Exploring Bali and Photographing Its Monkeys

Exploring Bali and Photographing Its Monkeys

Introduction to Bali

Bali, known as the “Island of the Gods,” is a popular tourist destination in Indonesia renowned for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. From picturesque rice terraces and ancient temples to vibrant markets and pristine beaches, Bali offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. Among its many attractions, the island is home to a significant population of monkeys, particularly the long-tailed macaques.

Monkeys in Bali

The long-tailed macaques, also known as Balinese macaques, are one of the most iconic animals in Bali. They are commonly found in forested areas and temples across the island. These intelligent and social animals are fascinating to observe and photograph, making them a popular subject for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.

Best Places to See Monkeys in Bali

  1. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (Ubud Monkey Forest):
    • Location: Ubud
    • Description: This sanctuary is home to over 700 monkeys and is set in a lush forest with ancient temples. It’s one of the most popular spots to see and photograph monkeys in Bali.
    • Tips: Visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowds and get the best lighting for photography.
  2. Uluwatu Temple:
    • Location: Pecatu, South Kuta
    • Description: Perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean, this temple is not only a spiritual site but also a habitat for many monkeys.
    • Tips: Be cautious with your belongings as the monkeys here are known to snatch items from visitors.
  3. Sangeh Monkey Forest:
    • Location: Sangeh, Abiansemal
    • Description: A quieter alternative to the Ubud Monkey Forest, this forest features towering nutmeg trees and a more serene environment.
    • Tips: The tranquility here makes it easier to take candid photos of the monkeys in their natural habitat.
  4. Alas Kedaton Monkey Forest:
    • Location: Tabanan
    • Description: This lesser-known spot offers a peaceful setting with fewer tourists and a temple within the forest.
    • Tips: Interact with local guides to learn more about the monkeys and their behaviors, enhancing your photography experience.

Tips for Photographing Monkeys in Bali

  1. Respect Their Space:
    • Maintain a safe distance to avoid disturbing the monkeys. Use a zoom lens to get close-up shots without getting too close physically.
  2. Use Natural Light:
    • Early morning and late afternoon provide the best natural light for photography. Avoid using flash as it can startle the monkeys and cause aggressive behavior.
  3. Capture Their Expressions:
    • Focus on their eyes and facial expressions to capture their emotions and personality. Patience is key to getting the perfect shot.
  4. Be Quick and Steady:
    • Monkeys are quick and often move unexpectedly. Use a fast shutter speed to capture their movements clearly and avoid blurry photos.
  5. Secure Your Belongings:
    • Monkeys in Bali are known for their curiosity and can snatch cameras, bags, and other items. Keep your belongings secure and be vigilant.
  6. Observe Their Behavior:
    • Spend some time observing the monkeys before taking photos. Understanding their behavior can help you anticipate their actions and capture more compelling shots.


Photographing monkeys in Bali offers a unique opportunity to capture the beauty and charm of these fascinating creatures in their natural environment. By visiting the right locations and following some simple photography tips, you can enhance your experience and take stunning photos that reflect the essence of Bali’s wildlife.

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