Update (5 Oct 2019): Based on the latest report by CNN, the Indonesian Government has announced that Komodo Island will remain open in 2020. However, the country's Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan shared that they will introduce a two-tier membership system that only allows premium members to visit Komodo Island, and others to the neighbouring islands. At the time of writing, the tourism ministry has yet to announce the prices of these annual memberships. Stay tuned for the latest updates.
We're sad to share that one of our top Muslim-friendly destinations in 2019
, Komodo Island will be closed for a year starting January 2020. As reported by Indonesian weekly magazine, Tempo
, the provincial government of East Nusa Tenggara has greenlighted the move after consulting with the Ministry of Forestry's Forest Protection and Natural Conservation.
Credit: Giphy The decision was made after the illegal smugglings of Komodo dragons came to light. In a recent clampdown, these endangered monitor lizards were sold for Rp 500 million (USD 35,138.89) each.
The temporary closure will only take place in Komodo Island, which means you can still visit other parts of Komodo National Park. During the closure, visitors will be directed
to Rinca Island where these reptiles also reside. Besides protecting the population of Komodo dragons on the island, the one-year shutdown will also provide the opportunity to boost their conservation and breeding efforts.
Credit: Charlie Marchant
Known as the world's largest living lizards, Komodo dragons can only be found on five islands in Southeastern Indonesia. The first four islands are located within the Komodo National Park - Komodo, Rinca, Gili Montang and Gili Dasami Islands. Alternatively, you can spot these giant reptiles on Flores Island, which is situated on the east side of Komodo Island.
P.S. Did you know that these ancient reptiles have been around for more than 100 million years? 😱
Credit: Gabriel Foto
If you're planning to visit Komodo Island before the shutdown in January 2020, we have eight reasons why you should visit this Indonesian paradise
before it's too late.