Kalong Island is a small island within the Komodo National Park that is home to some colonies of bats. A famous tourists’ attraction, Kalong, which literally means bat when translated, is located between Rinca and Papagarang Island and is easily accessible from Labuan Bajo by speedboat within an hour’s journey.
The mangrove forest in which the bats live is an important asset to the balance of nature. The best time to see the bats is just before sunset as the animals will fly out in search of food. During the day the bats will hang upside down, most of the time sleeping. When it is time to feed, the bats will rise to the air in a massive cloud and fly out in search of fruits, nectar and flowers. Usually they fly towards Labuan Bajo in search of their food.
If you’re planning to visit Kalong Island to witness this spectacular phenomenon, understand that you will be watching from your boat as the island is not accessible for humans. The mangrove forests are very dense and are located near the water. On the island, there is large population of venomous snakes, not something that you would like to bump into!
Photo courtesy: Erwin Kok
- Visit the island well-prepared
- Have the recommended vaccinations
- Take the boat to Kalong island
- Bring a good photo camera