Komodo National Park is a conservation area located between Sumbawa and Flores in Eastern Indonesia. The Park consists of three major islands: Komodo, Rinca, and Padar, and several smaller islands. The total park area is 1.800 km2 (600 km2 terrestrial and 1200 km2 marine). Established as a national park in 1980, Komodo was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986 and a Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1992. The Park’s primary mission is to protect and to conserve the unique Komodo Dragon (Varanus Komodoensis), the largest lizard in the world. The Komodo Dragon, which can reach 3.15 m long and can weight about 160 kg, is found only on Komodo, Rinca, Gilimotang islands. The conservation goals have been extended to the preservation on the entire ecosystem, both terrestrial and marine.
KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
A spectacular terrestrial and marine biodiversity makes Komodo National Park a treasure for divers and non-divers alike. The land area holds almost two hundred fifty species of terrestrial plants, over thirty species of reptiles, three species of amphibians, and provides roasting areas for more than one hundred bird species. In the waters around Komodo, recognized as one of richest marine environments on the planet, extensive mangrove stands, seagrass beds, seamounts, and coral reefs shelter more than one thousand fish species and fifty species of sponges. The colorful reef are home to nudibranchs, sea slugs, lobsters, shrimps, crabs, frog fishes, sea horses, shells, cowries and other unusual coastal maritime species. In addition, the position of the Park at a confluence of the Pacific and Indian bays on the seventeen islands, attact six species of whales, and ten dolphin species as well as dugong, rays, turtles, sharks and several species of pelagic fish.
The Marine Park has more than one hundreds dive sites, many still unspoiled. About 50 dive sites have been surveyed. The water temperature ranges between 27 C to 30 C, depending on the season and location. In several dive sites the temperature can drop as low as 18 C. The visibility is mostly good, often reaching 50 m during April to October. Currents can be very strong in some areas. Most dive sites are accessible in 25-70 minutes by speedboat from Labuan Bajo. The Park offers excellent dive sites for beginners, experienced divers and snorkelers.
There are no public accommodation facilities in the Park itself. Visistors are requested to stay in Labuan Bajo, where there are several hotels and guesthouse offering basic, though comfortable accommodation.
HOW TO GET THERE?
The gateway to Komodo is Labuan Bajo on the neighboring island of Flores. There are daily air services (90 minutes) from Bali to Labuan Bajo and a daily ferry service from Bima on Sumbawa.
Foreign visitors to Komodo National Park are requested to donate to a Conservation Fund: US$ 15 per person 1-3 day visits and US$ 25 for stays of 4-8 days. Visitors are requested to pay an additional Rp. 40.000,- per person for local government tax.
WHAT TO BRING
Original or a copy of your passport.
Sun cream, sun glasses and hat.
A first-aid kit and any personal medicine.
Good health and an appreciation for the natural environment.
Information and advice.
Travel and accommodation arrangements.
Airport and hotel pick-up.
Dive packages for divers of all experience levels.
Customized vacation packages and travel arrangements from Bali.
The world renowned Lembeh Strait lies off the northern tip of Sulawesi, 1.5 hours from the center of Manado city, is a completely different type of diving from that of Bunaken National Park or Bangka Island.
Last Updated: April 2008.
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