Komodo National Park
These volcanic islands are inhabited by a population of around 5,700 giant lizards, whose appearance and aggressive behaviour have led to them being called ‘Komodo dragons’. They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution. The rugged hillsides of dry savannah and pockets of thorny green vegetation contrast starkly with the brilliant white sandy beaches and the blue waters surging over coral.
Komodo is really a year-round destination, but whether you’re seeking fewer crowds, rich green landscapes (or parched brown ones), calm seas, minimal rainfall or the best chance to see manta rays will dictate when is the best time for you to plan your Komodo trip.
Overall, April to November is considered the best time of year to visit Komodo National Park, but this period still sees a great deal of seasonal change.
December to March is rainy season which means plenty of wet weather, strong winds and big waves that reach their peak in February when many tours are cancelled in anticipation of bad weather (i.e. February is probably the worst time to visit). However, this time of year is also when mantas are most prevalent.
April through June brings calm seas and landscapes washed in green following the summer rain. This is one of the best times to visit when tourist numbers are low, the islands are lush and ripe for exploration and there’s still a good chance to see the lingering manta rays. I visited in late May and was lucky enough to see them every day!
July and August are high season for tourists when prices soar and crowds increase considerably, especially at popular dive sites and day trip destinations. Temperatures are milder at this time but wind and waves are common. This is also mating season for the Komodo dragons which makes sightings more difficult.
September through November is another fantastic time to visit when the tourist hoards have ebbed to a trickle and the area begins to welcome whales and mantas back for the season. Hot and humid conditions mean the islands are painted with a dry brown palette.
Diving in Komodo is excellent all year round but some locations are only accessible at certain times of the year. Ultimately, April to June or September to November would be my picks for when when to visiting, providing the best mix of stable weather, wildlife spotting opportunities and few crowds.