The Komodo National Park is located in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. The entire national park, which was founded in 1980 in order to provide protection to the Komodo dragon, consists of three large islands, known as Rinca, Padar, and Komodo, along with 26 small islands.
What Is the Komodo National Park?
After it was initially named a national park, protections were established for other creatures as well, including marine species which can be found in the waters of the Komodo National Park.
The area has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Man and Biosphere Reserve, and a New7Wonders of Nature, so it's really no wonder that scuba divers flock there to immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquillity above and underwater.
How to Get to Komodo National Park?
The Komodo National Park is quickly becoming a popular scuba destination. Planning your scuba diving trip requires that you understand how to get there easily, as Komodo Island is found right in the centre of the Indonesian archipelago between the islands of Flores and Sumbawa.
One of the easiest ways to get to the island involves first flying into Indonesia. From there, head over to the island of Flores and get a ride to the village of Labuan Bajo.
A ferry ride from this village will take you straight to Komodo, your final destination. Another option would be to head over to the island of Sumbawa and take a ferry to Komodo from the city of Sape.
However, because of the risk of inclement weather canceling the ferry services, we recommend you stick with the Labuan Bajo route, as there's less of a chance of a problem due to inclement conditions.
Keep in mind that Komodo is a remote island, and travel services to the island may not be available 7 days out of the week. For example, the ferry service from Labuan Bajo to Komodo typically runs only 2-3 days out of the week.
Plan accordingly so that you can spend as much time as possible enjoying everything there is to do and see on the island.
What is the Best Time to Visit Komodo?
Although you can enjoy thrilling scuba diving expeditions throughout the year, the very best times to visit Komodo are between the months of March and June or September through December.
Also, while you can certainly visit in July or August as well, keep in mind that the weather conditions tend to be quite windy, and southern sites may be too dangerous to dive in at that time.
If you want to be sure you encounter manta rays, visit anytime between December and February, which is the rainy season. And visibility is actually at its best between November and January. Choppy conditions can be present between January and March.
Would you like to explore the amazing flora and fauna of Komodo above and below the surface? Check out these dive operators who offer liveaboard dive trips in Komodo
3 of the Best Dive Sites
Komodo National Park is unlike any other area of the world when it comes to snorkeling and diving, so it's no surprise that so many people flock to the islands every year in order to explore the undersea world.
Our top three dive sites in Komodo are:
- Batu Bolong - Renowned as a world-class dive site, Batu Bolong features a massive underwater rock at depths of 70 meters. Amidst the cracks and along the surface of the rock, you'll find a variety of hard and soft corals, schools of fish, and white tip sharks.
- Manta Alley - Visit this site between September and January for the chance to see up to 20 manta rays at once. Giant trevallies, reef sharks, colourful invertebrates, corals, wrasses, and more can also be seen here throughout the year.
- Castle Rock - The huge underwater pinnacle at this site is home to a host of gorgeous species including manta rays, giant trevallies, tuna, grey reef sharks, and occasionally dolphins as well.
Click here for dive operators who offer liveaboard and day trips to Komodo National Park.
Land Based Activities and Seeing the Dragons
In addition to exploring the world beneath the waves, Komodo National Park also has a lot to offer to those who wish to check out what's going on on land.
And for those who wish to have close encounters with the Komodo dragon, there are also ample opportunities to see them from a safe distance.
Keep in mind that the Komodo dragon is a dangerous reptile with very sharp claws and teeth that can inflict serious harm. Also, the saliva of a Komodo dragon is toxic and can cause death because of the bacteria it contains.
Photo Credit: Adhi Rachdian
Therefore, whenever you plan on taking a trip to see Komodo dragons in person, make sure a local ranger is there to guide you and make sure you stay safe the entire time.
Have you been to Komodo or would you like to go? Let us know in the comments below
Blog written by: Rutger Thole who used to be a scuba scuba instructor but he got stuck in a suit a couple of years ago. Now he is on his way back, as a the founder of bookyourdive he travels and dives as much as he can.