Exploring Komodo National Park ~ Indonesia

by Tsvete Popp

The main reason we flew to Labuan Bajo was to join a boat tour to Komodo National Park which was on our bucket list for many years now. If you are already in Indonesia, domestic traveling is actually easy compared to the situation in many other countries right now. All you have to do is a covid-19 test which you can book directly with your flight ticket, costs about 6€ p.p. and takes about 10 minutes till you get your results. With a negative test, you can travel between the islands for 14 days (with the same test).

We stayed one hour before and after the boat trip to Komodo National Park in SeaEsta Hotel and Hostel in Labuan Bajo. We loved this place as it had the perfect location, was clean and very modern. On Thursdays and Saturdays, they also have good live music on the rooftop bar from where you can also enjoy the beautiful sunset while playing billiards 💛

Seaesta Labuan Bajo

It was not so easy to find a tour operator but what we did is contacting many of them via Instagram. Because of the corona crisis and the lack of tourists, the tours mostly start on Friday and end on Sunday (2 nights / 3 days). We booked the Komodo tour via Lamborajo Liveaboard. The prices right now are very very reduced (50% to 70%) and we even got upgraded at the very last moment. Actually, we booked 2 beds in a shared room, but we were upgraded to a much bigger and better boat where we had our private room with AC and even a private bathroom with warm water 😀 On the boat we were all together 9 customers and not 18 as planned. So … I guess in a normal situation we were never going to book this luxurious version of the trip as the official price is way too high for what we want to spend for 3 days of traveling. Again, traveling this year is difficult but still has many benefits!

On the very first day of the trip, we were picked up from the hotel and started the journey to Komodo National Park. The very first stop was Kelor Island and hiking to the top of it. Afterward, we spend some time on the beach, had our lunch on the boat and in the afternoon we went snorkeling in one of the millions of coral reefs around 😊

Many people travel to Komodo National Park just to see the Komodo Dragons as they exist only in this one part of the world. The animals live on four islands in the National Park: Komodo, Padar, Gili (Komodo), and Rinca. Unfortunately, there are only about 5000 animals left…
The animal lived in isolation from the rest of the planet, which is the main reason for its long history on our planet. The dragon still has no predators (except the humans) and was not discovered by the Western world until 1910. The dragons are some of the last dinosaurs who have inhabited the Earth for 20 million years now.

Komodo dragons are a type of monitor lizard. They can grow up to three meters in length, weigh up to 80-90 kilograms (the largest found was 166 kg), run with 20 kph, and live for about 30-40 years. Komodo dragons are actually very dangerous! You are not allowed to walk alone in the park. A group of rangers with forked wooden sticks are there to protect the tourists in case of attack. The rangers told us that if the dragons are aggressive the wooden stick would not be enough – we have to run 😅 The Komodo dragons do strike out at people occasionally and there are a few attacks each year on locals who live on the islands.

The dragons can eat only once per month as they can eat their body weight in one meal! The most common foods of the Komodo dragon are deer, goats, birds, and …. other smaller Komodo dragons. Normally, when the dragons get hungry, they wait patiently and attack their snack. Only a few bites are enough for the animals to be poisoned. Komodo Dragons are indeed one of the few venomous lizards on the planet.

The Pink Beach of Komodo: actually there are 7 pink beaches in the national park, but people still think it is only one of them… We visited one of the seven beaches with pink sand and as we arrived we could see that the sand is real pink sand. It is caused by the Foraminifera, a microorganism that produces the pink and red color pigment on the coral reef. The broken coral reef pieces then washed to this beach and affect the sand color. And it turns into pink color, which this beach’s name originally comes from. Pink beaches are located in some areas in Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. The most popular one is the pink beach of Komodo Island in East Nusa Tenggara.

On the second day of our trip to Komodo National Park, we had to wake up at 4:00 in the morning so that we can enjoy the sunrise from the top of Padar Island. The top of Padar Island is the most famous panorama spot in the Komodo National Park.

Padar Island is one of the 4 islands where the Komodo Dragons are living, but the island is rather big and the number of the dragons low… so we had to wait until Komodo Island in order to see some of the dragons 🐲

Where to Stay in Komodo National Park

As you would expect from a major touristic destination in Indonesia, Komodo National Park has no shortage of options when it comes to accommodation. As always, I’d suggest you stay somewhere central, to make accessing all the attractions as easy as possible.

If you are arriving in Labuan Bajo you will be probably staying for some nights here (Labuan Bajo). Labuan Bajo is a great starting point for all activities in Komodo Nationa Park. If you are searching for more luxurious accommodation in Komodo National Park you can find many options here.

Best of Komodo

You can find alternative hotels in Komodo here.

You can find villas in Flore and Komodo here (Airbnb + up to 41 € off).

Read more reviews and compare Komodo hotel prices here.


Indonesia Accommodation:

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Indonesia Flights:

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Rental Car in Indonesia

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Indonesia Tours

If you are the type of person who prefers joining a tour, there are all kinds of guided tours around Indonesia including Komodo National Park.

Enjoy the day!




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