Visiting Komodo National Park

 Visiting Komodo National Park

Visiting Komodo National Park

Of all the most exotic places to visit in Indonesia, Komodo National Park, a chain of isolated islands from the Indonesian archipelago of Flores is sensational. Dedicated as both a Unesco World Heritage site and a Man biosphere Reserve, points to the importance of this national park and the famous Komodo dragon in its natural habitat. The tour of Komodo Island was definitely one of my favorite tours and a highlight in visiting Indonesia, a country of over 17,000 islands.

 

 

Nature inspired at Padar island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Nature inspired at Padar island – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

 

The scenic port town of Labuan Bajo - Visiting Komodo National Park

The scenic port town of Labuan Bajo on Flores island

Komodo National Park via boat tours

Getting to Komodo National park is also a fun adventure in itself. Typically you get to the 3 major islands of the park via private boat tour or you can take any of the packaged boat tour offered through the local port town of Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. There are a variety of options to visiting the national park or diving the many islands which is also a popular attraction in the area. The boat ride from Labuan Bajo to Komodo National Park takes about 45 minutes and is a scenic ride through the many smaller islands leading up to the park.

Colorful boating options and tours

 

Colorful boats at the scenic port town of Labuan Bajo - Visiting Komodo National Park

Colorful boats at the scenic port town of Labuan Bajo on Flores island

 

Hanging around the docks at Labuan Bajo

 

Waiting for the boat tour at Labuan Bajo - Komodo National Park

Waiting for the boat tour at Labuan Bajo – Komodo National Park

 

 

Labuan Bajo is a good place for getting provisions and having a meal prior to or after your days adventure exploring the park. Since there are no accommodation or camping allowed on the park, you will find the best accommodations at this port town. Or you can take a variety of boat tour packages that include stays overnight on the ships in visiting the various islands and tours offered.

Tip: for more information about housing, dining or tour operators around Labuan Bajo, check out the Flores destination site here.

 

Tour boats and fishing vessels at Labuan Bajo - Visiting Komodo National Park

Tour boats and fishing vessels at Labuan Bajo -Visiting Komodo National Park

 

Beauties on Board to Komodo National Park

It isn’t too often that you get beautiful models and travel writers to participate and enjoy the ride to the national park. With the temperatures getting warmer, our writers and models didn’t mind adding more to the natural beauty of the landscape around the boat.

Hanging out at the port deck - Komodo National Park

Hanging out at the port deck – Komodo National Park

 

Natural beauties of the Komodo islands

 

Babes on board - Komodo National Park

Babes on board – Komodo National Park

 

Exploring Komodo National Park

Composed of three major islands and some smaller islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar islands are a refuge to indigenous wildlife including the Komodo dragons, the Timor deer, Orange footed scrub fowl and a host to other unique animals and sea life within the national park. The parks main marine life and terrestrial are constantly in threat to over fishing and poaching and it is a commitment to the National parks services to educate and protect this precious biodiversity of this amazing region.

 

Exploring Rinca Island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Exploring Rinca Island – Visiting Komodo National Park

First stop, Rinca Island

We first explore Rinca Island and do a panoramic hike to discover all the amazing wildlife on the island. The longer hike takes you through forest lowlands, hilly chaparral to the peak which offer excellent views of the entire landscape and surrounding islands. The longer hike is moderate in effort and time, approximately 40-50 minutes to the peak and is definitely the better option to the shorter hike.

Tip: once on the island check in at the welcome stand at the ranger area camps and you can arrange for a tour with a local ranger. Self tours are not allowed due to the many different wildlife on the island.

 

 

Above view of Rinca Island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Above view of Rinca Island – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

Waiting for the Rinca island tour to begin

 

Waiting for the Rinca Island tour to start - Visiting Komodo National Park

Waiting for the Rinca Island tour to start

 

The dragons of Komodo

Komodo dragons at Rinca island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Komodo dragons at Rinca island – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

Welcome area to the National park

A cluster of buildings at the entrance is where you can use the bathroom, check out the gift shop or buy some snacks and cold drinks before or after your hike around the island.  You will probably pass by the official kitchen which always has a few or more Komodo dragons hanging around because of the delicious smells coming from the kitchen windows.

