Indonesia – Flores and Komodo Islands

We spent a week on Flores, staying at two lovely hotels, one in Labuan Bajo on the mainland and the other on a small island called Seraya, just a short boat ride away. Both were fabulous!

In Seraya, the hotel had a series of lovely beach huts, with a truly spectacular ‘house reef’ just in front of you! The snorkelling there was quite magical, fantastic coral and an amazing array of tropical fish that you can reach from the beach or via the jetty, no boats needed!

We took a day trip to visit the Komodo National Park, first stop was Pandar Island. A walk up the 800 steps to the top of the hill provides a rather special view back across the island’s many bays, showing white, black and pink sand beaches.

Pandar Island’s Hilltop View

From here we went to the pink beach, where we did some snorkelling and had some lunch, it was special being the only boat there.

The red coral making the pink sand

Next stop Komodo Island, although the weather started to turn, providing a moody sky and plenty of rain too. Well it is the rainy season and it’s also why the landscapes are so lusciously green!

As you enter the Komodo National Park you are greeted by the entrance signs below, it feels a little bit like the scenes from Jurassic Park!

You get assigned a local guide for your visit and are led along one of three different paths through the forest. Our guide had a long wooden stick which we assumed was there to fend off any approaching Komodo dragons in our path!

We took the short path as it was absolutely pouring with rain and we managed to get completely soaked without seeing anything except a wild boar hiding in the undergrowth!

At the and of the path we saw our first dragon lying prostrate on the beach in the rain. It didn’t seem very lively but did raise its head as we got close and passed it by! However, you still keep a healthy distance!

Well camouflaged Komodo!

As we walked back towards the exit we saw our second, even larger Komodo, lying on an old wooden jetty, also prostrate and seemingly disinterested in us, although we kept a safe distance just in case!

Heading closer to the park exit and past the stalls selling gifts and food, we spotted our third and final Komodo dragon, this one appearing out of the forest walking towards us with its long yellow tongue tasting the air like a snake! Seeing them move is far more interesting and gives you a better sense of their size and potential power!

Check out those claws!

Overall it was great to see these prehistoric animals in a natural habitat although it might have been more fun without the heavy rainfall! It would also have been great if more information was available on site to provide insights about the park and these wonderful creatures.

Our final stop was snorkelling in an area of the sea which is known for spotting Manta Rays. This was incredible with literally tens of these giant creatures either side of the boat where you could see their wing tips surface the water.

I did brave the very choppy sea to try and capture some pictures but I spent more time trying not to drown than getting photos so nothing more than a tale to tell here! It’s a great trip and I think it’s the same itinerary for most trips.

Next stop back to Bali then a boat ride to the Islands off of the north and south west of Lombok

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