East Nusa Tenggara has a reputation as Indonesia’s Little Africa. It has the savannahs, the wild animals, the gorgeous green seas and white-sand beaches.
East Nusa Tenggara is located in the eastern reaches of the Lesser Sunda Islands. The provincial capital is Kupang, located in West Timor. The province consists of about 565 islands, but is dominated by the three main islands of Flores, Sumba and West Timor. If it is adventure you desire, East Nusa Tenggara is the destination you have been dreaming of.
One of the most exciting destinations in East Nusa Tenggara is Komodo Island, home to the famed Komodo dragon, the closest thing the world has to dinosaurs. The island is part of the Komodo National Park and Marine Reserve, a professionally managed world-class nature park and diving destination. There is so much natural beauty in the park and so many animals to spot, but the main show of course is watching for the Komodo dragon, an ancient animal that has survived for more than 300 million years. The Komodo is the world’s largest lizard species with an average length of 3.13 metres while it can reach up to 165 kilograms in weight. There are about 2,500 Komodo dragons on Komodo Island and a couple of other smaller islands, including Rinca and Padar islands. Komodo is a unique destination, with a stretch of dry forest and savannah combining with the hilly terrain and the infinite blue sky overhead, a sprinkling of white clouds making for an incomparable painting.
In a region of incredible sights, few top the mysterious Kelimutu lakes. The three coloured lakes are located in the crater of Mount Kelimutu, a volcano near Ende on Flores Island. The lakes change colour over time due to the volcanic activity that started millions of years ago. It is believed that the Kelimutu lakes are the only lakes in the world that change colour like this.
Take the Plunge
Perhaps the best way to explore East Nusa Tenggara is from under the water. And the best snorkelling and diving can be found around the Alor Archipelago – a hidden paradise for marine biodiversity. Diving allows you to appreciate all the richness of the underwater world, but with just your snorkelling gear, you can enjoy the incredibly rich and lively coral reefs.
Easy Does It
All that adventure can be tiring, but luckily there are plenty of places in East Nusa Tenggara that are all about relaxation. First on your list should be Pink Beach in Flores. It seems there are only seven pink-sand beaches in the world, and one of them is in East Nusa Tenggara. The pink sand is formed from fragments of red coral.
Text by Grace Solarbesain | Photos courtesy of Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Hanif