The method from Bali to Flores is a flip-book of pure spectacles. Volcanoes alternate with inexperienced hills, emerald bays with steep cliffs and the million fold blue gradations of the Indian Ocean.
A tour within the Komodo Nationwide Park – turtles, manta rays, monitor lizards and a improbable nature
Once you fly from Bali with Garuda Indonesia to Flores, you’ll climb right into a small propeller aircraft that appears a bit prefer it was pulled out of a comic book strip. The slender aircraft, whose inside design appears daring (soiled seats, slender seats, low ceilings), is your first step right into a world that has little in frequent with Bali’s well-organized, established tourism.
Easy methods to get to Labuan Bajo
The simplest strategy to get to Flores/Labuan Bajo is clearly the flight. There are presently direct connections from e.g. Denpasar, Bali and Praya, Lombok. However the Komodo airport can be linked to different cities inside Indonesia, together with Jakarta and Surabaya. For extra info on connections and which airways can be found, go to Skyscanner.
Additionally a (very lengthy and exhausting) journey from Bali/Lombok over Sumbawa is feasible. The journey begins from East Lombok by ferry to Sumbawa, then to Bima after which on to Sape, the place you possibly can catch one other ferry to Labuan Bajo. Additionally, from Lombok you possibly can e book a multi-day boat journey to Flores. Highly regarded is the supplier Perama Excursions.
Komodo: Excursions and tickets
One evening in Labuan Bajo is sufficient
Arriving at Flores after about 2 hours flight, you possibly can take an affordable taxi to the town of Labuan Bajo (the airport is sort of inside the town). You’ll most likely be dissatisfied at first – slender, dusty streets, hostels and some scattered eating places: at first look Labuan Bajo doesn’t have a lot to supply. The impression persists.
After our arrival on the good Danke Lodge, which is a bit exterior the town heart, we explored the environment by foot. The poverty that characterizes the jap islands of Indonesia can’t be overseen. Provisional huts and a sparse infrastructure dominate the panorama.
The inhabitants residing in Labuan Bajo is predominantly Christian. The fishermen you’ll meet on the way in which to the nationwide park are Muslim although (they initially originated from different islands).
Key phrase fishermen: Don’t miss the evening market (Pasar Malam) within the heart of Labuan Bajo (each native is aware of the way in which to get there), the place you will get contemporary fish, shrimps, lobsters, mussels and different delicacies at a really affordable value. The cooks solely communicate Indonesian, however they actually perceive what they’ll whip up for you. Simply level your finger at it! The evening market isn’t solely visited by vacationers, but in addition by many locals – an indication that the meals must be good!
After a stressed evening within the guesthouse (the costs in Labuan Bajo are approx. 50% above the extent of southern Bali, relying on the season) we set off to “examine in” at our tour operator. We booked our tour upfront (after intensive TripAdvisor analysis). We selected Wunderpus Liveaboard.
Within the workplace our moist fits, snorkels and fins had been fitted and we needed to pay (along with the worth for the tour) varied nationwide park charges. These added as much as 20 EUR (conversion fee January 2019) per day. The charges are requested by the federal government and sometimes modified/raised. Not too long ago the Jakarta Put up printed an announcement of the governor of the area: He’s planning to boost the doorway charges for the Komodo Nationwide Park to a hefty 500 USD (no kidding) per day. Thus far, so startling.
Wild Waves on the way in which to Komodo Nationwide Park
The beginning of our tour the following day was scheduled for seven o’clock, the place we might meet our 5 worldwide companions on the pier.
There we had been taken to our boat, the “Mimic”. A former conventional fishing boat on which we had been permitted to spend the following Three days and a pair of nights. The precise Komodo Nationwide Park is a 3-Four hours boat experience from Labuan Bajo harbour. The journey there may be relying on the season (we had been on the way in which in November) nothing for the faint of coronary heart (and abdomen). Nevertheless, you may be rewarded with a panorama (above and beneath the water!) that’s second to none. Our first mooring level was Padar Island – an island that’s solely populated by (in line with the information’s assertion) “few” Komodo dragons and their important dish, deer.
Padar Island makes you sweat
The rationale why you must climb the sweaty steep steps as much as the summit of Padar Island is the wonderful view of three seashores in numerous colors: white, pink and black. The guides made certain that we, the assorted Chinese language tour teams and some backpackers reached the summit in time for sundown. This view is difficult to surpass and unparalleled: gold, white, pink, black and blue are merging into one another and are creating a powerful view of the bay. It’s well worth the climb!
The distinctive underwater world of Komodo Nationwide Park
Our evening on the boat turned out to be fascinating: all 6 friends slept on the higher deck, protected against rain by a cover. Nevertheless, it was open to the edges, which led to everybody waking up with the dawn and preparing for stacks of Banana Pancakes with Nutella, which had been ready within the small galley. A scrumptious and essential invigoration for the following stage: snorkeling with the manta rays.
