The main attractions of this isolated island are the amazing Komodo dragons, the world’s largest lizard, and some of the best diving on the border. Here are some of the best things to do in Komodo National Park:
1. Look for Dragons in Komodo Island
There are about 6,000 Komodo dragons in Komodo Island, Rinca, Gili Montang, Flores, and Nusa Kode. Komodo dragons are considered vulnerable, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s threatened species list. The biggest threat to the rangers is deer poachers, who kill the animals that feed them.
Male dragons can be over 3 meters (10 feet) long and weigh an average of 70 kg (154 pounds). Females are only two-thirds their size and can lay up to 30 eggs at a time. The insects are carnivorous and highly lethal, hunting by waving their forked tongues in the air to detect scent. However, it is possible to hunt a bird even without a body. They can lift their large bodies with their muscular legs and run at speeds of up to 20 kilometers per hour (12 mph).
2. Snorkeling at Pink Beach
For snorkelers, Pink Beach offers a close-up view of butterflies, parrots, spearfish, giant clams, and colorful corals. The area is rich in red coral, and the beautiful beaches are pink.
As Komodo National Park is located in the transition zone described by 19th-century naturalist Sir Alfred Russel Wallace, bird watchers can find a variety of Asian and Australian species. Crows and herring gulls flock to the canopies and tamarind trees, as do green imperial pigeons, black-necked orioles, sunbirds, and warblers. The forest floor is home to forest birds, the ancestors of domesticated chickens, reptile-winged quail, and mound-building macropods.
3. Beat the Crowds by Visiting Rinca
Rinca Island is not as famous as Komodo Island, but it is not as crowded as its famous upstairs neighbor. The season (July–August) is a more natural experience. Rinca Island is two easy walks (2–3 hours each) from the ranger station at Loh Buaya, with a few basic accommodations. One walks along the ridge on the east side of the complex, offering spectacular views of the Komodo Islands and Flores Island, which at one point emerges from the sea. See herds of wild horses that do not exist in Komodo.
Another road leads in that direction, through dense forests where wild buffalo ford the rivers. It is best to leave early in the morning to see the most active animals and avoid the intense heat of the sun.
4. Enjoy the Beautiful Beaches of Padar
The small island of Padar, located on the river between Komodo and Rinca, has become very popular with visitors in recent years. The famous view of the main peaks is now completely absorbed. Padar also has a beautiful beach, but no resident dragons.
Where to Stay
Komodo National Park and nearby accommodations in Komodo National Park are small and basic. Most travelers live on board or visit Labuan Bajo in Flores.
This small fishing city on the western tip of the main island of Flores serves as the gateway to Komodo National Park. The city has a wide variety of accommodation options, from simple villas and rustic guesthouses to 4-5-star resorts with swimming pools.
The main Komodo villages have simple accommodations and not much else.
You can also reserve free space in the ranger’s homestay.
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