Tour to Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park is located
between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores at the border of the
Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTP)
provinces. It includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and
Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totaling 603 km2
of land. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently
1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land (Banta
Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total
surface area up to 2,321 km2.
Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and was
declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere
Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. The park was initially
established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus
komodoensis), first discovered by the scientific world
in 1911 by J.K.H. Van Steyn. Since then conservation
goals have expanded to protecting its entire
biodiversity, both marine and terrestrial.
The majority of the people in and around the Park are
fishermen originally from Bima (Sumbawa), Manggarai,
South Flores, and South Sulawesi. Those from South
Sulawesi are from the Suku Bajau or Bugis ethnic
groups. The Suku Bajau were originally nomadic and
moved from location to location in the region of
Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and Maluku, to make their
livelihoods. Descendents of the original people of
Komodo, the Ata Modo, still live in Komodo, but there
are no pure blood people left and their culture and
language is slowly being integrated with the recent
The majority of fishermen living in the
villages in the vicinity of the Park are Muslims.
Hajis have a strong influence in the dynamics of
community development. Fishermen hailing from South
Sulawesi (Bajau, Bugis) and Bima are mostly Moslems.
The community from Manggarai are mostly Christians.
Most of the villages located in and around the Park
have few fresh water facilities available, if any,
particularly during the dry season. Water quality
declines during this time period and many people
become ill. Malaria and diarrhea are rampant in the
area. On Mesa island, with a population of around
1,500 people, there is no fresh water available. Fresh
water is brought by boat in jerrycans from Labuan Bajo.
Each family needs an average of Rp 100,000.- per month
to buy fresh water (2000). Almost every village has a
local medical facility with staff, and at least a
paramedic. The quality of medical care facilities is
Map of Komodo Island