1980 – Australian Nigel Mason first arrives in Bali.
1981 – Nigel starts work on a hotel design and development in Lombok (which is later cancelled).
1983 – Nigel meets and later marries Made Karyani (Yanie) from Legian, Bali.
1984 – Nigel and Yanie start Yanie's Restaurant in Legian with borrowed money.
1987 – Nigel and Yanie open the Original Bali Doll Factory in Denpasar.
1989 - Nigel and his Balinese Wife Yanie set up Bali's first and foremost white water rafting company, named Bali Adventure Rafting.
By 1992 - Other adventure activities are added to the tour portfolio, beginning with Mountain Cycling, followed by Jungle, Rice Paddy and Village Trekking. By this time, the company's identity expands to encompass the new products, becoming known as, Bali Adventure Tours (BAT).
1994 - BAT launches Bali Day Tours Transport as a strategy to make tour operations more self-contained and efficient. Today, BAT is able to transport its own customers in company owned and operated, air-conditioned vehicles all equipped with radio control. Yanie takes the retail aspects of operations a step further in 1995, opening The 'House of Yanie' Gift Shop, located in Kuta Square.
1995 - BAT operations consolidated under one roof with the opening of Adventure House on the Jalan Bypass at Pesanggaran (between Kuta and Sanur). This multi-million dollar, four-story structure becomes known as The "BAT" Cave as it houses state-of-the-art communications, dispatch, reservations center, operations headquarters, repair and maintenance workshops and a helipad is later built at the rear.
1996 - BAT starts The Elephant Safari Park in historic Taro village, adding a completely new dimension to the organization. The park contains 9 Sumatran elephants, a sub species of the Asian elephant. These gentle pachyderms are rescued from Sumatra, their last natural stronghold in Indonesia to be relocated in the tranquil Balinese countryside.
1997 - 8 more Sumatran Elephants are rescued from Sumatra and the arduous task of bringing them to Bali, without causing undue stress to these beautiful animals begins. The journey involved 6 days non-stop traveling, with a 10 vehicle convoy, the journey involved 1000's of kilometers by road, plus 2 sea crossings, Including 1 vehicle who's sole purpose is to procure fresh food and water every day along the way. Among the 8 Elephants was 2½ -year-old Ramona who in later years turns out to be a very accomplished painter, with some of her artwork sold by Christies in New York.
2000 - Constant improvements are made this year to The Elephant Safari Park, both for visitors and resident pachyderms. The latest advancements include complete water treatment and waste disposal systems and a large 250 seat restaurant, a park gift shop, and museum.
2001 - BAT introduced helicopter tours - the first of their kind in Bali complete with their own helipads linking their numerous operations together. The purchase of a state-of-the-art American built Robinson R44 helicopter brings flight prices to an affordable level for tourists.
2002 - Unfortunately the Helicopter Tours are suspended after the Bali Bomb to be re-instated later, when the top end of the tourism market fully recovers.
The Bali Bombing
The bombing has a disastrous effect on Bali Adventure Tours activities with up to a 98% loss in company visitors doing tours directly after the tragedy. The next 2 years will prove to be a test of sacrifice, hard work, and great determination on the behalf of all staff and management to survive this catastrophe.
2003 - This was an extremely difficult year with major outgoing in expenses and very little incoming revenue. Recovery started towards the latter part of the year.
2004 - August: Bali Adventure Tours upgrades their fleet of vehicles with the purchase of ten new 11 seater buses and four new 6 seater buses so as to maintain the high standards of safety and comfort for our guests.
2004 - September: Work commences on the spacious new breeding area for the Elephants, and at the same time updating and modernizing the infrastructure of the Elephant food area, waste & rubbish removal, plus the implementing of a brand new Elephant Manure Processing Plant in Renon, Denpasar where the elephant waste will be turned into an environmentally friendly fertilizer. Features of the new breeding area includes, public access and viewing area, one of the deepest elephant wading ponds in South East Asia. Plus the planting of over 1000 trees including 30 different species of palm trees, landscape gardens and free roaming area for the courting couple. The Park also set about beautifying the area with thousands of native & imported orchids.
2004 - October: 10 new elephants are saved and brought to Bali, including 2 baby elephants, (2 year old Debby & 4 year old Ryan) and transmigrated from Sumatra to join the Elephant Safari Park family thereby making a total of 27 elephants. This journey was documented by an Australian film company to be released later as a 1 hour television feature which is shown worldwide on Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, NHK and numerous other networks.
2005 - In keeping with the commitment of Bali Adventure Tours to the development of new products for the tourism industry in Bali, the company commences the building of a '5 star' hotel project at the Elephant Safari Park named the Elephant Safari Park Lodge & Spa. This includes a full range of rooms from VIP to standard to suit most budgets. A swimming pool and a fully licensed bar, Spa & Fitness room overlooking the Elephants and the Park and was completed in late 2007.
