Komodo Dragon by Lars Petersson.
Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
Komodo Dragon, Green Turtle and over a thousand fish species including Manta Ray (especially at Karang Makassar).
Great and Lesser Frigatebirds, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Yellow-crested Cockatoo and Flame-breasted Sunbird, as well as Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Green Junglefowl, Pacific Reef Egret, Great-billed Heron, Brahminy Kite, Variable Goshawk, Beach Thick-knee, Lesser and Greater Crested Terns, Green Imperial Pigeon, Asian Koel, Moluccan Scops Owl, Collared and Sacred Kingfishers, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Helmeted Friarbird, Common Golden Whistler, Black-naped Oriole, (Lesser) Wallacean Drongo, Lemon-bellied and Yellow-spectacled White-eyes, and Black-fronted Flowerpecker. Also a chance of Bulwer's Petrel, Brown and Red-footed Boobies, and Black-naped, Bridled and Sooty Terns.
Long-tailed (Crab-eating) Macaque and Rusa (Timor) Deer (introduced). Also a chance of (Indo-Pacific) Bottlenose Dolphin.
Apart from a short wet and windy season which usually occurs in January-February it is mostly very dry and very hot on Komodo, although temperatures are usually a little lower from mid-August to October and this is the best time to go to Komodo as well as the rest of the Lesser Sundas.
Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago by J Eaton et al. Lynx Edicions, due March 2016.
A Guide to the Birds of Wallacea by B Coates and K Bishop. Dove Publications, 1997.
A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali by J Mackinnon. OUP, 1993.
Birding Indonesia edited by P Jepson and R Ounsted. Periplus Editions, 1997.
Where to watch birds in Asia by N Wheatley. Helm, 1996.
Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Asia? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.
Many trip reports, some for Komodo and other Indonesian islands, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Komodo and other Indonesian islands. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Komodo' below.
The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.
There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.
While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.
Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Indonesia including Komodo include the following.