Bali is best known for its forest-covered volcanic peaks, surfing beaches, rice paddies and coral reefs. But did you know that you could also find rare species of animals right here on this island? Among the variety of flora and fauna Indonesia is proud of, is the Komodo dragon, the largest monitor lizard in the world which can grow up to 10 feet long and whose bite is possibly fatal.

While Bali is not the natural home of the beastly reptile, there are a few locations where you can spot them. So stop regretting missing out on the trip to Komodo island, and check out these places in Bali instead, for a glimpse of this elusive creature.

1. Bali Bird and Reptile Park

Situated in the village of Butabulan, the Bali Bird Park is home to 250 different species of exotic birds. Spread across two hectares of lush tropical expanse, it is perfect for a relaxed day out with your family. However, if you are a fan of the crawly creatures, you must find your way to the Bali Reptile Park which is located right opposite the Bird Park.

Among the abundance of birds and other reptiles, the highlight of visiting this place is getting to witness the iconic Komodo dragons that reside in this park. In fact, one of the special shows conducted here is the Komodo Experience, where you can accompany the zookeepers and watch them feed these giant lizards. A rare sight indeed!

[/media-credit] Craig Pelke tends to “Bubba” the Komodo dragon at the San Antonio Zoo on September 30, 2015.

The Komodo experience is conducted twice a week – Tuesday at 11 am and Friday at 2:30 pm. So if you’ve been wanting to see the Komodo Dragons during your trip to Bali, plan your visit to the park around these timings.

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Prices: Packages start at IDR 346,500 per person (Rs 1,647, or US$ 24)

Timings: 9 am to 5.30 pm

2. Bali Zoo

Located in the Singapadu village, and spread across eight hectares of tropical greenery, the Bali Zoo is a beautiful amalgamation of flora and fauna. The environment closely mimics the natural habitat of the animals that are housed here.

In the list of animals that the visitors can interact with are Bengal tigers, white tigers, lions, babirusa, Bali starlings, orangutans, Komodo dragons, crocodiles, iguanas, turtles, snakes, and many other exotic creatures.

However, one of the star attractions here remains the incredibly rare Komodo dragons and it’s not surprising why. Rarely found anywhere else outside the Komodo islands, the Bali Zoo, with its animal-friendly environment is the perfect place to make your dream of seeing these giant lizards come to reality.

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Prices: Packages start at IDR 335,750 per person (Rs 1,605, or US$ 23)

Timings: 9 am to 9 pm

3. Bali Safari & Marine Park

Located in Gianyar, the Bali Safari & Marine Park is spread over 40 hectares of green land and is the largest, most visited animal park in Bali. The establishment houses 100 species of animals, some of which are rare and endangered, including Himalayan bears, white tigers, mynah Bali gird, orangutan and the Komodo dragon.

The safari here itself lasts 30 minutes and is facilitated by well-informed guides who are eager to share their knowledge with you. Various animal shows are also organized every day and one of the main attractions here is the Komodo dragon showcase.

Witnessing the largest monitor lizard native to the Komodo region of Indonesia in action is no mean feat. If you happen to be there on a Monday, you can also watch the Komodo dragons being fed by the keepers of the park which is quite a spectacular experience for onlookers.

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Prices: Packages start at IDR 513,000 per person (Rs 2,452, or US$ 36)

Timings: 9 am to 9 pm (9 am to 5 pm – Day safari, 5.30 pm to 9 pm – Night safari)

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