Komodo National Park is located in eastern Indonesia, in the small Sunda Islands, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, the Sumba Sea to the south (Indian Ocean) and the Flores Sea to the north (Pacific Ocean).

Recognized as a "Biosphere Reserve" in 1977 by UNESCO, the Komodo National Park was created in 1980 in order to protect the famous Komodo Dragon, the fauna and flora of the region as well as the extraordinary wealth of its funds submarines.

In 1991 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

About Komodo

Covering an area of ​​around 1,800 km2 including 600 km2 of land, the park groups together no less than fifty islands, the 3 main ones by their size:
• Komodo
• Rinca + Gili Motang
• Padar

The main centers of interest of visitors are the beauty of the seabed, the coral reefs of an exceptional richness and variety, the volcanic and rocky islands covered with dry savannah in contrast with the white sandy beaches with water which constitute breathtaking landscapes.

There is also an incredible variety of pelagics such as blue whales, pilot whales, dolphins, dugongs, manta rays and other whale sharks, not forgetting the multitude of tropical reef fish that are an integral part of the ecosystem and the joy of bathers.

Apart from a few fishing villages scattered over Rinca, Komodo and a few neighboring small islands, few inhabitants live in the area, here it is the habitat of the legendary Komodo dragon and many endemic terrestrial and marine species.

 

The Komodo dragon:


Who is he ?

Varanus Komodoensis, more commonly known as Komodo monitor lizard or Komodo dragon due to its appearance and aggressiveness, this monitor lizard is one of a kind and can measure up to 3 meters, weight until two hundred pounds, it is endemic (we found nowhere else) and having crossed the eras it attracted the attention of scientists.
In 2018, there were around 5,000 individuals in total.

Where does he live ?

The Komodo dragon is mainly installed on the islands of Komodo, Rinca and Gili Motang, as well as in the West and North-West area of Flores, near the coast.
During the day he appreciates the hot and dry places of low altitude, the beaches bordered by tropical forests (Bay of Nusa Kode in the South of Rinca), at night he prefers to sleep underground in galleries dug with the help of his powerful claws.

What is he eating ?

Its diet is carnivorous, very varied it consists of small mammals, monkeys, goats, pigs, buffaloes, deer, birds, and other reptiles. It is mainly scavenger (feeds dead prey) but is also able to hunt small live animals by surprise by hiding in the savanna.

Recent studies contradict the idea that the Komodo monitor lizard infects its prey with bites with its powerful jaws, leading to agony and then death from septicemia, since in fact its bacteria are in too small quantities to infect prey. In the case of small prey (up to the size of a goat) they would be killed and ingested in stride, but in the case of buffalo for example or horses, it would be the water of ponds and small streams stagnants which loaded with bacteria cause septicemia in animals bitten by the monitor lizard.

 

Diving in Komodo:


The Komodo Archipelago is part of the "Coral Triangle" bounded to the north by the Philippines, to West Borneo in Malaysia, Bali to the Southwest and East Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
This geographic triangle is home to the greatest marine biodiversity in the world with 30% of the world's coral reefs and more than 30% of the fish species listed.
Komodo National Park is therefore full of dive sites considered among the richest, colorful and supplied in the world, here is a small selection:

 

Dive sites in Komodo center and north:


 

Batu Bolong (pierced rock)


Position : Center of the park, not coastal
Snorkeling possible : Yes but delicate
Depth : Ideal between 0 and -30m
Type of dive : Wall to the north and slope to the south, current can be very strong, it is dived in the area sheltered from the current
Description : Located in the center of the park, this site also called “current city”, is a rock emerging from the surface, it is classified among the most beautiful in the park because it is very full of fish and rich in coral.

 

Karang Makassar (Manta point)


Position : Center of the park, not coastal
Snorkeling possible : Yes
Depth : Ideal between -6 and -12m
Type of dive : Drift dive on a shallow reef, weak to strong current
Description : Beautiful dive for observing manta rays, along a shallow reef dotted with coral "potatoes" serving as a cleaning station for rays.

 

The Golden passage


Position : North of the park, between Komodo and Gili lawa darat
Snorkeling possible : Yes
Max depth : 20m
Type of dive : Drift in a pass between 2 islands, current
Description : This site is very interesting for its changing topography during the dive, the longest drifting distance from the park, small canyons, plateau, slopes, large isolated boulders, beautiful reefs. Many species of fish and beautiful corals.

 

The Cauldron (Shotgun)


Position : North of the park, between Gili lawa darat and Gili lawa laut
Snorkeling possible : Yes but limited
Max depth : 22m
Type of dive : Drift in a pass, down currents
Description : Its first name “the cauldron” comes from the characteristic shape of a giant cauldron dug by the turbulent current to the west of the pass. The topography is superb, we join the cauldron in the first part of the dive before observing ignobilis giant trevallies and cane beaks in a canyon, then comes the shallow plateau (6m) where we are caught up in the current on a twenty meters, the acceleration of this passage earned him the second name of “shotgun”, the shotgun!
White tip sharks, leopard rays, mantas and mobulas are also sometimes observed.

 

Crystal rock


Position : Far north of the park, not coastal
Snorkeling : No, but superb in the bay
Max depth : 30 meters
Type of dive : Underwater rocks and plateau
Description : This site is very beautiful, it offers the possibility of a beautiful underwater walk because it is quite large. A plateau at 16m is nestled between the 4 rocks that constitute the perimeter, the hanging life is very colorful (soft corals) and we observe many species of schooling fish.

 

Castle rock


Position : Far north of the park, offshore
Snorkeling : No
Depth : Ideal around 20 meters
Type of dive : Static observation
Description : Submerged and isolated rock, offshore, reserved for experienced divers, this dive is done statically facing the current to observe gray sharks, white tip sharks, dog tooth tuna and schools of reef fish, it is a real fish market!

 

Tatawa Besar


Position : North center of the park, coastal
Snorkeling : No
Depth : Ideal between -15 and -12m
Type of dive : Long drift along the island of the same name
Description : One of the most supplied reefs in “hooked life” along this superb moderate current drift, giant sponges and soft corals, habitat of a multitude of tropical fish species, turtles and reef sharks, sometimes rays, leopard and manta rays on a ride.

 

Tatawa Kecil


Position : North center of the park, island
Snorkeling : Yes at low current
Depth : From -25m to the surface
Type of dive : Large boulders, cavities and coral reef
Description : This magnificent little-visited islet offers a rocky and cut-out topographic diversity, a few cavities loaded with soft corals and sponges, large collapsed blocks and a superb coral plateau with a thousand colors in often clear water. Little life hung but very full of fish.

 

Sebayor Kecil


Position : Center of the park, coastal
Snorkeling : Yes
Depth : From -20m to the surface
Type of diving : Diving along an island of the same name
Description : 2 sites along this coast, a beautiful slope quite rich in soft corals, nudibranchs and sponges and a wall of about 20 meters, often dived at the start or end of the cruise.