Tourism of Indonesia
Ready to Go to Komodo National Park
Planning to go on a tour or travelling, we definitely want a smooth trip, comfortable accommodation, cheap hotels, good food, cheap plane tickets, close to everywhere, and can rent a motorbike or car.
In Komodo National Park, there is natural beauty and unique culture of the local community. There are many uniqueness, starting from the village (desa), sub-district (kecamatan), district (kabupaten) and provincial levels.
In Indonesia, each province has different and interesting characteristics. Each province has a different and unique culture and lifestyle.
Komodo National Park is located within the Lesser Sunda Islands in the border region between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara.
The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones, with a total area of 1,733 km2 (603 km2 of it land).
The national park was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard. Later it was dedicated to protecting other species, including marine species. In 1991 the national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Komodo National Park has been selected as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. The waters surrounding Komodo island contain rich marine biodiversity.
Komodo islands is also a part of the Coral Triangle, which contains some of the richest marine biodiversity on Earth.
Real dragons spurt no fire, have no need to fly and cast no magic spells. And still, one look from them might render you speechless.
These komodos, the real life dragons, are a sight indeed. Gigantic, the lizard-like creatures are about two or three meters in length.
They can easily weigh about 165 kilograms. Despite of their sheer size and appearance, they are not active hunters.
What makes them intimidating is the fact that they are a patient predator. In the wild, they stalk a victim, usually a weak or injured one.
One bite and that’s what it usually takes. After following the victim for a while, sometimes up to several days’ time, the komodos will devour the dying prey.
The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is an endangered species which can only be found in the Komodo National Park (KNP) in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
Because of the unique and rare nature of this animal, KNP was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.
The park includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totaling 603 km2 of land.
The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2,321 km2.
At least 2500 Komodos live in this area. Large dragons are usually three meters long and weigh up to 90 kg. Their habitat has beautiful panoramic views of savannas, rain forests, white beaches, beautiful corals, and clean blue seas. In this area, you can also find horses, wild buffalo, deer, wild boar, snakes, monkeys, and various types of birds.
KNP has a rich and amazing underwater sea bio tics. Divers claim that Komodo waters are one of the best diving sites in the world. It has fascinating underwater scenery.
You can find 385 species of beautiful corals, mangrove forests, and seaweeds as a home for thousands of fish species, 70 types of sponges, 10 types of dolphins, 6 types of whales, green turtles and various types of sharks and stingrays.
The dry and barren condition of the Park has produced a certain uniqueness. The expanse of savanna, limited water sources and a relatively hot temperature is indeed the preferred habitat of an ancient animal species, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis).
Most of the Park area is savanna with the fan palm (Borassus flabellifer) as the dominant characteristic plant.
Other plants include rattan (Calamus sp.), bamboo (Bambusa sp.), tamarind (Tamarindus indica), kepuh (Sterculia foetida), bidara (Ziziphus jujuba), kesambi (Schleichera oleosa), and mangrove (Rhizophora sp.).
Besides the Komodo dragon, the Park is also a habitat for deer (Cervus timorensis floresiensis), wild pig (Sus scrofa), Asian wild dog (Cuon alpinus javanicus).
Also wild horse (Equus qaballus), wild buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), dugong (Dugong dugon); 259 species of coral and 1,000 species of fish, 6 species of whale, 10 species of dolphin, as well as turtles and several species of snake, birds and sharks.
The government is taking good care of the preservation of nature and maintaining the condition of the forest.
The environment is also well maintained.
Visiting Komodo National Park, we will witness routine community activities in unique traditional cultures. And there are special dishes and food as part of culinary tours that are delicious and yummy.
We can do many things here. It is amazing to see Komodo dragons up close in their native habitat. On Rinca Island, you can see Komodos lying down outside the homes of national park rangers, or “parking” near the officials’ homes.
Previously, to find one, you had to “offer” a goat to attract the Komodo, but now this practice is no longer allowed.
If you don’t see a dragon, Rinca and Komodo have beautiful scenery with white beaches, mangroves, savannas and blue waters. During the dry season, these savannas and hills have dried grasses.
