The Legendary Komodo Island is one of the 17,508 islands that compose the Republic of Indonesia and also part of Komodo National Park along with 2 other larger islands, Rinca and Padar and 26 smaller ones. all of them are the result of volcanic activity that happen in the past. Komodo Island is located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago within the Lesser Sunda Islands in the border region between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara. Komodo Island has a surface area of 390 square kilometres and human population of over two thousand. The Islands withing the Komodo National park feature rough hillsides of dry savannah, green thorny vegetation, perfect sandy beaches, and crystal clear waters atop of magnificent coral. The waters surrounding Komodo island also contains rich marine biodiversity. Komodo islands is also a part of the Coral Triangle, which contains one of the richest marine biodiversity on earth. In addition to its beauty, the island is also know for being the only place on earth where the Legendary living dragons exist. The Komodo island is the native habitat for the komodo dragon.
History of Komodo Island
In 1910, Dutch sailors reported that there was a creature measured up to seven metres (twenty-three feet) in length with a large body and mouth which constantly spat fire in a small island in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Lieutenant Steyn van Hensbroek, an official of the Dutch Colonial Administration in Flores,then armed himself and brought his soldiers to the island. He was able to kill one dragon and sent the photos to Botanical Gardens in Bogor, Java, Indonesia.
The Indonesian government established Komodo National Park on 6th March 1980 and was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1991. The Komodo National park also has been selected as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. wikipedia
The komodo Dragon is a large species of lizard that can grow up to more than 3 meter long 3 meters (10 ft) and weighing up to approximately 70 kilograms (150 lb). wikipedia
Things you can do in Komodo Island
Other than observing Komodo Dragon in its native habitat, you can do a lot of thing since Komodo Island is really beautiful. The most popular activities you can do in Komodo Island are trekking, diving, snorkeling and off course observing the Komodo dragon.
Other fauna such as javaan dear water buffalo, banded pigs, civets, cockatoo and macaques also inhabit the islands of komodo national park. A particular highlight of trekking in the park is spotting various types of tropical animals and plants that you are unlikely to see in everyday life, along with beautiful scenery in every direction.
There are four walking trek that you can choose from short, medium, long to adventure. The length is vary from 1 to 8 km depending on what walking trek you choose. if you choose long or adventure you will be trekking through forest, river and hills observing the beauy of the island to its fullest. If you choose short, the trip will over at the top of hills seeing a fantastic scenery of the island and bays. On every track path, you will be going through “Water Hole”, the drinking spot for komodo so no matter what trekking path you choose you will be able to see Komodo dragons. One thing to remember is, If you do spot a Komodo Dragon, do not approach as they can be dangerous, especially when hungry.
Diving and Snorkeling
The scuba diving and snorkeling in Komodo is world class, with beautiful coral reefs, crystal clear waters, and marine animals. with warm sea water you can focus on observing the underwater beauty without thinking about how cold you are. There are three best spot for diving and snorkeling; Batu Samsia, Toko Toko, and Crystal Rock.
- Batu Samsia, you can diving through a series of waterways and can interact with turtles, sharks and a wide variety of small fishes.
- Toko Toko, also known as underwater reef castle, has many beautiful coral reefs with many colorful small fishes on it.
- Crystal Rock, in addition to its beautiful coral reefs, you can spot many beautiful rare marine creatures such as frogfish, Barramundi Cod, Parrotfish and many other beautiful fishes.
What is more on Komodo Island
There is one more interesting place that is so beautiful on Komodo Island. Pink Beach, or Pantai Merah, as it is aptly named, is one of seven pink beaches on the planet, and is just one of the many amazing features of Komodo Island that make it truly a Natural Wonder of Nature. This exceptional beach gets its striking color from microscopic animals called Foraminifera, which produce a red pigment on the coral reefs. For this reason, it is called Red Beach in the local tongue. When the tiny fragments of red coral combine with the white sands, this produces the soft pink color that is visible along the shoreline. Aside from Pink Beach itself, a few small segments along Komodo’s eastern bay also have a pinkish tint.
Interesting Facts about Komodo National Park
- Komodo National Park is the only place in the entire world where Komodo dragons exist naturally, with approximately 5700 calling the park home. These creatures are of great interest to scientists studying Darwin’s theory of evolution.
- The Komodo Dragon was named as such due to both its appearance and aggressive behaviour. Size wise, they are the biggest living species of lizard, typically growing to lengths of between 6 to 10 feet (2-3m).
- A fact unbeknown to most is that in addition to the vast amounts of Komodo dragons, the national park also features over one thousand species of tropical fish, 250 species of coral and a number of rare marine animals.
- The reason that so many tropical fish and coral species are able to flourish is the superb conditions provided by strong tidal flows combined with nutrient rich water from the Indian Ocean.
How to get to Komodo Islands
The typical method of getting to Komodo National Park is from either Labuan Bajo in West Flores, or Bima in Eastern Sumbawa. Flights originate from Denpasar in Bali to these locations on a daily basis. Once at either Labuan Bajo or Bima, you must travel by boat to Loh Liang on Komodo Island, or Loh Buaya on Rinca Island; the main entry points to the park.
When is the best time to visit Komodo Islands?
Whilst you can visit Komodo National Park all year round, the best time to visit is in the dry reason, which runs from April to December. During these months, the weather is beautiful; not too hot, with average temperatures of 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius), and very little rain. If you dislike rain, then it is advisable to avoid the wet season, which typically runs from January to March. If you are visiting specifically to observe the Komodo dragon in its natural habitat, then you should avoid the mating and nesting seasons, which run from July to August, and September to November, respectively. During these periods, spotting the Komodo dragons becomes increasingly difficult.
Where to stay at Komodo Islands
Within Komodo National Park, the only accommodation options available to visitors are simple bungalows found near the ranger’s station. These rooms are not expensive, but you get what you pay for, as they are far from luxurious. If you would prefer to stay in nicer accommodation, you should stay on the nearby island of Bali, where many there are many luxurious living spaces available.
- Always follow ranger’s instruction and Never walk alone in the park. Rangers and guides possess superior knowledge about the area, and are adept at spotting prospective dangers.
- Do not feed or disturb Komodo Dragons. Despite typically being slow and lazy, Komodo Dragons are surprisingly fast and can quickly become aggressive.
- Do not running or Screaming upon spotting Komodo dragons as they will chase you, thinking you are their prey.
- Be sure to carry a stick. If you happen to come across an aggressive Komodo, they will typically back away when threatened with a stick.
- Wear shoes at all times. There are many different species of snake across the islands. For instance, the Russell Viper species, which lives in holes in the ground on the Savannah.
- Women on their period must inform a park ranger as Komodo Dragons have a very sensitive, strong sense of smell, and could turn aggressive upon smelling blood.
- Wear a strong bug spray as many insects (e.g. mosquitoes) inhabit the area.
Smoking is prohibited, as is starting fires. The reason for this is that the islands are particularly prone to fires during the dry season.