Being one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia, Komodo National Park in Flores is one of the must visit places in Indonesia. The park is situated in the Wallacea Region and identified by WWF and Conservation International as global conservation priority area.
Where is it
Why goIt is the home to the Komodo Dragon, known as Ora to the Indonesians, and as a refuge for many other wild terrestrial species, with mixture of Asiatic and Australian origins. It is also rich marine life, consisting of over 1000 species ranging from reptiles like sea turtles to mammals like dolphins and whales, and also 250 species of reef coral. There are even chance of sighting flying foxes (fruit bats) at night across star-filled night sky.
When is the best time to go
What to seeThe Komodo Dragon of course, touted as the living fossil. Walk around them upclose and personal but be forewarn and beware as there are reports that they can be dangerous if agitated.
There is also other varieties of wildlife like the Timor deer, wild horses, wild boar, buffalo, long-tailed macaques, palm civets, fruit bats and Rinca rat.
What to do
Dive to immerse in the rich marine life and coral reefs. It could be strong currents but the viewing is still amazing. Diving here brings high chance of rare marine life and coral reefs.
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Snorkel at the Pink beach, where you can have a chance to swim with sea turtles, manta rays and rock-hole island among incredible arrays of corals and fishes.
Camping and kayak – if you got enough of watching Komodo dragons or wildlife, fret not as you can do more outdoor activities like camping and kayaking. With kayak, you can even explore more places that are too narrow for the boats to get to, which undisturbed, are naturally rich with reefs and fishes.
What and where to eat
Where to stay
You can find guesthouses within the park itself or you may choose to stay in Loh Liang (Komodo Island) or Loh Buaya (Rinca island). Else better budget and choices would be in Labuanbajo where you can take a trip to the park in the day. You may also choose to stay in the motorboat that takes you to the island as they do come with cabins and rooms. Many tourists had good reviews on Komodo Resort * just next to the Komodo National Park.
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How to get there
By sea – there is a ferry/boat service from Sape in Sumbawa or Labuanbajo in Flores, twice a every week.
By air – the best way is to fly to Labuanbajo from Denpasar, Bali without the need to transit on another flight or boat. Sky Aviation serves regular flights on this route.
How to get around
The park is not that huge so most places can be cover on foot. Else you may charter private boats around as there are no public or regular boats.
SafetyStay safe as the Komodo dragon do have histories of attacking human. So beware and do not get too close, and always stay close to your guide and listen to warnings. While out trekking to find them, a pole is very useful not only as a support but also in need as a weapon for defense. Komodo Dragon’s bite is suspected to be venomous and can cause massive blood loss, therefore, it is wise to stay alerted and safe.
Recommended tours *:
Komodo Liveaboard diving