Komodo and Flores holiday in Indonesia

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Komodo and Flores holiday in Indonesia

Environment

There are a number of organisations on Flores trying to encourage the island to become a responsible eco-tourism destination. They plan to achieve this by encouraging the local government to provide the basic infrastructure to support tourism needs, while at the same time encouraging preservation of indigenous cultural values.

Flores is really away from the main tourist trail and is a relatively unspoilt island in comparison to the Komodo National Park which is popular due to its wildlife and fantastic diving. Accommodation on mainland Flores is still very basic away from Labuan Bajo and we have included a number of locally run guest houses.

The Kelimutu Eco Lodge protects a coffee plantation and its gardens provide a natural habitat to many species of birds and butterflies. The Lodge also utilises solar power as well as using composting and recycling systems. All these initiatives are championed by the local owners of the lodges.

Community

We source local Flores guides and drivers for all of our tours and use local boats for our cruises around the Komodo National Park, which is a driving force in the local community which is heavily based on tourism.

During your trip you will at a local bed and breakfast that is run by nuns from a convent in the area, and much of your accommodation will be with locally owned hotels and guesthouses. Staying in these locally owned properties not only ensures you directly contribute, but also allows for a greater insight into local life.

Much of the itinerary around Flores is overland and you will have the chance to visit local villages and see first-hand many of the local practices used in farming and in making handicrafts on the island.

The Bintang Flores also runs local initiatives and fund raising events to help local villages and under-privileged children, and is a significant employer in the local area.

1 Reviews of Komodo and Flores holiday in Indonesia

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 26 Oct 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The trip upriver on the house boat in Tanjung Puting NP, Kalimantan, was extremely comfortable and enjoyable. There were lots of orangutan sightings at
the feeding stations. The fireflies in the nipa palms on the river banks are fabulous. The reefs in the Komodos Islands are simply some of the most stunning in the world and the variety of corals and sealife is prolific for the snorkeller including: manta rays, stingrays, turtles and reef sharks. The exodus of fruit bats from the mangrove island at sunset is spectacular. Indonesia is an extremely safe and secure place and the people are incredibly welcoming, friendly and helpful. Air travel is very efficient and easy. The road infrastructure is generally well developed although a 4wd is highly desirable on Flores.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for extreme heat - the level of humidity exacerbates the impact. Mosquito repellent and light clothing plus antimalarials are essential. Do not expect lots of wild orangutang sightings - they are very solitary and the jungle in Tanjung Puting is largely inaccessible. The village visits on Flores are interesting but only the most remote ones provide a truly authentic insight into traditional culture and lifestyle. Most of those visited are contemporary adaptions of lifestyle. Much of the Flores section of the trip is spent on winding mountain roads and there is a problem with litter at the roadside and on some beaches in Flores. The Komodos Islands can be exposed to strong breezes at certain times of year which can make the seas very choppy, particularly in the afternoon,
restricting travel and making it quite uncomfortable for some. Komodo dragons are very lethargic, particularly when they have fed and in the afternoons, visit them in the morning if at all possible.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Many parts of the trip had addressed sustainability (eg reusable water bottles, solar power, recycling and waste disposal initiatives). However diesel
generators were in use for a/c at night, without which it might have been very uncomfortable, however this needs addressing. Although local communities benefit indirectly through employment and tourist purchases, there was no obvious community-owned accommodation as in other countries (some was Indonesian owned). There are plenty of opportunities to purchase weavings and carvings directly from the villagers.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was not the most dramatic or remote adventure that we have experienced, which was a surprise but everything went to plan and the Indonesians are
extremely friendly - and the food is plentiful and excellent, with no health worries.

Read the operator's response here:

We have found that staying on the klotok boats in Kalimantan gives a better experience than staying in the lodge option and we are proud to be supporting local people through employing them to build/maintain/staff the boats for our clients. The diesel generator is certainly a downside and we are in discussion with our local partners to seek a greener alternative if possible.

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