You can also engage in other activities such as diving and snorkeling. You can take a cruise ship or fishermen’s boat in the persuit of these activities.
There are diving points highly recommended to visit which include Merah Beach, and Batu Bolong and Tatawa islands.
If you want to see thousands of bats, you can stay overnight in a motorboat on Kalong Island waters (near Rinca Island).
If you’re more interested in studying the nature, below’s the description of them in more technical terms, so to speak.
Reptiles: Other than the Komodo Dragons, twelve terrestrial snake species are found on the island. including the cobra (Naja naja sputatrix).
Also Russel’s pit viper (Vipera russeli), and the green tree vipers (Trimeresurus albolabris). Lizards include 9 skink species (Scinidae), geckos (Gekkonidae), limbless lizards (Dibamidae), and, of course, the monitor lizards (Varanidae).
Frogs include the Asian Bullfrog (Kaloula baleata), Oreophyne jeffersoniana and Oreophyne darewskyi. They are typically found at higher, moister altitudes.
Mammals: Mammals include the Timor deer (Cervus timorensis), the main prey of the Komodo dragon, horses (Equus sp.), water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), wild boar (Sus scrofa vittatus).
Also long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus lehmanni), the endemic Rinca rat (Rattus rintjanus), and fruit bats. One can also find goats, dogs and domestic cats.
Birds: One of the main bird species is the orange-footed scrub fowl (Megapodius reinwardti), a ground dwelling bird. In areas of savanna, 27 species were observed.
Geopelia striata and Streptopelia chinensis were the most common species. In mixed deciduous habitat, 28 bird species were observed, and Philemon buceroides, Ducula aenea, and Zosterops chloris were the most common.
MARINE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
The marine area constitutes 67% of the Park. The open waters in the Park are between 100 and 200 m deep. The straits between Rinca and Flores and between Padar and Rinca, are relatively shallow (30 to 70 m deep), with strong tidal currents.
The combination of strong currents, coral reefs and islets make navigation around the islands in Komodo National Park difficult and dangerous.
Sheltered deep anchorage is available at the bay of Loh Liang on Komodo’s east coast, the South East coast of Padar, and the bays of Loh Kima and Loh Dasami on Rinca.
In the North of the Park water temperature ranges between 25 – 29°C. In the middle, the temperature ranges between 24 and 28°C.
The temperatures are lowest in the South, ranging from 22 – 28°C. Water salinity is about 34 ppt and the water is quite clear, although the waters closer to the islands are relatively more turbid.
Indonesia is the only equatorial region in the world where there is an exchange of marine flora and fauna between the Indian and Pacific oceans.
Passages in Nusa Tenggara (formerly the Lesser Sunda Islands) between the Sunda and Sahul shelves allow movement between the Pacific and Indian oceans.
The three main ecosystems in Komodo National Park are sea-grass beds, coral reefs, and mangrove forests. The Park is probably a regular cetacean migration route.
The terrestrial fauna is of rather poor diversity in comparison to the marine fauna. The number of terrestrial animal species found in the Park is not high, but the area is important from a conservation perspective as some species are endemic..
Many of the mammals are Asiatic in origin (e.g., deer, pig, macaques, civet). Several of the reptiles and birds are Australian in origin. These include the orange-footed scrub fowls, the lesser sulpher-crested cockatoos and the nosy friar birds.
The three major coastal marine plants are algae, sea-grasses and mangrove trees. Algae are primitive plants, which do not have true roots, leaves or stems.
An important reef-building algae is the red coral-line algae, which actually secretes a hard limestone skeleton that can encrust and cement dead coral together.
Sea-grasses are modern plants that produce flowers, fruits and seeds for reproduction. As their name suggests, they generally look like large blades of grass growing underwater in sand near the shore.
Thallasia sp. and Zastera spp. are the common species found in the Park. Mangroves trees can live in salty soil or water, and are found throughout the Park.
An assessment of mangrove resources identified at least 19 species of true mangroves and several more species of mangrove associates within the Park’s borders.
Komodo National Park includes one of the world’s richest marine environments. It consists of forams, cnidaria (includes over 260 species of reef building coral).