The acclaimed documentary 'Operation Jumbo' is released to an international audience of millions. The documentary details the nail biting adventures of Nigel Mason as he attempts to rescue and transport another 10 elephants over 3000kms, crossing three Indonesian islands to the safe haven of his Park. The spellbinding tale has been seen globally on Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Wildlife Asia Channel and is now available on DVD with Japanese, Russian, Mandarin, French, Indonesian and English subtitles. Operation Jumbo was also awarded as a BBC Panda Award Finalist.
2006 – The Elephant Breeding Program is started after the oldest male elephant, Seng Wong, finally comes into 'Musth' ready to mate.
2007 – The 27 room Elephant Safari Park Lodge is completed with stunning attention detail. Featuring an array of beautifully appointed accommodations including an exclusive two-bedroom Taro Suite, as well as Park view, Garden View and Paddy View rooms and a unique Elephant Chauffeur service from the Lodge rooms purpose built elevated landing direct onto the back of an elephant. However the lodge was not opened until 2008 after an intense staff training period for 'local' staff.
The Elephant Safari Park Lodge features include the Safari Wellness Spa – the first safari themed spa in Bali which garnered accolades form prestigious travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler as HOT SPA 2008, a Fitness & Weights Room, swimming pool and Mammoth Head Bar & Lounge.
The Park at this time also enhances its wedding facilities with a new Wedding Pavilion and Private Gazebo. A traditional antique four post Javanese Joglo portrays the ceremonial pavilions featured in the palaces of royalty in central Java and commands the marble and stone purpose built facility. The private dining gazebo was added to provide a romantic and intimate setting for bridal couples. The whole park is further up-graded to match the hotels '5 star' facilities.
2008 – On 19 January 2008, the Elephant Safari Park Lodge officially opened to present an unparalleled destination experience in Bali and the world to stay and experience the daily life of elephants in their lush retreat. The Elephant Safari Park Lodge offers a world exclusive experience to interact, feed, ride, observe, learn, play and stay with 27 beautiful Sumatran elephants, one of the most rare and endangered species of elephants left in the world today.
Simultaneously Nigel Mason launches his self penned and published children's book The Tale of the First White Elephant in Bali in both English and Indonesian to fantastic reviews. The book was noted as Best Seller in bookstores throughout Indonesia.
The DVD release of the acclaimed documentary Operation Jumbo is made available for purchase with Japanese, Russian, Mandarin, French, Indonesian and English subtitles.
In August 2008 the company re-releases and vastly expands its product brochures and catalogues with stunning new photography and information in English, Japanese and Russian print versions. The addition of a new Lodge Brochure and new Wedding Brochure as well as a new company DVD and Souvenir CD were also added to range of collateral.
A new adventure tour, Safari Under the Stars – An Evening with the Elephants is introduced in late 2008 allowing visitors for the first time to experience the Park at night. The evening with the elephants includes a special night show and dinner under the palm trees.
In December 2008 the expansion of the Elephant Park Boutique with its mezzanine level is completed as well as many Park enhancements including re-roofing of the Park Restaurant, completion of a new Shade House for the Elephants and a new docking bay from the Lodge's Mammoths Head Bar and the installation of ramps and access points to ensure the Park is Wheelchair Friendly, a disabled toilet was also installed and an elephant 'Nursery' area added to the park.
2009 – Sees the company celebrating 20 years of unparalleled adventure experience as the first and longest standing Adventure Tour Company in Bali. In mid 2009 the Park's first naturally conceived baby elephant is born. This is world first for the Park and a testament to the Park's efforts to conserve and breed this endangered species. All goes according to nature and plan and this marks the first baby Sumatran elephant to be conceived and born in captivity in Bali. The first birth was quickly followed by two more this year. The last baby birth, 'Riski', was put on YouTube and has had millions of hits, because of its graphic and dramatic footage.
Bali Adventure Tours embarks on the total re-building and upgrading of its White Water Rafting operation on the Ayung River, moving further up river to a more pristine and unspoiled part of the Ayung River.
The bus fleet increased yet again in size to accommodate increasing tourist numbers.
2010 – Stage one of a two part upgrading of the White Water Rafting operation opens in November, boasting a state of the art Rafting starting point, with 21st century facilities and equipment. A new amazing staircase is build to the river, with rest areas and stainless steel handrails to the bottom.
The Rafting finishing point is also re-built at a new location with high teach facilities, all beautifully landscaped by Nigel and his team. A new staircase off the river is also built to connect to the main road.
The bus fleet is further increased and the foundations are layed for a new complex at the rafting finishing point at Kedewatan that will include numerous new and upgrading facilities for guests, making the companys rafting operation up there with the 'best in the world'.