Flores & Komodo holidays
Flores is the place to come for Indonesian nature, its awe-inspiring volcanic landscape protected by Komodo and Kelimutu National Parks. The Komodo Dragon can be seen on the island’s west coast, and also boasts its very own enormous species, the Flores Giant Rat. This can grow over a metre long when you include its tail, and half a metre without, which is still pretty impressive for a rat!
Ecotourism is only just flowering, here, with good birdwatching and treks to be had along with some great diving, although make sure you use a reputable diving company as some have been involved with reef damage along the north coast.
Perhaps the island’s most astonishing sight are the three crater lakes that lie within the Kelimutu volcano. Naturally coloured by minerals dissolved from the rocks, one is often bright blue, another green and the third red, although the colours change suddenly from time to time.
Local legend holds that the lakes are the spiritual resting place of their ancestors, whose shifting moods cause the colours to alter. The surrounding landscape is beautiful, with diverse forest, flowers and birdlife.
Your trip here can include homestays with traditional local communities; Flores has a diverse tribal history, with several local dialects surviving the centuries of interaction with Portuguese colonists and sandalwood traders.
Komodo National Park
Known for the unique Komodo Dragon - the world’s largest lizard, at 3 metres long - Komodo and little neighbouring Rinca are visually spectacular. Their green volcanic peaks and tropical savannah are evocative of some prehistoric landscape an effect that is only enhanced by the enormous reptiles that saunter the beaches with their tongues hanging out!
Komodo National Park encompasses Komodo, Rinca, Padar and the west coast of Flores island. It’s held up as the epitome of National Park best practise, with pristine reefs and rich marine life making it an excellent choice for diving, as well as coming to observe its unique onshore wildlife.
The park offers some of the most amazing snorkelling we have ever experienced - crystal clear waters inhabited by sharks, manta rays, turtles and intricate coral species. Kayaking is another great alternative way to discover the islands.
* Komodo National Park is comprised by 29 Islands, one of which is called Komodo Island. There is rumour that the authorities will close this particular island for 1 year commencing the 1st January 2020, but there has been no official confirmation of this from the authorities. We will keep abreast of the situation.
The Komodo Dragons experience would still be available on Rinca island which is actually the main one visited to see the dragons in any case. The other islands in Komodo National Park such Padar Island with its beautiful bays, Pink beach and all the snorkelling / dive spots would also remain open for visitors.
Scuba dive the Flores Sea
Amazing visibility, spectacular marine life, & 28°C in the water? This is many a diver’s paradise, & Indonesia offers diving to suit all abilities. The tiny Gilis alone boast at least 25 sites, from beginner-friendly to technical wrecks, with turtles, corals, sea snakes & rays amongst their countless intriguing species. Around Lombok, find relaxed, colourful reef dives at Sekotong, & technical/pelagic bliss off Belongas Bay.
Further east, the currents of Komodo National Park are more demanding. This is not for beginners, but the practised diver is rewarded with sharks & huge gliding manta rays. Choose from a handful of recommended liveaboards, or the Komodo Resort if sleeping on dry land feels preferable. All provide expert supervision for confident divers, & even non-divers can snorkel from boats & see a fabulous array of marine-life through the astonishingly clear waters around Flores & Komodo.