So we jumped into the water, appeared down and after a couple of seconds they hovered up: magical creatures that moved as in the event that they had been flying by way of the water. Think about, these animals have a wingspan of as much as 6 meters! Increasingly more manta rays joined in. The spot was a so-called cleansing station, the place the rays lingered to be cleaned by smaller fish of parasites, fungi and filth. A washing facility so to talk and a wonderful show of nature of which we simply couldn’t get sufficient.
For snorkeling (for diving it is a given) I like to recommend that you just additionally put on a moist go well with, because it will get a bit chilly within the water (even within the tropics) when ready for rays, turtles and different marine life.
Throughout our journey we noticed manta rays, turtles or reef sharks (black- and white tip) at nearly each single snorkeling and diving cease. The biodiversity of this lovely place actually takes your breath away.
Trekking on Komodo Island
On the following day we lastly headed to the eponymous island of the park: Komodo Island.
A number of fast info about Komodo Island:
- The island of Komodo covers 390 km²
- 3000 Komodo dragons and 2000 residents dwell right here
- There’s a small village college (as much as fourth grade)
- The world was declared a nationwide park in 1980
Komodo belongs to the driest locations of the Indonesian archipelago. This may be noticed within the vegetation, which impresses with its moderately tough attraction dominated by sand, mud and bone-colored tree trunks. After we arrived on the island, we had been warmly welcomed by the native rangers and had been allowed to decide on between completely different footpaths throughout the island, which had been aptly known as “Quick Trek”, “Medium Trek” and “Lengthy Trek”. We took the medium one and it took us a bit greater than an hour. Every group was accompanied by not less than 2 rangers, one strolling in entrance and one behind, every outfitted with a stick. Strolling across the island by your self isn’t permitted (and never sensible).
If you happen to resolve to go on a trek on Komodo (which may nearly solely be booked together with a snorkeling and diving safari), refill on solar display screen, mosquito spray and a bottle (not plastic!) of water – the scorching warmth of the island shouldn’t be underestimated.
Monitor lizards – cannibal dragons
After fairly a short while we may already see the primary Komodo dragons transferring slowly however steadily (they’ll run as much as 20 km/h quick if they need) throughout the new sand. Think about them like mini dinosaurs. With their cut up tongue they’re able to seize smells within the air, so it’s continually in motion, transferring forwards and backwards much like the tongue of a snake.
The information advised us that Komodo dragons solely eat about as soon as a month; it takes them about 15-20 minutes to devour a goat or deer. As digestion and decomposition of their meal takes a very long time, the lizards lie within the solar after a meal to hurry up digestion. If they’d not achieve this, the prey would rot within the stomach of the dragon and poison it from the within. A lot of the lizards we noticed moved forwards and backwards within the solar fairly leisurely.
Not-so-fun info about Komodo dragons:
- The dragons weigh a median of 70 kg and are thought-about an endangered species; they’ll solely be discovered on Komodo, Rinca and Padar.
- Komodo dragons are cannibals – and likewise prefer to eat their kids! These rescue themselves by spending the primary couple of years of their lives primarily on timber.
- There have been some incidents involving people and lizards, so staying on the paths and following the rangers will increase your likelihood of not turning into a dragon snack.
Regardless of these considerably intimidating info, I strongly suggest that you just go and go to these prehistoric trying animals. Along with your go to, you’re additionally serving to to keep up the Nationwide Park and protect many uncommon species of fauna and flora threatened by extinction.
Komodo is value it!
After the arrival by boat in Labuan Bajo on the third day we loved a pizza in La Cucina – a restaurant with Italian residence cooking widespread amongst each Italians and different vacationers with its lovely view of the harbour and the illuminated ships. Right here you possibly can calm down and end your journey, share journey tales with different vacationers or simply eat a pizza.
A visit to Komodo is actually not a cushty journey to leisure and lounge – however an journey to marvel, sweat, expertise and uncover unforgettable sunsets, unusual primeval animals, elegant manta rays and really feel the salt in your pores and skin. Go to so long as the admission remains to be affordable and the islands aren’t overrun with vacationers but – it’s value it!
Concerning the creator
If she’s not doing yoga or racing round Indonesia on a motorbike, Lisa will probably be discovered near a turquoise seaside, ideally a glass of crimson wine in her hand and sand between her toes. Having lived in Southeast Asia for greater than Four years, she’s fallen deeply for this a part of the world – if solely there was extra ‘actual’ Pizza round! You possibly can comply with her travels and hunt for pizzas on Instagram: @lisa_asia
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