Bali animals: The Most Dangerous Animals In Bali
Bali, Indonesia. An exotic island abundant in tropical nature, incredible Bali animals and amazing weather. So much so, in fact, that we decided to quit full time travel with kids, and move to Bali from the UK with our three young children.
If you are heading to Bali grab an essential Lonely Planet pocket guide to Bali– we loved the Lonely Planet guides when we were travelling as they were pretty up-to-date and answered questions we hadn’t even thought of!
See the rest of my Bali blog posts, including the best things to do and where to avoid, here in our huge Bali blog post section. If you’re parents, you’ll probably also like our section on homeschooling blog (including how we ‘world-schooled’ around Asia) too.
You can also see our recommend travel strollers, travel irons and travel kettles. There are many reasons to visit Bali, amazing things to do in Bali and great Balinese food. The less-great bits include Bali scams to avoid, and Bali earthquakes.
Hopefully on your trip you won’t come across many issues and will have a great time without crossing paths with the most dangerous animals in Bali.
Here are 8 creatures to keep in mind when considering the most dangerous animals in Bali:
What Dangerous Animals Live In Bali?
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.
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.
The NHS Indonesian travel health website is a great resource if you are concerned about your health while you travel. If you are wondering “Do I need malaria tablets for Bali?” the answer is no, but you will need them if you travel to some of the nearby Indonesian islands such as Lombok.
We recommend taking precautions to avoid being bitten (especially if you have kids) such as wearing light long-sleeved tops and light loose trousers. You should also avoid stagnant or slow-flowing water sources and staying in during the evening.
When it comes to mosquito repellant, here is the best mosquito repellant for adults and mosquito repellant for kids (my kids loved the bracelets!) that we used on our travels- these were much better than the sprays, for us and the environment while still being really effective.
Check out our post on 11 ways to avoid the Zika virus here if you weren’t already motivated enough to prevent bites- take it from someone who lived in Bali and get that repellant!
Mozzie repellant won’t take care of the next dangerous Bali animal though- this is the one that affected our family the most…
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.
These may look cute but are often afraid and neglected or abused and potentially carrying diseases including rabies so we do not recommend touching them.
Bali often has a shortage of the medicine that you need immediately after being bitten by a rabies-infected animal so please exercise extreme caution around these animals. Even a friendly over-excited nip is potentially dangerous.
Carrying an open bottle of water is the deterrent that we found worked the best for protection against stray dogs, as they don’t like being sprayed with water.
While travelling we used and recommend the Chilly water bottles but for dog protection get a single-use plastic bottle as you can squeeze it to squirt water from a distance. Carrying sticks is inadvisable as this can be seen as a threat or a signal to play.
If you are wondering “Do I need vaccinations to go to Bali?” the answer is yes, and we got rabies jabs as well as the standard travel vaccinations.
Bali often has a shortage of the medication you need immediately after a bite so it’s really important that you are vaccinated to give yourself extra time to get the treatment, in case you have to fly to Singapore.
Our daughter had a brain injury in Bali and the healthcare was awful so I am 100% serious in saying that you need to take every possible precaution to prevent injury or illness while you are on the island. It is very easy to think ‘oh I’ll just go to Singapore if I need something” but we were stuck in earthquakes and unable to fly due to the nature of her injury so that may not be possible.
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 rash guard 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 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. However, you can go on trips to visit Komodo dragons from Bali on four islands in Komodo national park.
The islands are reviewing their visitor policies due to Komodo dragons being unfortunately stolen so do check what is open.
If you are lucky enough to go, 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. I strongly advise against this.
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.
Remember Bali often does not have the right treatment which means flying to Singapore, so it is much better to avoid it in the first place.
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.
Are there tigers in Bali?
Unfortunately not. There used to be three species of Indonesian tigers- the Bali tiger, Sumatran tiger and Java tiger. The Java tiger and Bali tiger are extinct and the Sumatran tiger does not live in Bali.
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 this post on our experience of the Bali earthquakes for an update). Balinese people are extremely friendly, there is 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.
Find the best restaurants in Ubud.
See what we spend in one month in Bali here
Check out the 10 weird Bali household chores we have to do while living in Bali here
Want to read about our more horrendous journey ever? You won’t believe how bad it got- click here for our worst travel story.
Check out our posts about our extensive travel in Thailand.
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