Exploring Komodo National Park

by Sonja Faul

Every nature lover should visit Komodo National Park in Indonesia! Not only is it a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has also recently been named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Around 60 000 people visit the park each year, and the numbers are increasing.


Komodo National Park includes three larger islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller ones. The park is home to the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo Dragon. The park was initially established to conserve the Komodo Dragons and preserve their natural habitat. Apart from the dragons, you can also see interesting fauna and flora and enjoy pristine beaches and beautiful, unspoiled scenery.


Getting there

Labuan Bajo, western Flores, is one of the gateway cities to Komodo National Park. To reach Labuan Bajo, you can take a flight from Denpasar, Bali. The duration of the flight is just over an hour. Admire the beautiful view of the islands just before you touch down at the airport!


From Labuan Bajo, Komodo National Park can easily be reached via speedboat. The journey takes roughly about one hour.


Rinca Island

As you step off the boat onto the island, friendly park rangers are there to meet and escort you to the camp.



At the camp, you will get a short safety briefing. The just of it: there is safety in numbers! Stay on the path and stay in the group, because the moment you get separated, you become an easy target for the Komodo Dragons.



There are a couple of hiking trails of varying lengths that cross the island. The shortest route will take you past the Komodo nests with a female guarding them, and up a hill with a striking view.


Tip: This is a great place to see Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat as fewer people visit this island than Komodo Island.



Komodo Island

The island gets its name from, you guessed it, Komodo Dragons! The first dragons were captured, studied and documented here.



The island is beautiful with lush trees that provide a canopy for Komodo Dragons trying to escape the heat of the sun.



Apart from Komodo Dragons, you can also see wild boars and deer.



Pink Beach

Pink Beach forms part of Komodo Island. The beach gets its trademark pink colour from red crushed coral mixed with white sand. Not only is the beach beautiful, it is also a great spot for snorkeling. Don’t go in too deep, though, because a current may sweep you away.



Hike up the nearby hill for a panoramic view of Pink Beach and the other side of the island. Be careful not to stray too far away from the beach. There are Komodo Dragons in the area!



This is the island to visit if you want to hit your daily 10 000 steps! Put on a pair of sturdy hiking shoes, grab a hat and be sure to take enough water with you. Remember your sunscreen too!

The hike is tough! The hill is steep, the soil is loose and there are only a couple of trees to shade you from the sun.

But the stunning views make all the effort worthwhile! Just breathe and take in the beautiful nature surrounding you.



Kanawa Island

Kanawa Island used to be a private resort closed to the public. You will fall in love with the white sandy beaches and unspoiled blue waters!


This is an excellent spot for snorkeling! The first thing you see as you walk into the crystal clear water are the colourful giant sea stars.


Go in just a little bit deeper and you’ll see coral reefs brimming with life.


Be sure to hike up the hill for a great view. Or if you want to escape the sun for a while, grab a drink at the beach bar.


If Komodo National Park is not on your bucket list yet, you should add it!

I visited Komodo National Park courtesy of Wonderful Indonesia.

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1 comment

Jelte Homminga December 9, 2016 - 12:16 pm

Hi Sonja, It’s great to read about this again. Also nice to read some more info about the park and komodo’s which I missed when I was there.


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