The national park is also renowned for its magnificent marine life that is fed by the constant underwater seismic activity resulting from its position at the junction of two continental plates. The strong tidal currents that flow through the Sape straits also carry rich nutrients back and forth between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Divers and snorkelers alike will delight in the beautiful, clear waters with their pristine coral reefs and countless species of fish, dolphins, dugong, turtles, sponges, seahorses and squid.
Highlights and Features
- There are an estimated 5,700 Komodo dragons in the park, spread over three large and many smaller islands, plus a portion of Flores.
- The world’s largest lizard, the prehistoric-looking Komodo is carnivorous and will stalk deer, water buffalo and other prey for days before attacking.
- The visitor centre is located on Rinca, where it is relatively easy to spot Komodos as they like the savannah-like vegetation there.
- Here you can hire guides, all of whom are very knowledgeable, speak good English and other languages, and carry forked sticks to fend off any dragons that get a bit too close.
- The extended tour is well worth the extra fee (IDR 50,000).
Good to Know and What not to Miss
- There is malaria in this part of Indonesia, so ask your doctor to prescribe the appropriate malaria tablets. You should also use mosquito repellent at all times.
- The best deals on boat charters can be found in Labuanbajo, especially through the hotels and guesthouses.
- Some boats have cabins, while on others you sleep on deck.
- While you are in Labuanbajo, buy a West Flores tourist map to help plan your route and orient yourself as you travel.