Tatler Travels: Chasing Dragons In Komodo With Antonia Da Cruz
Last May I went to Komodo in Indonesia for three days with a group of friends. We stayed at Sudamala Resort, Seraya, which is on an island shared with only one other resort. Our entire group scuba dived, so we did two full-day tours that combined activities on land and underwater.
Komodo National Park contains three main islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar. On the first day, we went to Padar and did a beautiful hike up to the peak, then went to the island’s pink beach, which was stunning.
After that, we went scuba diving and saw a tonne of manta rays. The dive site was beautiful. I’d never seen anything like it. It was just one manta ray cleaning station, where they come to be cleaned by smaller fish, so you just stay in one place with the current and see so many of them.
One of my friends also saw a dugong, which are very rare. Unfortunately the rest of us totally missed it. Only a couple of people have seen dugongs in the area, so it’s crazy he did. Then we went to see the Komodo dragons for the first time. Seeing them is such an adrenaline rush. They’re quite incredible but scary—they can run very fast.
The second day, we went to another island and saw even more dragons. They were everywhere. Then we did another dive at a site nicknamed Turtle City, which was amazing. You don’t even need to be a diver to see the turtles there because they keep coming up for breath. They were all around us.
On our last day we just hung around the resort before we had to leave and did some paddleboarding. The trip was phenomenal. Komodo has everything— hikes, beaches, Komodo dragons and scuba diving with manta rays. Diving in the Komodo National Park was some of the best I’ve ever done.
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Getting there: We flew to Jakarta and spent a night there before flying to Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores, about a 45-minute flight.
Days out of office: 5
Top tip: Go soon. The Indonesian government may temporarily close the Komodo National Park in 2020 to restore ecosystems and habitats.
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