Bucket list: Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Located within the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia, this place is magical. I can see why in 1991 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since 1980 this 1700 square kilometres area that includes the islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones, has been the protected home for the Komodo dragon, the worlds largest lizard (they grow up to 3 meters long; and believe me when I say they are unattractive wee critters). Later the park was also dedicated to protecting other delightful creatures, including thousands of marine species.

Komodo National Park has been selected as one of the New7Wonders of Nature and the waters surrounding Komodo are teeming with marine life. The area is part of the Coral Triangle, which contains some of the richest marine biodiversity on Earth.

And with that, the diving here is legend. Being in the water with 40 Mantas is a sight to behold (and a little unsettling as a squadron of them take aim at your head) along with enormous Wrasse, Sharks, Tuna and forests of coral that make Kew Gardens look a little lame. You get dizzy trying to take it all in. The camera is getting a good workout above the water. Snap below taken at sunrise on Padar, just another day in paradise.

Put this place on your list of must do’s before you kick the bucket…

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