The Savu Sea National Marine Park

The large swathe of the Savu Sea in the province of East Nusa Tenggara was designated a National Marine Park by the Indonesian Government since early 2014. Covering 3.35 million hectares, the Savu sea lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle and is an important corridor for huge sea mammals like whales, dolphins, turtles and dugongs migrating between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. It is, moreover, habitat for a large number of species of colorful coral fish as well as food fish.

Stretching south of the island of Flores, the Savu Sea National Marine Park borders on the Komodo National Park to its west, and reaches from the Sumba Sea all the way to the island of Timor to its east, with the islands of Rote, Sabu and Batek to its south. Altogether its shores fringe 10 districts.

Savu Sea National Marine Park
Savu Sea National Marine Park (Source :

This wonderful National Marine Park is earmarked for science, research, education, recreation, to support sustainable fishery, and is an unbelievably amazing park for marine tourism, said Minister for Marine and Fishery, Sharif C. Soetardjo at its officiating ceremony in January 2014.

This is the largest conservation marine park in the Coral Triangle, that stretches between Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.


Divers may meet more than 22 species of sea mammals that cross these waters regularly. They comprise 14 species of whales (of the 27 species known in the world), 7 dolphin species and 1 dugong species. Among whales that can be seen swimming here are Blue Whales (Balaenoptera musculus), Sperm whales (Physeter macrocepahlus), Pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuate) and Short-finned pilot whales (Globicepalia macrohynchus).

Whale in the Savu sea
Whale in the Savu sea (Source :

While dolphins found here are Rissos dolpins (Grampus griseus), Pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuate), Spinner dolphins (Stella longirostis), Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates), besides Dugongs (Dugong dugong).

Moreover, the Savu Sea National Marine Park is habitat to 6 of the 7 turtle species in the world that include: green turtles (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill turtles or Penyu sisik (Eretmochelys imbricata), olive ridleys or Penyu lekang in Bahasa Indonesia (Lepidochelys olivacea), leatherback sea turtles or Penyu belimbing (Dermochelys coriacea), flatback sea turtles or Penyu pipih (Natator depressus), and loggerhead sea turtles or Penyu tempayan (Caretta caretta).

The leatherback sea turtle is the largest sea turtle species which reaches 2.75 meters in length and weighs between 600 – 900 kilograms. The smallest sea turtles found in Indonesia are the olive ridley weighing around 50 kilograms.

Diving in Savu sea
Diving in Savu sea (Source :

Other fish found in large quantities are Groupers, the Humphead/Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), sharks (Charcanidae), Bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), Manta rays (Manta byrostris), and Yellow finned Tuna (Thunus albacores).

The Savu Sea was designated a National Marine Park through Ministerial Decree by the Minister for Marine and Fisheries no.5/kepmen-kp/2014, while the area’s zoning regulations are incorporated in Ministerial Decree no. 6/kepmen-kp/2014.


With so many districts bordering the Savu Sea, one can reach the sea from many points. Cities by the Savu Sea that have airports are Bajawa, Ende, Maumere, on Flores and the town of Kupang on Timor. Regular flights serve these airports from Bali.

You can also board a liveaboard from Labuan Bajo, on the west coast of Flores to explore the Savu Seas and the Komodo National Park.

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