 

Komodo dragons by the national park kitchen - Visiting Komodo National Park

Komodo dragons by the national park kitchen – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

 

 

Water buffalo skeletons at Rinca Island welcome center

Water buffalo skeletons at Rinca Island welcome center

 

 

 

 

Peak and overlook at Rinca Island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Hiking to the peak of Rinca island

At the Rinca island welcome center, we are introduced to our  rangers and given a quick introduction and safety talk about the komodo dragons and how to behave around them. There are two options of hiking tours on Rinca island and the longer tour is the more scenic hike which typically takes about two hours.  It is a fantastic hike that covers dry chaparral, forest area and hilly with grassy terrain at the overlook area at the end of the hike. You are rewarded with magnificent and panoramic views of the entire island and the habor area below.

 

 

 

Grassy chaparral areas to the peak - Visiting Komodo National Park

Grassy chaparral areas to the peak of the park overlook point.

Grassy chaparral areas at Rinca Island

Selfie time on Rinca island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Selfie time on Rinca island – Visiting Komodo National Park

Yoga time and goofing off at Rinca Island

 

Yoga positions at the overlook on Rinca Island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Yoga positions at the overlook on Rinca Island – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

 

 

Jumping for joy at the Rinca island overlook - Visiting Komodo National Park

Jumping for joy at the Rinca island overlook – Visiting Komodo National Park

Views to the harbor at Rinca Island 

Looking down at the harbor at Rinca island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Looking down at the harbor at Rinca island – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

 

 

Model posing at Rinca island overlook - Visiting Komodo National Park

Model posing at Rinca island overlook – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

 

Scenic coastline at Komodo island, Indonesia

Scenic coastline at Komodo island, Indonesia

Komodo island visit and lunch

 

Next stop on our visit to the park was a short cruise to Komodo island for a short tour and lunch. There is also an option to tour the island on guided tours, but our group spent most of the time touring along the coastline and then having a prepared lunch at the large outdoor pavilion. The coastal areas are fairly dry with low foliage and these unusual looking trees below.

 

Unusual flora and trees at Komodo Island, Indonesia

Unusual flora and trees at Komodo Island, Indonesia

 

Fortunately, the elevated pavilion is set high with small steps to discourage the dragons from climbing up to the dining areas and surprisingly there were Komodo’s already at the base of the platform eager to join us for lunch.  It was good to have a host of guides with big wooden sticks to separate us from the komodo dragons which were very aggressive in trying to climb up the platform steps. In the end, this was the closest opportunity for the visitors to take pictures above looking directly at the Komodos and taking fantastic close ups. (images below)

 

Komodo dragons below the dining pavilion at Komodo Island, Indonesia

Komodo dragons below the dining pavilion at Komodo Island, Indonesia

Looking for a free lunch at the dining pavilion on Komodo Island

 

An aggressive Komodo dragon trying to climb the stairs at the dining pavilion on Komodo Island

An aggressive Komodo dragon trying to climb the stairs at the dining pavilion on Komodo Island

 

 

Colorful boats at the dock in Komodo Island, Indonesia

Colorful boats at the dock in Komodo Island, Indonesia

Visiting a pink beach

We have an option to visiting a pink sand beach or Padar Island for an additional hike and a group of visitors opt for a short stop to seeing the famous pink beach of Komodo Islands. Once you arrive close to the beach it really is hard to distinguish that this is a pink beach until you actually get right up to the shoreline, then you notice the smaller reddish speckles that mix in with the white sandy beach and giving a pink hue to the entire beach.

 

The pink sand beach at Komodo National Park

The pink sand beach at Komodo National Park

 

 

Landing at the pink sandy beach of Komodo National Park

Landing at the pink sandy beach of Komodo National Park

 

The pink beach up close

Close up details of the pink sand beach - Visiting Komodo National Park

Close up details of the pink sand beach – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

 

 

Pink beach details - Visit Komodo National Park

Pink beach details – Visit Komodo National Park

 

 

 

Padar Island

Padar Island is also a must see when you visit the national park. The main attraction is to climb to the peak for magnificent views of the different beaches and mountains of this stunning location. It’s a rough climb to the top but if you take it slowly you will eventually reach the peak and the views are truly spectacular. Sunset is the best time to visit so arriving late afternoon to see the sunset is worth the effort.

