KOMODO NATIONAL PARK FLORES
Komodo National Park, located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, is composed of three major islands (Rinca, Komodo, and Padar) and numerous smaller ones, all of them of volcanic origin. Located at the juncture of two continental plates, this national park constitutes the “shatter belt” within the Wallacea Biogeographical Region, between the Australian and Sunda ecosystems. The property is identified as a global conservation priority area, comprising unparalleled terrestrial and marine ecosystems and covers a total area of 219,322 ha. The dry climate has triggered specific evolutionary adaptation within the terrestrial flora that range from open grass-woodland savanna to tropical deciduous (monsoon) forest and quasi cloud forest. The rugged hillsides and dry vegetation highly contrast with the sandy beaches and the blue coral-rich waters.
The most remarkable inhabitant of Komodo National Park is the Komodo Lizard, Varanus komodoensis. These giant lizards, existing no-where else in the world, are of great scientific interest, especially for their evolutionary implications. Most commonly known as ‘Komodo Dragons’, due to its appearance and aggressive behavior, the Komodo Lizard, is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2 to 3 meters. The species is the last representative of a relic population of large lizards that once lived across Indonesia and Australia. As well as being home to the Komodo dragon, the Park provides a refuge for many other notable terrestrial species such as the orange-footed scrub fowl, an endemic rat, and the Timor deer. The rich coral reefs of Komodo host a great diversity of species, and the strong currents of the sea attract the presence of sea turtles, whales, dolphins and dugongs.
Komodo Island is the main Island in Komodo National Park that visitors are directed when they want to see the komodo dragon and other wild animals in the park. It lies between the Banta Island at west and Padar at east. The area is measured about 390 km². North part is mainly consist of barren island with savanah is the main vegetation.
On Komodo, you can choose between different trekking routes, depending on your time and physical condition. All of them start from the ticket office at Loh Liang. A short trek takes around one hour and goes along flat trails within the dry forest. This option is suitable for visitors who do not have much time, for families with small children, or for people who prefer a relaxed and non-strenuous hike. The medium trek takes about 1 1/2 hours. It passes a waterhole where the Timor deer and wild pigs often come to drink. Sometimes, dragons can be found there lying around and waiting. You will climb Sulphurea Hill and Frigate Hill, where a magnificent view across the islands, bays and beaches awaits. The longer trek takes about 2 1/2 hours and leads you up another hill. You will pass the location where Komodo dragons used to be fed in front of enthralled tourist crowds. If you are up to a real workout, you may book a 4 – 8 hour hike in advance which will lead you up Mount Ara or to the island’s northern shore.
Rinca, also known as Rincah and Rindja, is a small island near Komodo island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, within the West Manggarai Regency. It is part of Komodo National Park. The island is famous for komodo dragons, giant lizards that can measure up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) long. Rinca is also populated with many other species such as wild pigs, buffalos and many birds.Being less known and less visited than Komodo, it is a good place to see the komodo dragon in its natural environment with fewer people to disturb them. The island’s area is 198 square kilometres (76 sq mi).
Treks on Rinca Island start from the ticket office at Loh Buaya. You also have the option to choose between three trails. The shortest trek takes 30 minutes. It is an easy, shaded walk that passes an artificial waterhole before ascending to a small hill with a view over the bay. The one-hour medium trek winds between dragon nests and out into the sunshine across an exposed savannah that is studded with lontar palms. For the best opportunity to see dragons and their prey, choose the two-hour trek past a permanent waterhole and across steep, exposed slopes that offer breathtaking views.
Padar Island is the third largest island in the Komodo National Park. It is located in the south central of the park, between Komodo and Rinca Island. In the past, Padar was one of the island in Komodo where there were dragons live. Along with the illegal hunting activities by human being, they are slowly disappeared and almost unable to see them anymore, even once. The cause is simply because of the lack of foods, like deer and wild boar. Their extinction can be because they just died alone without any food to eat or prolonged hunger or they can be migrated to nearest island, Rinca. Nowadays, the island remains empty with no dragons. However, other wild animals such as wild boars are still around daily. Although the island has no dragons existed, the island is one of the best charming spot of trekking. Those who love photographic, this is perhaps the best place for spectacular photos, Amazing Island with four bay and surounding by Komodo and Rinca Island. With Gray beach and white beach on the left , White sandy beach on the right and Savana hills.
Gili Lawa Darat is an island in the north east of Komodo. The island is almost seen as a desert barren savanah which wholly covered by grass. In the dry season the island almost look brown everywhere. While in the rainy season, the island turns the color into green. Gili Lawa Darat bay is a perfect place for boat to stay during the night as it is always calm and protected from current and waves. Dive boats are normally anchoring here for night dives.
The other reason why we suggest you to visit this island is for a sunset trekking. This island is just the greatest sunset spot in Komodo. It remains our best place for having a beer while waiting for the sun slowly drops behind the horizon.
On the tour, we need to arrive there in the afternoon by 3 o’clock. Once anchored, we offer you to do a trekking to the top of this island. It should take about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the top. There at the top, while waiting for sunset, taking pictures should be a must. Facing to the west, there you can see the Sanghiang island from far, an active volcano island. There is the sun goes down. Right in front, there is Komodo Island with its barren savanah which almost covering most of the island. Down at the bottom of the island, you will be amazed by the long white sandy beach with clear breathtaking coral formation. Those who love photography, this is a heaven.
Sunset hours should be from 5 to 6 pm, then have to be back to boat for overnight.