A small island of 280 square km, Komodo Island is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. It is famous for its giant pre-historic lizards, considered the last of their kind remaining the world today. Called “ore” by the local people, Komodo “dragon” (Varonus Komodoensis) is actually a giant monitor lizard.
Growing up to 3 to 4 meters in length, its ancestors roamed the earth up to about half a million years ago. The only human population on the island is at the fishing village called Komodo who supplement their income-breeding goats. which are used to feed the lizards. Law protects the Komodo and although they are considered harmless, it is advisable to keep them at a distance. Komodo Island is now a nature reserve, home to a number of rare bird species, deer, and wild pigs, which are prey to the lizards as well. This island can be reached by boat from Labuan Bajo.
The park boasts one of the world’s richest marine environments including coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, seamounts and semi-enclosed bays and is declared as World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. These habitats harbor more than 1,000 species of fish, 260 species of reef-building coral and 70 species of sponges. The climate of Komodo National Park is hot, dry and relatively barren compared to their lush, jungle-filled neighbors.
Here you can catch a guided tour to the famous dragons, monitor lizards that can reach a length of 3 m (10 ft) large, ferocious predators, the dragons are capable of consuming fully grown human as they slowly sashay past, their eyes leery staring menacingly and their forked tongues flickering, it is easy to imagine the strenght of their massive laws and powerful claws. With their short legs, it is difficult to comprehend that these lumbering creatures can run as fast as a dog.
The dragons are also excellent swimmers and it is common for them to travel between the islands. Although the stunning pink and grey beaches of these islands are open for visitors, you should watch out for the dragon’s foot and tail prints in the sand.
Pink Beach Pink Beach is located just in front of the old dragon feeding station in East Komodo, directly across the bay from Komodo Village. Snorkeling here is excellent over a healthy shallow reef. Diving is at the reef edge where the bottom drops down to 25 meters. Thousands of fish of every color and shape are here including regal angelfish, checkerboard wrasse and masked unicorn fish, against a beautiful backdrop of acripora corals, gorgonian fans and sponges. Mantis shrimps are always in attendance with their housekeeping as they remove rock from their burrows. Their darting bulbous eyes are thought to the most complex in nature, and they can strike prey with a crustacean karate chop from its claw, hard enough to crack a pane of glass.
Cannibal Rock lays in the channel just to the South of Rinca Island and one kilometer off the Northern coast of nearby Nusa Kode. It is a truly world-class dive site and one of the top sites in Komodo scuba diving. Out of the depths, you may be visited on your dive by curious black-blotched stingrays, out on a hunting foray. Black snappers are also prevalent here with many juveniles, conspicuous in their black and white striped colors. Making your way to the east and the north you’ll be astounded by the sizes of the purple gorgonian fans, some over two meters tall. These fans are home to the pygmy seahorse. Be on the lookout for yellow-ribbon sweetlips-endemic to Komodo and sweeps of gold-striped fusiliers.
This pinnacle just breaks the surface off the Northern side of the two small islets to the North of Komodo main island. Diving with cuttlefish is another excellent dive site and very similar topographically to the famous GPS Point. The reef is packed with bronze and rust colored sponges and soft tree corals. You’ll see black snappers, large cuttlefish, pyramid butterflyfish, and several red octopuses. Strong currents normally prevent dives on Gili Lawa and the correct conditions must exist before undertaking any dive here. One of the delights of diving in Indonesia is that the area is so large and the dive sites so numerous that it is possible to come across fantastic sites, which are still relatively unchartered.
White Angels steep reef and wall are at their best early morning when pelagic fish are out to feed on the bounty provided by the swift currents. From a shallow sheltered bay, the reef quickly drops to 35m and then beyond. You’ll need to swim against a current over a short distance to gain the corner of the bay, but once around it do the currents with queen mackerel, yellowtail tuna, and grey reef sharks as you drift along assist all plain sailing. A quarter of an hour or so into your dive and you’ll come into a shallower reef section in still water. Here you’ll find a fantastic array of sponges and corals. Lionfish, batfish and oval-spot butterflyfish are here, along with countless and colorful nudibranchs.
Simirlarly, information about the best dive sites in Komodo National Park. Snorkeling and diving is the right thing if you want to see the location of underwater paradise that is located here. Hopefully this article can serve as a reference for the tourists who will plan dives in Komodo National Park.