Wildlife in Indonesia: Where to go and what to see

Ah, Indonesia. This vast island nation is often known for its beach parties and world-class surfing, but the wildlife in Indonesia should steal the show. For the animal-loving tourist, Indonesia can be one of the greatest destinations around. With incredible Indonesian wildlife on land and in sea, that you can witness, hang out with, and even swim with, some of the most impressive creatures on this planet.

You’ve heard about the benefits of island hopping as a traveling method before, but nowhere is this more prominent than in Indonesia, which is home to over 17,500 islands, many of them almost completely deserted of human life.

Due to the vast and separate nature of the country, each island has its own special something to offer, with many great places to see wildlife in Indonesia.

So if you’re looking for a party, Bali and Gili T are where you should head to, and for a more cultural trip, Jakarta. However these destinations, as well as smaller islands such as Labuan Bajo and even Kupang , all have an array of wildlife on offer.

However, if you’ve clicked on this article, it is likely that you’re planning a trip that’ll take you to all the wildlife hotspots in this diverse country. Maybe you’ve heard there are dragons here, and you want to check them out.

So here is all the information you will need to plan an amazing trip and some more, for good measure.

Wildlife in Indonesia

Outside of the main tourist areas of Indonesia, there are many small islands that will provide tours based on the animals found there, the most significant of which is Komodo Island, where you can find – you guessed it – Komodo Dragons.

These beautiful scaly creatures are the largest lizards in the world, some growing to about the size of an alligator. They carry venom capable of killing humans, and can hunt everything, from other lizards to buffaloes to each other.

But don’t worry, they’re still lizards, so they mainly like to hang out in the sun most of the day, and will let you get close enough to take some pictures to show your friends.

If you’re a fan of the hairy animal variety, Sumatra has you covered with its majestic orangutans. These human like orange-haired primates are some of the most incredible animals on Earth, and share 96.4% of our DNA.

You can visit them on this island, but be mindful that as an endangered species, you should look for tours that provide the most eco-friendly options.

Wildlife in Bali

Being a major destination in Indonesia, Bali has incredible adventures to offer tourists.

In between dips at the beach, bites at local restaurants, or strolls at ancient temples, you must find time to swing by the many parks, with their incredible animals. There’s the Bali Bird Park, the Bali Butterfly Park, as well as many waterfalls worth a visit.

The most famous park, however, has to be the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, which is home to over 1000 monkeys and some of the cutest sights you’ve ever seen.

The little rebellious creatures that live here hang out freely in the park, and even interact with tourists in friendly ways.

Although be sure to not bring any food with you, or they will surely dig through your backpack with all their thumb wielding privileges.

Marine wildlife in Indonesia

Scuba Diving in Indonesia

For the more adventurous traveler, scuba diving around Indonesia can be a remarkable experience with a vast variety of wildlife on show.

Most people will dive out of Bali, where many diving schools are located, and where you can take a peek at some incredible coral reefs and schools of fish (you might even find Nemo!).

It is also possible to purchase trips further out into the sea, where you can hang out with manta rays (the non-dangerous kind, so you’re all good) and sea turtles.

The Bunaken National Marine Park, in the Bay of Manado, is also a great spot to see tuna, sharks, sea snakes, and swim alongside mantas and turtles.

Snorkeling in Indonesia

If you’re looking for a more relaxed and accessible form of interacting with the ocean and Indonesia’s sea life , then snorkeling is for you. Whether you do it by the shore, or take a boat trip further out to sea, snorkeling is a fun and calm way for people of all ages to enjoy the ocean.

Out of the Gili islands, you can take a snorkeling trip to see an old ship wreck and the fish that have made it their home.

There’s also an underwater sculpture made up of 48 human figures in a circle here. This sculpture was build by Jason deCaires Taylor, a famous underwater sculptor, with the aim of rejuvenating the coral life. Coral has now attached itself to the sculpture to create a stunningly haunting view.

Wildlife in Indonesia: Our final thoughts

Indonesia really is an all-encompassing travel destination. You can chill by the beach and eat at great restaurants, or surf all day and go hiking. You can walk around the city and soak up culture at the temples, eat street food and enjoy the nightlife, and you can also meet and enjoy some of the coolest animals that roam this Earth.

Whatever it is you enjoy, you will find it here, usually for a very affordable price too. So why not use your next vacation to check off a whole number of things on your bucket list in one incredible, stunningly diverse, wildlife rich, tropical destination?