The Komodo National Park comprises of Komodo, Rinca, Padar, and Manta lie approximately 200 nautical miles due east of Bali in the Indian Ocean to the North east of Australia’s Darwin and roughly between the neighboring islands of Sumbawa and Flores. Of Indonesia’s vast and diverse archipelago of more than 20,000 islands, the Komodo National Park established by UNESCO back in 1986), is a true ruby amongst many crystals and a few diamonds.
The land territory of the National Park reaches 603 km2, whilst the accumulated aquatic and marine territories extend up to 1224 km2. All of the park’s species are protected and as such there is a great abundance and diversity of life forms. There are over 250 coral species here as well as over 1000 species of fish. The world’s most biologically diverse tropical marine habitat is found in the waters just north of the Komodo Island national Park in a region of the Coral triangle known as Raja Ampat, although most of the same species can also be found off Komodo.
The Komodo National Park hosts 37 species of reptiles, 128 species of birds, and 323 known species of mammals, many of which are totally unique and endemic, to be found no where else in the world, such as the notorious Komodo Dragon, which can reach the length of a car, and has such bad breath that shortly after biting its chosen victim the poison and bacteria rot the spited animal until it eventually keels over a few days later and is torn apart by the Komodo Dragons that had been perusing it. Many endangered species such as the orange-footed fowl and Timor deer are maintained and reintroduced to nature via a carefully set up breeding plan in Komodo National Park.
The respective areas of the Marine park include the major habitats of coral reefs, sea grasses, mangroves and seamounts. All these areas are protected, and must be done so vigilantly to save them from destructive fishing methods such as dynamite and cyanide fishing, and non-selective netting practices. The two most common ways to the National Park are either via a sail from the port of Benoa in South East Bali, or by flight from Bali’s International airport Denpasar to Labuan Bajo in Flores followed by a short boat ride to the islands.
Ecotourism plays a significant role in the economy of the area and all visitors are urged to appreciate the delicate ecosystems and organisms that live here and to take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time and leave nothing other than footprints in the sand. Awareness of the programs going on here in The Komodo National Park is paramount to the survival and future of the islands, but the many tour operators in this area make sure to look after not just you but the pristine ocean that brings them their livelihood, whilst at the same time guiding you on an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.