Komodo National Park (Indonesian: Taman Nasional Komodo) is a national park in Indonesia located within the Lesser Sunda Islands in the border region between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara. The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones, with a total area of 1,733 km2 (603 km2 of it land). The national park was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard. Later it was dedicated to protecting other species, including marine species. In 1991 the national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Komodo National Park has been selected as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. The waters surrounding Komodo island contain rich marine biodiversity. Komodo islands is also a part of the Coral Triangle, which contains some of the richest marine biodiversity on Earth.
Komodo National Park comprises three islands—Komodo Island, Padar Island, and Rinca Island—and numerous surrounding smaller islands.
Komodo National Park is dedicated to providing a natural habitat for, and conservation of, the ancient and rare Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis). The park’s importance is acknowledged by global organizations such as UNESCO, who classified it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Not only that, WWF and Conservation International have recognized the place as a global conservation priority area. And last but not least is the park’s status as one of the New7Wonders of Nature, which has established its global significance.
Komodo Dragons can only be found on five islands in the whole world, four of which are part of the national park, plus the nearby Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara. According to scientists, this particular species has managed to survive for millions of years, making it one of the oldest species that still exists today.
Extending beyond land, the underwater species in the area is also impressive. In fact, the park has more that 50 world-class dive sites to explore, offering something for beginners to expert divers alike. Divers can almost be guaranteed an encounter with rare exotic species, from neon tropical fish to sea turtles, sponges to sea cucumbers. Many of the exquisite species of coral and fish can also be observed just by lazily floating about on the water with a snorkel.