Komodo National Park (TNK) is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia. It is located in Komodo District, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara. The area of the National Park reaches 173,000 hectares and consists of several large islands and many small islands. Tourists who want to have vacation in this National Park, can visit the 9 beautiful islands in Komodo National Park.
1. Komodo Island
The first island to be discussed is Komodo Island, which is the original habitat of a protected animal, the Komodo dragon. The island is located in the west of Sumbawa Island and separated by the Sape Strait, included in the Komodo District, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). The flora and fauna on Komodo Island are diverse.
For plants, there is the Sepang Wood Tree which is used by local residents as medicine and clothing coloring material. Other than seeing Komodo dragons in the wild, visitors can also explore the forest, climb hills or enjoy the beach atmosphere. The people who live in Komodo Village have a variety of livelihoods, including tour guides, homestay managers, tour boats, sculpture craftsmen and souvenir sellers.
2. Rinca Island
Rinca Island is one of the three main islands in Komodo National Park. The location of the island is in the west of Flores Island, Nusa Tenggara Islands, which is separated by the Molo Strait. Just like Komodo Island, Rinca Island is one of the areas that is the original habitat of Komodo animals. If Komodo Island is covered by mostly forest, Rinca Island is dominated by grasslands or savanna. It is known that there are two villages on Rinca Island, namely Papagarang Village and Pasir Panjang Village, most of whose residents work as fishermen.
The Indonesian government is known to be working on the “Jurassic Park” project in the Rinca Island area. This development is carried out so that in the future there are more tourists coming. Even so, in carrying out the development, the government claims to prioritize the protection and sustainable use of geological heritage.
3. Padar Island
Padar Island, which is one of the three largest islands in the Komodo National Park area. Those who want to go to Padar Island can travel approximately four hours by boat from Pede Beach Pier, Labuan Bajo. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the tourism sector, making the government continue to organize the Labuan Bajo area in the hope of boosting economic growth and tourism which is currently declining.
Tourists can cross on the Sumba Ocean Pinisi Ship. It is known that Pinisi Ships are mostly made in Bulukumba, which is known as the village of boat builders. During the crossing, tourists can enjoy facilities on the ship, such as meals, bedrooms, toilets and many more. Arriving at Padar Island, tourists must climb 818 steps if they want to see the beautiful scenery in the Komodo National Park area.
4. Gili Lawa
The name Gili Lawa is another name for Gili Laba, a small uninhabited island located north of Komodo Island. For tourists visiting Labuan Bajo, Gili Lawa is one of the favorite places to visit after diving. This small island offers a view of exotic hills with vast grasslands and is surrounded by a beautiful blue sea. The grassland is green during the rainy season and turns yellow during the dry season. Here, tourists can trek or climb the hill to see the view of the islands near Gili Lawa, such as Komodo Island, Kanawa, and Sebayur Island.
5. Kelor Island
Snorkeling lovers must come to Kelor Island, which is famous for its underwater diversity. If snorkeling in the Kelor Island area, tourists will be treated to around 260 types of coral reefs and thousands of species of fish. Kelor Island is still in the Komodo National Park area and is located among many other small islands.
6. Kalong Island
There are many small islands in Komodo National Park, including Kalong Island, located between Rinca Island and Papagarang Island. The local people there call it Kalong Island, because the island is covered in mangrove trees that are inhabited by millions of bats. Travel time to the island is about 35 minutes by speedboat from Labuan Bajo city.
7. Sebayur Island
Besides Kelor Island, there is another interesting place for snorkeling activities which is the Sebayur Island, located around Labuan Bajo. There is a coral reef extending southwestward from the island that forms a chasm to a depth of 30-40 meters. Travelers can dive along this reef wall to the east or west depending on the sea current. There are several spots sheltered by large boulders where giant Travellies (a type of fish), white point reef sharks as well as other large fish are often seen.
8. Gili Motang
Gili Motang Island, which is one of the small islands in Komodo National Park, has an area of about 30 square kilometers. Rinca Island is one of the habitats of the ancient reptile Komodo. Based on data in 2010 on this island alone there were 1336 Komodo dragons, while there were about 1288 on Komodo Island, 86 on Nusa Kode Island, and another 83 on Gili Motang Island. Gili Motang has a beautiful beach, tourists can play water or swim safely because the water area is quite shallow. On this island, tourists can also see the Komodo dragon.
9. Gili Dasami
Besides Gili Motang Island, there is also Gili Dasami Island which is also a small island that looks like a hill. Just like Gili Motang Island, Gili Dasami is also inhabited by a number of Komodo dragons, so tourists visiting this place can also see these ancient animals.