Indonesia

With more than 18,000 islands Indonesia is the largest and most varied archipelago on Earth. Here islands rise from the abyssal depths covered in dense tropical rainforests and fringed by colourful coral reefs. The island names themselves conjure up images of exotic and unknown destinations; Bali, Komodo, Papua, Sulawesi and the Spice Islands. From frozen glaciers to coral reefs, the sheer diversity of island scenes and life defies the imagination. 

Indonesia's location in a tropical, equatorial climate has produced an unrivalled diversity of plant and animal life. With only 1% of the world's land area, Indonesia is home to over 10% of all mammal species, and 17 % of all birds.  For marine creatures it is a vast melting pot, at the influence of both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The mingling of life from these two great oceans around thousands of islands has created the greatest diversity of marine life on Earth. 

The ocean currents here are rich in nutrients. They're responsible for the world's most colourful and diverse coral reefs. So vast is the archipelago that some of the best reefs are barely known. There are over 600 species of coral, and 3000 species of fish as well as 30 species of whales and dolphins.