Discover the famed Komodo dragons
These ancient animals are no doubt the main draw when it comes to the list of fauna one thinks of when visiting Flores. Famed as the world’s biggest lizard, these creatures are able to kill a man as a result of infection, just with a single bite of their strong and deadly jaw. The experience of going to Flores Komodo National Park itself is one that struck an impression. The remoteness of the area makes both the Komodo and Rinca Island isolated places, seemingly untouched by civilization. It feels as if you’re brought back to prehistoric times.
Manta rays: swim with the oceans’ gentle giants
The mantas are consistently one of the most popular marine creatures that divers from all corners of the world travel far for. The seas of Flores are still pristine, and undoubtedly rich in nutrients. Mantas live in tropical and subtropical waters, so Indonesian climate is among the favorite areas where mantas live. This creature has been described time and again as majestic, and the experience of being able to swim with them absolutely wondrous. Find out for yourself by going on a Komodo liveaboard to dive and snorkel in areas that only boats can reach.
Meet the divers and fascinating sea turtles of Flores
Famed for boasting the largest marine biodiversity in the world, it’s no surprise that five out of seven sea turtle species in the world live and thrive in Indonesia. And you can encounter all five of those sea turtles in the Flores oceans. Discover the loggerhead turtle, the hawksbill turtle, green turtle, leatherback turtle, and the Olive Ridley turtle. Some of the species are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN, and there is a conservation effort that runs on donations and volunteers. Help make a difference!
Catch sight of the reef sharks in the Flores seas
The reef sharks prefer shallow waters as opposed to the deep sea, and this is especially true for the younger sharks. The reef sharks of Flores are not large in size, with a length not exceeding 5,2 feet or 1,6 meters. They are active predators of the sea and they feed on crustaceans, small fishes, seabirds, and sea snakes. Flores is a place where the sighting of these sharks are certainly not rare, where you can encounter them near the coral reefs and shallower waters.
See the whales from afar if you’re in luck
Several species of whales live in the Flores waters. Flores and the surrounding islands housed one of the last living traditional whale hunters who catch whales as a tradition from hundreds of years ago. One of the most well-known area to catch a sight of these magical sea creatures is the Alor sea. It’s recommended to have a solid experience of diving first before going to dive in Alor, as the currents can be rather strong.
Meet the Dugongs: gorgeous marine mammals
The dugongs are one of the only living species of the family Dugongidae, as their relative, the Stellar’s Sea Cow, was extinct in the 18th century thanks to hunting. Today, this fascinating mammal live and thrive in the nutrient-rich oceans of Flores. Being able to encounter a dugong is among divers’ great pride and joy. Did you know that the dugongs are the only strictly-herbivorous mammal living in the sea? They mostly feed on seagrass, and the existence of supporting ecosystems such as the mangroves are extremely important to their survival.
Glimpse at the ferocious barracuda fishes
The barracudas are predatory fishes found in tropical and subtropical waters. They prefer the top areas of the waters as well as areas near beds of sea grasses and coral reefs. This fish is highly distinctive thanks to its appearance: long and almost snake-like, with pointed head shape and sharp teeth. This creature is known to be ferocious and sometimes likened to a piranha. Despite this, being able to take a look at the school of barracuda as they swim through the oceans is a fascinating sight.
Watch the dolphins freely swimming and playing in the open sea
The seas of Flores have been identified as an important route for migration for numerous marine species migrating from the Pacific Oceans and Indian oceans. Aside from several species of tuna (yellowfin, albacore, etc.), seabirds, and cetaceans, the dolphins are among the marine inhabitants to pass through the route. Catch a playful group of dolphins—good news for you, they have been reported to be sighted quite regularly. The fabled underwater world of Komodo National Park and Flores is truly a fascinating experience in and of itself.
Flores terrestrial biodiversity: from buffalos to snakes
While talking about the marine biodiversity of the Flores and Komodo National Park is endless, the biodiversity on Flores’ rich lands are definitely noteworthy as well. Various species of snakes live on the island, as numerous areas of the islands are barely untouched by civilization. Catch the buffalos taking a bath to cool off their body in a pool of muds. Watch out for monkeys and if you’re lucky, catch sight of wild deers during one of your trekking adventures in Flores.