Komodo National Park
The Komodo National Park was founded in order to protect the resident giant lizards, the "Komodo dragons". Open grass-woodland savannah covers some 70% of the park.
The last surviving population of the world's largest lizard, which is estimated at around 5,700 individuals, is distributed across the islands of Komodo (2,900), Rinca (900), Gili Motong (fewer than 100) and in certain coastal regions of western and northern Flores.
The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller ones. The national park was founded in 1980. Later it was dedicated to protecting other species than the dragon as well, including marine species. The islands of the national park are of volcanic origin.
Map of Komodo National Park
- ●● Natural
Svein Heltberg Norway 16-Nov-17
In October 2017 we had a two week round trip in Java and Bali and it peaked with a two day mini cruise in the Komodo National Park – really the only way to see the park.
A flight took us from Denpasar, Bali, to Labuan Bajo, Flores, and a taxi took us down to the harbour. Our “small” vessel was a 50 or 60 foot wooden boat with two double cabins (for the four of us) and a crew of four. There were one day cruises available with a speedboat to Komodo, but the two day “slow cruise” is recommended.
Stops at a white sandy beach and a pink coral sandy beach, with swimming and snorkeling is a great way of watching the marine wildlife. Along with the myriad of common fishes we spotted a crocodile fish! The currents around this area are strong and dangerous. Some divers end up in accidents resulting in injuries or even death, so a guide is mandatory both for divers and for island visitors.
We had close encounters with the dragons both days, the first day at Rinca (it’s pronounced “rincha”) and on the second day on the biggest island in the park – Komodo. Both islands were somewhat alike, meaning you don’t really have to visit both islands. Rinca is closest, but a visit to the Komodo National Park is not complete without seeing some of the Komodo itself.
The ugly beautiful dragons are really fascinating to watch. We first spotted them around the ranger station (where they were fed leftovers from the ranger stations kitchen) and in the wild and further into the lowland of the island. They seem slow and clumsy and not dangerous at all, but our ranger could tell us that they could speed and outrun humans, and with the venom in their mouth together with a number of sharp teeth, they are really dangerous - also to humans. There were plenty of dragons prey around, like small deer, water buffalo, wild boar and monkeys. Strangely “the victims” didn’t seem nervous or scared of the dragons nearby? We’ve only seen this type of animal behavior in Galapagos before.
A natural site which includes animals is great, and when there are endangered species to watch as well it’s even more fantastic.
After two days at sea we spent the night and morning at a hotel ten minutes by car from Labuan Bajo. This tranquil location with fantastic scenery next to the Flores sea is highly recommendable especially as a counterbalance to some of the really crowded hotels and beaches in Bali.
Michael Novins United States 22-Oct-16
I flew from Jakarta, where I spent the month of November 1997 on business, to Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo on Flores. I had not made any prior arrangements, but was met at the airport by several fishermen and hired one to take me to Komodo Island, one of the three islands that form Komodo National Park. I stayed at the ranger station at Loh Liang, which has bungalows and a restaurant, and the rangers organized a hike to the Banugulung viewing area, an hour from Loh Liang. There were several komodo dragons at the Banugulung viewing area, but it was also easy to see dragons while walking around the grounds at Loh Liang.
John booth New Zealand 30-Jun-13
I travelled to the islands of Komodo and Rinca by boat from the port of Labuanbajo on Flores Island.
Before landing on Komodo I spotted three dragons marching along the beach towards the jetty. This was just the beginning of an interesting day on the island. After a briefing as to the fierceness of the dragons, I was escorted on a hike through the savannah-like landscape. Along the way found juvenile dragons living up trees, and fully grown ones on the ground. Also saw examples of the dragon's prey : deer, water buffalo and pigs.
At Pink Beach on Komodo Island spent some time snokelling and admiring the colourful fish and corals that are part of this WHS.
On Rinca Island it was another hike to see more of the dragons, both juvenile and adult as well as their prey.
It was a revalation to learn how such benign looking creatures can become such lethal killing machines.
My visit to Komodo National Park is one of the best experiences that I ever had. It is the only place in the world where we can find the giant lizard Komodo (Varanus Komodoensis) in their habitat. The adult size can be measured until 3 meters ! Actually The Park is also famous for its underwater scenery. Within less than 60 minutes traveling between one dive site to another, we can find different kind of fishes, different kind of panorama. Based in my experience, I do know now that it is very crucial to preserve our nature for our future generation.
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Full name: Komodo National Park
Unesco ID: 609
Criteria: 7 10
- 1991 - Inscribed
The site has 20 connections. Show all
- Notable examples of island gigantism: Komodo dragon
- Feral Animals: 'feral animals form important prey species for the Komodo monitor' (AB evaluation)
- Whales: blue whale and sperm whale "are occasionally observed"
- Turtles and tortoises: 5 species
- Coral: Coral reefs
- Rainforests: patches of tropical rainforest and mangrove (UNEP-WCMC)
- Mangroves: patches of tropical rainforest and mangrove (UNEP-WCMC)
- Cloud forest: A quasi cloud-forest occurs above 500m on pinnacles (UNEP-WCMC)
- Critically endangered fauna species: yellow-crested cockatoo Link
- Siraneans: dugong
- Crocodiles: saltwater crocodile
- Straits: Komodo Faces Selat Sape, Selat Lintah and Selat Molo or Sape Strait
- Neolithic age: neolithic graves, artefacts and megaliths
- Early Pleistocene: the ancestor of the Komodo dragon most likely evolved in Australia and spread westward, reaching the Indonesian island of Flores by 900,000 years ago. Comparisons between fossils and living Komodo dragons on Flores show that the lizard's body size has remained relatively stable since then Link
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