Real dragons spurt no fire, have no need to fly and cast no magic spells. And still, one look from them might render you speechless. These komodos, the real life dragons, are a sight indeed. Gigantic, the lizard-like creatures are about two or three meters in length. They can easily weigh about 165 kilograms. Despite of their sheer size and appearance, they are not active hunters. What makes them intimidating is the fact that they are a patient predator. In the wild, they stalk a victim, usually a weak or injured one. One bite and that’s what it usually takes. After following the victim for a while, sometimes up to several days’ time, the komodos will devour the dying prey.
☀ Komodo Dragon ☀
The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is an endangered species which can only be found in the Komodo National Park (KNP) in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). Because of the unique and rare nature of this animal, KNP was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.
The park includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totaling 603 km2 of land. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2,321 km2.At least 2500 Komodos live in this area. Large dragons are usually three meters long and weigh up to 90 kg. Their habitat has beautiful panoramic views of savannas, rain forests, white beaches, beautiful corals, and clean blue seas. In this area, you can also find horses, wild buffalo, deer, wild boar, snakes, monkeys, and various types of birds.
KNP has a rich and amazing underwater sea biotica. Divers claim that Komodo waters are one of the best diving sites in the world. It has fascinating underwater scenery. You can find 385 species of beautiful corals, mangrove forests, and seaweeds as a home for thousands of fish species, 70 types of sponges, 10 types of dolphins, 6 types of whales, green turtles and various types of sharks and stingrays.
Or you can do some diving activities in Komodo Island.
☀ TIPS ☀
☛ Don’t walk alone. It is best to walk around with a ranger or guide.
☛ Don’t disturb or feed komodos. Despite slow and lazy movement, this animal can suddenly turn aggresive and move fast.
☛ When trekking, please take a stick with you. Komodos are usually afraid when threatened with a stick.
☛ Please wear shoes. Komodo, Rinca, and Padar islands have 12 types of snakes and three of them are poisonous, namely green snakes living on trees, cobras and russel’s viper who live on the ground in holes on the savannas.
☛ Women having their menstruation must report to a guide or ranger for special attention. Komodos have a very strong sense of smell and may turn agresive when they smell blood.
☛ Please bring along your insect repellant because this area has many mosquitoes who’ll be excited at the prospects of having fresh blood.
☛ Most lands on Komodo and Rinca islands are savannas which are prone to fire during the dry season so smoking and making fires are prohibited.