Thought dragons didn’t exist? Think again. Komodo National Park is home to the unique Komodo Dragon. Located between the islands of Flores and Sumbawa in eastern Indonesia, Komodo is a secluded and untamed Jurassic Park-like island part of the National Park. Besides being well-known for being home to the giant monitor lizard, Komodo is also known amongst a paradise for nature lovers with numerous mountains to climb, and amazing diving sites around the stunning coral reefs.
The Komodo National Park is one of the pure jewels of Indonesia. Its specific landscape and fauna makes it a unique destination for adventurous travellers and nature lovers.
It is a marine reserve with dozens of wild islands inhabited by the world famous Komodo Dragon!
Liveaboard Diving in Komodo National Park is considered by some as the best diving location in Indonesia and even one of the best spots in the world by many people for big fishes and amazing underwater life.
Crystal clear water, a lack of pollution, huge schools of fishes, pelagic fishes everywhere, sharks galore and the wonderful manta ray all year round make it a dream diving destination!
Also this part of Indonesia is a bit off the touristic track (the banana pancake trail!) but is still easily accessible from Bali.
To plan my trip I usually use this guide book as they have great maps and give a good overview of the Komodo, Labuan Bajo and Flores island.
Activities and excursions in Komodo Island
Komodo National Park is mostly a diving destination with not a lot of tourist infrastructure. The attraction here is the incredible nature, so it is possible to do other things during your stay or for the non divers such as:
- Go trekking the Islands hills and the Kelimutu Volcano
- Go to see the world famous Komodo dragons
- Explore the typical flores Island (eg Python cave)
- Go Snorkelling on a day trip cruise
There are a few travel agencies in Labuan Bajo which can organize all your excursions.
Best time to visit Komodo Island
It is possible to enjoy the Komodo marine reserve all year round.
- Dry season from April to December, average temperature of 26°C.
- Rainy season from January to March, average temperature of 28°C.
The best time to visit Komodo National Park is between April and December during the dry season. The weather is very nice, not too hot with very little to no rain. The rainy season sometimes starts early in December, so if you don’t like getting wet plan your trip before.
You can spot the Komodo dragon all year round. However, the mating season runs from July to August and the nesting season from September to November and spotting the dragons is not as easy during these periods.
How to get to Komodo Island?
Flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo are operated by small companies with small planes. The flight is very scenic so be sure to get a window seat to get a glimpse of the spectacular views!
Small planes are often full so it is better to book your seat in advance. Otherwise, for the more adventurous and the ones who are travelling on a tight budget you can take the public ferry from Bali to Labuan Bajo. It will take about 3 days and the journey is an adventure in itself.
Once you are in Labuan Bajo, you can discover the wild Flores Island by local bus but the journey can be rough and it is better if you can speak some Indonesian language. The best way is to hire a car with a driver for a very fair price in one of the local travel agencies.
If you want to discover the Komodo marine reserve, you can:
Go scuba diving and snorkelling with local dive centers. The boat ride to the diving sites can be quite long, up to 3 hours but very scenic.
Get a liveboard for a few days to cruise around the Komodo Islands and dive the best spots.
Arrange your own cruise in Labuan Bajo. Everything can be easily arranged by local travel agencies. You will have your own boat and your own crew for a very fair price!
Going to check out the huge Komodo dragons is a must do for anybody travelling in the area. The best places to spot them are on Rinca and Komodo Islands. It is easily possible to go there during a day trip from Labuan Bajo or during a diving trip between two dives. Great surface time!