with being covered up in the hot weather!
Bali Sea Snakes
Bali is home to plenty of sea snakes, including venomous sea snakes. We had a close run-in with one last week; the kids ran up the beach asking for a bucket to put their ‘new friend’ in! They’d found a sea snake on a quiet Bali beach and thought they’d play with it. One bite from a Bali sea snake and you’re dead, there’s no cure. If you see a sea snake do not touch it, they are extremely poisonous. A sea snake can still bite after it is dead due to a persistent bite reflex, (even with its head cut off) so give it a wide berth.
Bali Snakes (Land, not Sea Snakes)
It was reported on the news today that a 10 year old boy has tragically died from being bitten by a venomous snake. Bali does not have all the anti-venom for the venomous snakes that live on the island so practise extreme caution in jungle or leafy areas. Bali has several species of snake including the King Cobra, Spitting Cobra, pythons some others- however we have been here for months and haven’t seen one snake. It is extremely unlikely you will come across any of these on a Bali holiday as they like to stay well away from humans- remember they are more scared of you than you are of them! If you do see one do not touch it and get in touch with the free Bali reptile rescue service via Facebook who will relocate it to a safe environment.
Bali Komodo Dragons
Komodo dragons are not on Bali island itself despite being one of the most famous Bali animals but you can go on trips to visit Komodo dragons from Bali on four islands in Komodo national park. Obviously listen to your guide and don’t do anything silly like try to take a selfie with one. They have a poisonous bite and very sharp teeth; last year someone was bitten severely. You have been warned!
Bali is home to a lot of monkeys and there are attractions like Monkey Forest where interaction with the monkeys is encouraged. You may also see handlers on the street offering monkeys to hold for photos; please don’t do this as it encourages animal exploitation and the monkeys are very poorly treated. Tourists are often bitten and there is a very real chance of rabies. If you get bitten you need to seek treatment for rabies immediately.
Stonefish & Sea Urchins
Stonefish and sea urchins are common Bali animals among coral reefs and rocks in the ocean. Wearing waterproof shoes is good protection for your feet, as is not stepping on coral (please don’t do this anyway as the coral is very delicate and easily damaged). There are also red sea cucumber creatures that the locals say are poisonous; general rule of thumb is don’t touch stuff to keep safe!
A Word On Sharks In Bali
Bali shark attacks are almost unheard of, and no fatalities have been recorded. There have only been three recorded since 1900 and these occurred at Balian, which has a murky flowing river running into the sea. While considering dangerous animals in Bali I absolutely would not worry about Bali sharks, the chances of an attack are tiny.
Summary Of Bali Dangerous Animals
All in all we find Bali to be a very safe and pleasant island (apart from the recent earthquakes- see here for an update) with friendly people and stunning nature, and the Bali animals are not something to be put off by at all. I felt as safe there as a woman than I do in London. We love being here with our three young children and I would wholeheartedly recommend it as a holiday or adventure destination! To plan a great Bali holiday see our resources below.
Complete Bali Holiday Resources & Useful Information
Here is our >>– complete resource for travel gear –<< including family travel essentials.
We use and recommend Get Your Guide for booking fantastic value all-inclusive tours. See our videos featuring our trips to Waterbom Bali and the Ubud rice terraces and coffee plantations.
Here is our quick-start guide to visiting Bali with useful travel information and visitor facts
Here is our comprehensive review of Norwegian Air who we travelled with on the way to Bali.
To see our favourite restaurants in Ubud, click here
Check out our packing guide for Bali or Thailand, including eco-friendly travel items.
Find out how to get a great value Bali long term rental here
See what we spend in one month in Bali here
See what our biggest expense and financial mistake has been since leaving the UK
Check out the 10 weird household chores we have to do while living in Bali here
Check out the 9 unexpected things we now have to do while living in Bali.
Want to read about our more horrendous journey ever? You won’t believe how bad it got- click here.
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