The rumour has been seeping out this two last year and recently the authoritative has made it official. The Komodo Island, home of the last dragons on earth, are going to be closed for a year stating from January 2020. The original plan was to close the it in this 2019, but protests from tour companies compelled the official to reconsider the plan and push it into the next year. Illegal smuggling of 40 Komodo dragons triggered the closure plan. Government are now attempting to made the Komodo Island as a pure conversational area, trying to repopulate the dragons and its prey, and improve the conservation efforts at whole. While we know the attempt would be doing good to our beloved and endangered Komodo dragons, the main question still hang in the mind of many travelers. Could we still have a Komodo tour while the Komodo Island is closed?
The answer is yes, and this is how.
Planning a Komodo Tour without Komodo Island
First of all, you need to understand that the famed Komodo Island is not the only part of the Komodo National Park. See, the national park is comprised of around twenty island and the vast Flores Sea in between. Having the Komodo Island closed doesn’t have to be the end of everything. Komodo Island might be the biggest island in the national park, but you still have dozens other gorgeous smaller islands and a handful of dive sites to explore. Rest assured knowing that the rest of the park remains open. You could also venture on the mainland Flores which also offers an unparalleled beauty! Think of the three-changing-coloured crater lake of the Kelimutu Mountain, the megalithic village of Bena, and the breathtaking Wae Rebo cone-shaped village in the top of foggy mountain.
Which island could I visit on my Komodo Tour?
As said above, the rest of the park is open for visitors, all time throughout the year. That means you could practically go anywhere as the normal Komodo tour would do except for the Komodo Island. You could go to Padar Island for its phenomenal aerial landscape. If you want to have series of beach galore, consider to head on Kelor, Kanawa, and the Taka Makassar. For a sense of getting lost in undulating savannah hills, go to the Gili Lawa Darat, Sebayur, and Siaba Besar. And if you want to see the legendary Komodo Dragons, opt for Komodo Rinca tour! Yes, some of the Komodo Dragons live in Rinca, and they would still be visible albeit being more difficult to spot on.
And as always, you would have endless opportunity to snorkel and dive in Komodo’s waters! Don’t forget that the Komodo is incredibly rich in marine diversity. It’s world-class and only second best after the Raja Ampat in West Papua. Having Komodo Island off the list won’t really disturb your Komodo tour, you see.
Will the Komodo Island Ever Open Again?
The plans of Komodo Island closure has undoubtedly put the Komodo tour businesses at unease. After all, the prehistoric Komodo Dragons is the one that boost this region into fame in the first place. A total, perpetual closure of Komodo Island would almost certainly bring a serious impact to the tourism industry. In regard of this matter, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo said to apply strict limitation of tourism access to the Komodo Island. After a year of total closure, the island is said to be opened for the deep-pockets only. Later on, the island would put limited tourist quota restriction and charge higher entry fee to compensate the conservational efforts.