Located on the outskirts of Komodo National Park near Rinca, Kalong Island isn’t famous for Komodo dragons like other nearby islands—it's famous for the colony of giant fruit bats, nicknamed "flying foxes," who live in the island’s mangrove forests.
At dusk each day, tens of thousands of bats emerge from the trees and take to the skies in what is one of the most stunning natural displays in the park. For nearly 30 minutes, wave after wave of bats pass over the anchored boats on their way to forage for fruit on the surrounding islands.
Kalong Island sits about 5 miles (8 km) from Labuan Bajo, and the boat journey takes just less than an hour. Consequently, many tours to Flying Fox Island include a stop at Rinca Island for snorkeling in the afternoon before anchoring for sunset at Kalong.
Seeing the bats of Kalong Island necessarily includes some waiting around on the boat, and since you won’t get back to your hotel until somewhat late, it’s a good idea to bring along some snacks and drinks to enjoy while you watch the spectacle.