Top 3 Must-Do’s at the Komodo National Park
Visiting the Komodo National Park might be on your bucket list but if you only have a few days to spare, there might be quite a few things you’d be missing. Komodo National Park alone covers a total area of 1,733 km2 (603 km2 of it land) and aside to the Dragons, there are plenty of wildlife, culture, history, people and natural attractions that you would want to see.
But worry not! Plenty of travellers have explored the Komodo National Park in just three days! And if you’re planning to do the same, here are the top 3 must-do activities that you mustn’t miss out on while you’re there.
- See the Komodo Dragons
The Komodo Dragons can be found on Komodo Island and Rinca Island, both part of the Komodo National Park. The Komodo Dragon is so popular and renowned throughout the world that the Flores Tourism department has adopted the creature as its very own ambassador. The local government even renamed the Labuan Bajo airport in its honour. These giant lizards attract thousands of tourists to its habitat every year. When visiting the Komodo Dragons, it is compulsory to be accompanied by a guide.
After seeing the Dragons, you could go on guided tours around the Komodo National Park, which would include visiting the surrounding islands; Komodo, Rinca Island and Padar Island. This would include activities like visiting the Pink Beach, snorkelling at Manta Point and trekking at Gili Laba.
- Go Snorkeling or Diving
Photo courtesy of GuidePlanet.com
Flores’ underwater world is filled with a rich and colourful marine life, which you’ll be able to observe just by snorkelling. The calm underwater current near the shoreline helps provide for good visibility and you’ll get to come close to sea turtles, stingrays, reef sharks, lobsters and all kind of big and small fish. The marine area around Komodo National Park is a world-famous dive site and is home to over 1000 species of fish and more than 350 reef-building corals.
Divers would be enthralled with the explosion of colours in the variety of dive sites that can be found around Komodo. Expect many different types of dive sites where you can search out the unique and wonderful, swim into caves or through boulders, dive-drop from pinnacles or underwater cliffs, or simply just drift in the brilliant, clear water with the abundance of marine life in the richest and most colourful reef areas you would ever encounter.
- Witness a Caci Dance
Photo by Wildland.com
If you could only have one dose of culture while you’re there then this is it. The Caci Dance is no regular dance – it is an ancient warrior whip fight, a spectacularly breathtaking performance accompanied by loud drums and gongs to showcase two warriors from neighbouring villages coming together in a duel. Dressed from head to toe in traditional Manggaraian warrior outfit, both men will be carrying a whip, shield, masks and sticks. Every aspect of this ancient ritual is laden with symbolism referring to the male, female, earth and the sky.
The men wear traditional cloth called the Songket and a pair of pants. Around the ankles and hips, bells are tied to give off a sound during the fight. The upper body remains free of clothes so that when the whip lashes, blood can be visible. This is seen as an offering to the ancestors, who will then ensure good harvests in the coming year.
Caci used to be performed during Penti, a festival held after the harvests but nowadays it is performed more often as an attraction for foreigners; both domestic and international.
Best of Flores – Flores Plus Magazine
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In this section, you’ll find interesting tips and articles on everything Flores related over a wide range of topics including culture in Flores, people of Flores, destinations in Flores including the Komodo National Park, wildlife in Flores including the Komodo Dragons, diving and snorkeling in Flores, sailing around Flores, dining in Flores, accommodations in Flores, shopping in Flores and so much more. Flores Plus is part of the PT. Trijaya Dewata family, a premier publishing and media brand in Bali and Indonesia. Established in 1996, it has decades of experience with multiple titles in three languages published over the years. With the launch of Flores Plus, the company now will lead the way as one of the pioneers of tourist media in Flores and Komodo. Available now in English and soon in Japanese, the magazine has a strong online presence and engagement via its website, daily e-newsletters and social media platforms which are updated daily.