Business as usual in Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park has been in the news a lot this past month. News and misinformation have been mixed up. The fact is now Komodo National Park is still open, only Komodo Island may be is closed. Want to know more about diving with Hammerhead sharks? Click here to read our exciting facts about hammerhead sharks blog.

Latest news as of 5 October 2019

Komodo National Park remains OPEN

“The Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia, Arief Yahya, welcomed the decision to keep Komodo Island National Park in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). The areas will remain open for tourists from Indonesia and overseas.”

“Guntur Sakti highlighted that the decision from the meeting at the office of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, in principle, they are aligned with the result from the research team. It stated that Komodo Island does not need to be closed, because there was no basis for closure from an ecological, social, and economic aspect.”

“Based on the result from the komodo population monitoring by the Komodo National Park Centre and Komodo Survival Progamme (KSP); it was found that over the past five years, the komodo population fluctuated in a relatively stable trend, between 2,400-3,000 Komodos. The presence of tourist in the tourism area within the Komodo National Park is not a factor in the decrease of the komodo population.”

Press release from Guntur Sakti

Acting Head of the Public Communication Bureau Ministry of Tourism of The Republic of Indonesia

Komodo Dragons in Komodo Island, Rinca and Padar Island

Komodo National Park is world famous due to the Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis) that roam the islands. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site as the dragons only exist in this area and no where else in the world. Their declining total of around 5000 individuals make them a very vulnerable species.
Recent  events
In March 2019 when Indonesian police in the East Java city of Surabaya reported that a criminal network had been caught trying to smuggle 41 young komodo out of Indonesia. The plan was said to include shipping the animals to several other countries in Southeast Asia through Singapore. It was hoped that the animals could be sold for up to Rp 500 million (around US$ 35,000) each.[83] It was believed that the komodo had been smuggled out of East Nusa Tenggara province through the port at Ende in central Flores.

Our Bali-Komodo-Bali 2020 cruises will be “business as usual !”

Says Kay from Mermaid Liveaboards. The current information is that only Komodo Island may temporarily close from January 2020 (for potentially 1 year) and only for land tours. Here’s some detail and a copy of the most relevant news report :-

1.         By July this year, the parties wishing the closure have to submit their reviews to government in Jakarta… assuming their wishes are granted.

2.         The plan is to close ONLY Komodo Island and only to land visits.The Komodo National Park and Marine Park is made up of many many islands.  We will move our dragon walks to Rinca Island. The 2nd largest island in the Komodo National Park and where frankly we already frequently go walking with the dragons . Plus we see dragons on the beach at Horseshoe Bay in the south of Rinca Island. Home to the world famous dive sites Cannibal Rock and the Yellow Wall of Texas. So guests will “not miss out” nor do they need to consider delaying any trips to 2021…

3.         Diving, snorkelling etc will not be affected. Our schedules will deliver the best of the best from the Komodo National Park plus the Nusa Tenggara region including all the Komodo national Park islands we dive already plus Moyo Island, Sangeang Island, Gili Banta.  There is currently no itinerary revision for diving/snorkelling at all !

4.         No land visits will be affected apart from Rinca dragons trek instead of Komodo Island dragon trek…

Nusatara Liveaboard Komodo Indonesia Komodo dragon dragon hand
From the Jakarta Post 12 Feb 2019

 Plans to close one of Indonesia’s hottest tourist destinations, Komodo National Park, which encompasses a cluster of islands in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), continue to move forward, as the government is set to announce a decision on a year-long shutdown slated to begin on January 2020.

 NTT Tourism Agency head Marius Ardu Jelamu explained that the closure, aimed at habitat restoration, would only apply to Komodo Island, which is the largest island in the park that is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.”We will close it temporarily in January 2020, but not entirely, only Komodo Island,” Marius said recently, as quoted by

 The national park, which is located in West Manggarai regency, comprises three larger islands, Komodo, Padar and Rinca, as well as 26 smaller ones that overall span 219,322 hectares, according to UNESCO.

Home to a population of about 5,700 giant lizards, its conservation is overseen by the Environment and Forestry Ministry. The national park is the only place in the world where people can see the endangered Komodo dragons in their natural habitat.

Marius said that both regional and central governments had been working on the restoration plans together, and a team of relevant stakeholders had been formed in order to make a joint assessment of the closure, with the results expected to be submitted to the ministry by July…”

You can still see Komodo Dragons in the wild in one of the other islands in Komodo National Park!

Some more information about Komodo Dragons
Komodo Dragons are the largest species of lizards alive today and can grow up to 3 meters. They will ambush their prey by waiting for it to enter its site. It will than attack with sudden speed. They have glands in they mouth that secrete poisonous proteins, so if the prey didn’t die in the first attack it will in the next few days. Their diet consists of deer, wild pigs, horses, buffalo, goats, birds, chickens and reptiles and their own young. Due to their slow metabolism they can live of 12 meals a year!
Mating time is from May to August with eggs laying in august – September. Females will hide and camouflage their nests as much as possible from other adults trying to eat the eggs the young dragons. The youngsters will live their first years in trees for protection of their relatives.

Komodo Dragons are capable of parthenogenesis this is when a female lays eggs that hatch without being fertilized by a male.

Nyaman Liveaboard Indonesia Komodo dragon

Take at look at our liveaboards in the Komodo area and join one of the many cruises we offer to this amazing destination.