I have to admit; the title may seem too much. To clarify, we are not going to talk about the fire-breathing dragons, but Komodo dragons, the largest lizards to live on our planet. Rather than dragons, they are more close to being called dinosaurs. In fact, researchers believe that Komodo dragons (Varanus Komodoensis) are relatives to the ancient dinosaurs (Allosaurus and Giganotosaurus).
Do you know? Although Komodo dragons are endemic in Indonesia, they may be originated in the Land Down Under Australia. A team of scientists has found a lot of fossils from eastern Australia. These fossils were dated from hundreds to millions of years ago and are identical to the bones of present-day Komodo dragons. The discovery of the fossils revealed that about four million years ago, Australia was home to the world's largest lizards, where they evolved, and spread to the west, and finally reached the Indonesian islands nine hundred years ago.
The Komodo dragons are now considered as an endangered species, and you can only find them in Indonesia territory. Their life habitat is being well preserved by the government in Komodo National Park, which is also entitled as one of the World’s Nature Wonders. From here onward, you are going to find out all about Komodo Island.
Witnessing the Komodo Dragons in Their Habitat
Since Komodo Island is the sanctuary for Komodo dragons, you can see them in their real habitat, roaming in the island along with other endemic animals. In other words, you can get along with the beasts in the Komodo Island National Park. And that’s still not all on Komodo Island. There are a lot of things to do there besides witnessing the giant lizards.
Diving in the Beautiful Marine
Komodo Island offers every type of scuba diving that you can imagine, from colorful shallow reefs to deep and cool water with sharks and other big fishes. It is not exaggerating to say that Komodo Island’s underwater view is one of the best in the world. The world beneath the water is colorful with a rich diversity of beautiful fishes and corals. Therefore, diving is on the top list of the things you must do in Komodo Island. You are guaranteed to experience wonders different from anywhere else in the world.
Diving in Komodo Island can be done all year round since it is a tropical area and the water temperature is always warm all season (average 20°C to 28°C). However, the best time to dive is between April and August, which is also the peak season.
The next question: where is the best diving site? Well, the answer depends on your diving skill and what you seek down there. There are a lot of diving sites around the Komodo Island, from the shallow area with colorful marine life, to the deep sea site roaming with sharks. Some of the most visited diving sites are Batu Bolong, Cannibal Rock, End of the World, Gili Lawa, GPS Point, Manta Alley, Pantai Merah, Pillarsteen, Tatawa Island, White Angels, and Yellow Wall of Texas.
Places to Stay
Finding accommodation in Komodo Island is not hard. There are plenty of hotels and resorts to stay. The price starts from USD 100 per night with decent facilities. Are you going on a trip with a low budget? Stay in an inn can be a good choice. The rate can be so low, around USD 10 per night. But, if you have a bigger budget and want to get an even more memorable adventure, you can cruise on a luxurious sailing Phinisi boat. The boat has several deluxe cabins, and it will cost you about USD 3000 per night. The boat is available to sail for days or weeks.
How to Get There
Komodo Island is a part of an archipelago, not isolated but it is also not a one trip journey. You are going to need to fly by plane and sail by boat to get there. If you land in Bali, you are going to need to head to Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and get on a ferry to Komodo Island. The ferry only drops off passengers on the island once or twice every week, so be sure to check first.
Shop for Souvenirs
Near the Komodo National park headquarters, you may find local people selling ornaments of wooden hand carved Komodo dragons, stickers, and shirts. Other souvenirs are handmade accessories made from sea shells and pearls.
DO and DONT’S
As magnificent as they are, