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Komodo is one of the 17,508 islands that compose the Republic of Indonesia. The island is particularly notable as the habitat of the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard on Earth, which is named for the island. Komodo Island has a surface area of 390 square kilometers and a human population of over two thousand. The people of the island are descendants of former convicts who were exiled to the island and who have mixed with Bugis from Sulawesi. Primarily adherents of Islam but there are also Christian and Hindu congregations.
Komodo is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and forms part of the Komodo National Park. In addition, the island is a popular destination for diving. Administratively, it is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province.
Information provided by Wikitravel
Komodo National Park lies in the Wallacea Region of Indonesia, identified by WWF and Conservation International as a global conservation priority area, and is located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores.
Komodo National Park includes three major islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller islands creating a total surface area (marine and land) of more than 1,800 km2. As well as being home to the Komodo Dragon, also known as the Komodo Monitor, or Ora (to Indonesians), the park provides refuge for many other notable terrestrial species. Moreover, the Park includes one of the richest marine environments.
The majority of the people in and around the Park are fishermen originally from Bima on the island of Sumbawa, and from Manggarai, South Flores, and South Sulawesi. Those from South Sulawesi were originally nomadic and moved from location to location in the region of Sulawesi to make their livelihoods.
Descendents of the original people of Komodo, still live in Komodo, but there are no pure blood people left and their culture and language is slowly being integrated with the recent migrants.
Little is known of the early history of the Komodo islanders. They were subjects of the Sultanate of Bima, although the island’s remoteness from Bima meant its affairs were probably little troubled by the Sultanate other than by occasional demand for tribute.
Tropical all year round, and both extremely hot and dry (>40 degrees Celsius) during August and September.
Most communities in and around the Park can speak Indonesian. Bajo language is the language used for daily communication in most communities.
HOW TO GET THERE
A flight leaving from Denpasar in Bali will take you to Labuan Bajo Airport, which is a short taxi to the pier where you can take boat trips to Komodo Island, and around the national park. A flight is the simplest and fastest option, prices go from 1,000,000 to 1,300,000 Rupiah. The route is daily served by Garuda Indonesia and Wings Air.
The only option that can take you all the way without stopping at Labuan Bajo is by boat. For divers, there is plenty of live aboard trips that will take you to dive spots, and onto Komodo to see the Dragons.
Most boat trips to Komodo from Bali sail to the north, past the Gili Islands, Lombok and Sumbawa onto the Komodo National park near Flores. Keep in mind that this area, mainly the Makassar Strait and the Flores Sea, is notorious for being difficult to navigate. Due to shallow rocky areas and currents going every direction you can imagine, accidents and shipwrecks in this area do happen, even with the most trusted tour companies. Make sure for yourself the vessel has life jackets and they are easily accessible, not tied down or secured to anything. A waterproof bag is a good idea, you can use it to carry any electronic items, such as your camera.
The bus is the cheapest and the way to go for the most adventurous. It’s not a straightforward bus ride by any means, multiple buses, ferry crossings and random stops all over the place. When taking the bus from Bali, three ferry crossings are are required, from Bali to Lombok, Lombok to Sumbawa, and Sumbawa to Labuan Bajo in Flores. Make sure to ask if these are included in your ticket and ask them to write it down.