Also sponges (70 species), ascidians, marine worms, mollusks, echinoderms, crustaceans, cartilaginous and bony fishes (over 1,000 species), marine reptiles, and marine mammals (dolphins, whales, and dugongs).
Some notable species with high commercial value include sea cucumbers (Holothuria), Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), and groupers.
In this place there are also regular events or activities held every year, both national and international.
The journey to Komodo National Park is now very easy. We can enter through various modes of transportation.
Acces to go to to Komodo National Park:
Everyday, there are two to three flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo by Transnusa, and IAT (Indonesia Air Transport). In addition, there is a twice a week flight from Kupang.
Inter-island motorboats from Sape in West Nusa Tenggara are also available everyday (when the weather permits), and the Pelni ship from Bali and Lombok makes a stop over here every two weeks.
Land transportation from the East (Flores mainland e.g., Ruteng, Bajawa, Ende and Maumere) is also available.
If you are interested in making a long trip in Flores, you can start from Maumere to the west i.e., to Moni, Kelimutu, Ende, Bena, Bajawa, Ruteng and lastly Labuan Bajo (Komodo) or vice versa.
Your feet will be your trusted companion on this island. Good thing most people never leave home without them.
When you wish to see these animals in their natural habitat, you have to walk to the hills nearby (paths have been designated).
On Komodo Island, you have to climb Mount Ara (538 meters above sea level) for three to four hours. On Rinca island, you have to trek for about one and a half hours. If you are lucky, you can see Komodos attacking prey, fighting, or even employing their Mojaves along the way.
If that’s too wild for you, you can try to spot a group of deer, buffaloes or wild horses.
The condition of the infrastructure is getting better. Starting from highways, airports, trails, ports, bridges, stairs, even some places can be reached by toll roads.
We can visit by plane, car, ship, bus, motorcycle and bicycle. At some point, we can take the train. We can also walk freely.
In Komodo National Park, as technology getting better. We can easily find locations for mini markets, shops (warung kedai), Money Changer, ATMs, Bank BRI BCA BNI Mandiri, BTPN Bank Nagari BJB, supermarkets, and restaurants. So we will not starve or lack the necessary items.
Suggestion before visiting Komodo National Park:
- Don’t disturb or feed komodos. Despite slow and lazy movement, this animal can suddenly turn aggresive and move fast.
- When trekking, please take a stick with you. Komodos are usually afraid when threatened with a stick.
- Don’t walk alone. It is best to walk around with a ranger or guide.
- Please wear shoes. Komodo, Rinca, and Padar islands have 12 types of snakes and three of them are poisonous, namely green snakes living on trees, cobras and russel’s viper who live on the ground in holes on the savannas.
- Women having their menstruation must report to a guide or ranger for special attention. Komodos have a very strong sense of smell and may turn aggressive when they smell blood.
- Please bring along your insect repellent because this area has many mosquitoes who’ll be excited at the prospects of having fresh blood.
- Most lands on Komodo and Rinca islands are savannas which are prone to fire during the dry season so smoking and making fires are prohibited.
If you are sick and need help, you can also visit clinics, drugstore pharmacies (apotek), practice doctors, hospitals, and health centers (puskesmas).
In this place we can also look for places of worship such as mosques, churches, and others.
Finding place to stay in Komodo National Park is very easy. We can stay at home stays, hotels, inns, hostels and other places.
To get lodging at a cheap and definitely comfortable price, please see below:
Experience and Reviews
There are already many visitors have visited Komodo National Park, there are many interesting stories that are told. Like feeling satisfied, happy, wanting to come again, sleep well, and almost no one is disappointed or complains to come here.
So, visitors will find out on how to find the best hotels, where is exactly located, why it is amazing, how much is the fare and rate, who are the people, whom to ask, and when is the best time to visit.
We can visit these tourist attractions from Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Redep, Tanjung Selor, Tapak Tuan, Tarakan, Tarutung, Tasikmalaya, Muara Bungo, Muara Enim, Muara Teweh, Muaro Sijunjung, Muntilan, Nabire, Negara, Nganjuk,
That’s all the information we provided, hopefully useful.