Climbing the peak of Padar Island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Climbing the peak of Padar Island – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

Climbing to the top of Padar Island

 

Climbing Padar Island - Visiting Komodo National Park

Climbing Padar Island – Visiting Komodo National Park

 

 

 

The Indonesian flag - Visiting Komodo National Park

The Indonesian flag – Visiting Komodo National Park

Sunset at Padar Island

Sunset on Padar Island at Komodo National Park

Sunset on Padar Island at Komodo National Park

Win a trip to visit Komodo National Park

As part of the Wonderful Indonesia Bucket List organised by the Ministry of Tourism Republic of Indonesia, there is a fantastic contest being offered to 10 lucky contestants to win a trip to Komodo island. This is your chance to win an all expense trip to visit  the famous Komodo dragons on Komodo Island to see these ancestors of prehistoric reptiles and see them in their natural environment.
Islands of Indonesia - Visiting Komodo National Park

Islands of Indonesia – Visiting Komodo National Park

Top Prizes

Nine best videos plus one most favorite video by public will win this contest. A total of 10 winners will go on a three day trip to the exotic Komodo Island, Indonesia, which is one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature. Are you ready for this, then check out the Wonderful Indonesia contest details here for more information on how to be one of the 10 lucky winners.

 

More details on Komodo National Park and Flores

For visiting Komodo National park, check out the following details and websites below. Since you will outdoors most of the time, you should be prepared for changes in weather and bring the necessary equipment and outdoor gear for this outdoor adventure.

There are no hotels or housing at the national park, you can either book a boat tour with overnight stay or take a boat tour from Labuan Bajo. Here is a list of hotels available from Labuan Bajo.

Visiting Flores and surrounding areas, Flores official website here.

If you want more information about visiting this amazing National Park, you can get more information on the Wonderful Indonesia site here.

 

Thanks for visiting Komodo National Park. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post. Thank you for hosting me on this tour Wonderful Indonesia and Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

 

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19 Responses to Visiting Komodo National Park

  1. Travelsito January 6, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

    Amazing photos! Reading this post it feels like actually being in Komodo National Park.

  2. Sand In My Suitcase December 1, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    You took some great shots of the Komodo dragons! You know we recently sailed to Komodo National Park on the lovely “Alila Purnama” – a hand-crafted teak phinisi with only 5 ensuite cabins for 10 lucky guests. It was a trip of a lifetime :-).

  3. Lyn (aka) The Travelling Lindfields November 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    I have seen, and marvelled at, Komodo dragons at Taronga Zoo in Sydney but seeing them in their natural environment must have been amazing.

  4. Tanja (the Red phone box travels) November 6, 2015 at 4:16 am #

    Wow! This looks very interesting!

  5. Charlene October 29, 2015 at 7:13 am #

    Awwwww I love your post! Just saw this.

  6. Ryan Biddulph October 28, 2015 at 3:14 am #

    Noel, stunning pictures. I love the selfie too. We never seem to make it to Komodo while doing our Bali trips. Next time for sure. Thanks much for sharing with us.

    Ryan

  7. Mei October 27, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    so well written Noel.. take me back to Komodo please!! Let’s all try and win the contest ya LOL!!

  8. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru October 27, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    What a rich and varied experience this was! From the engaging vistas of tranquil fishing boats to the otherworldly landscapes, and then the scaly dragons, this was a study in contrasts. Komodo National Park is an a zing treasure.

  9. Janice Chung October 27, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    Just wanted to say, your photos are beautiful! I really didn’t know much about Indonesia and your post was great.

  10. Tam Warner Minton October 27, 2015 at 6:24 am #

    Wow! I can’t wait to visit! I’m booked on a Citizen Science Ray of Hope Expedition next July with Marine Megafauna Foundation. I’m so excited to go…especially now that I’ve seen these photos!

  11. Rhonda Albom October 27, 2015 at 12:59 am #

    I have heard quite a bit about Komodo Island from my neighbor, but hadn’t seen photos before. What a neat place and how exciting to go and see the Komodo dragons. Beautiful shots as always.

  12. The GypsyNesters October 26, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    Wow, Komodo Park has such a stark beauty, and one of the few places where you can truthfully say, “here there be dragons.” Loved the tour, thanks.

  13. Carole Terwilliger Meyers October 26, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    What wonderful views of Komodo National Park on Padar Island. And as many good-looking girls as grizzled dragons. Did any of them chase you?

  14. Suzanne Stavert October 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    Holy cow (or dragon) what a post! Did you want to pinch yourself? When you stood so high up the vistas are breathtaking! Ironically just a week ago we met a new couple for dinner and we talked about our travels. They gave us detailed description of Komodo Island and the Park. I will forward them your article! Amazing!

  15. Lily October 26, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    Hi Noel,

    Beautiful photo series! I wanne go back!! Btw, totally loved shooting with you haha.. Can I use the photo on my blog later?
    Miss you!!! Can’t wait to read the other articles.

    X Lily

    • Noel October 27, 2015 at 4:40 am #

      Certainly, you can use with credit

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