Location and geography
Flores Island belongs to Indonesia, the biggest archipelago on earth that consists of more than 17.000 islands between Asia and Australia.
Flores is located to the east of Bali and belongs to the Small - Sunda - Islands.
In company with the island Sumba, the western part of the island Timor and a few smaller islands - Alor, Sabu Rote, Solor and Lembata - Flores belongs to the province Nusa Tenggara whose capital Kupang is on West Timor.
Flores Island has a size of 14.125 square metres and the landscape is very mountainous. It is the biggest island in Nusa Tenggara. The length of the island is 380 kilometres and it is between 26 and 270 kilometres wide. The narrowest point is between Maumere in the North and the village Sikka in the South. Flores is located in the volcanic zone that extends from Sumatra across Java and Bali to the Banda Sea. The turbulent geological history is reflected in the heavily fragmented mountainous region of Flores
The island Flores is subdivided into six areas that are called - from the West to the East - Manggarai, Ngada, Ende-Lio, Sikka, Flores Timor and Lembata with their capitals Ruteng, Bajawa, Ende, Maumere, Larantuka and Lewoleba.
Characteristic of the island is the remarkable difference in altitude between the mountainous regions (with summits that are between 2100 and 2445 metres high) and the depth of the sea that is partially 5000 metres.
Flores has 14 active volcanos and there were some volcanic eruptions in the recent past :
Mount Lewotobi (Eastern Flores) in 1938, Mt. Lerek (Lembata) in 1948, Mt. Rokatenda (Palue) in 1964 and Mt. Ia (Ende) in 1969. The strongest earthquake for hundred years has been on December 12th 1992.
The last volcanic eruption has been on 9.9.2004 when the volcano Egon,that is about 14 kilometres away from Sea World Club, spat ash. Meanwhile everybody can climb volcano Egon again and it is a great trekking - event for everyone, because the three-hour hike is also doable for not especially trained hikers and the crater of Egon is now even more impressive.
Climate on Flores
On Flores there is the typical monsoon climate. The northwest monsoon (December till March) with wind from the West to the Northwest brings rain. During the southeast monsoon (May till October) there is dry season with wind from the West to the South-East. In the months between the two monsoons there is wind coming from all directions.
Regarding the frequency of the rainfall, Flores can be subdivided into three areas: 1. the dry north coast with less than 1.000 mm rain per annum, 2. the central mountains with more than 2.000 mm rain p.a. and 3. the south coast that profits by the rainfall more often.
The northeastern regions of Flores - thereto also belong the Maumere region and the Sea World Club Hotel - have the least rainfall frequency on the whole island and oftentimes there is no rainy season. As many other things in life, this fact has two points of view: on the one hand it is an invitation for all the sun-hungry tourists who also want to enjoy a beach holiday in Waiara/Maumere during the rainy season, but on the other hand the absence of the rainy season results in famines for the population.
Flora & Fauna
Lying to the east of the Wallace line, and west of Weber line, no large Asian mammals are found,
although many Asian birds, insects and reptiles are found, the most significant is Komodo Dragon.
Fossils of tusks found at some places indicated that certain species of pygmy elephants have been
roaming through the ranges of Flores.
But most important is the very rich marine life, coral reefs
as well as fish species. Mr. Rudie Kuiter in a two-week survey in 1987 listed 850 species in 82 families,
and he expected to discover still many new species, which are new to science. Indications are that it may
be one of the richest coral reefs in the world.
The population on Flores consists of people with different ethnic origins and a remarkable linguistical diversity. Recent archaeological finds lead to the assumption that Flores belongs to the Malay culture and moreover shows characteristics of the Melanesian culture. On Flores there are also many descendants of the Portugueses. On the small islands in the Flores Sea and partly in the villages on the north coast live Bajau, Bugis and Butoneses who originally come from Sulawesi.
Flores cuts into six areas and each one has its own language. 254.000 of the 2.000.000 inhabitants of Flores live in Sikka. More than 20.000 people live in Maumere.
More than three quarters of the population confess to the Roman Catholic Church. The rest, predominantly in the western regions of the island and in the seaports, are adherents of the Islam.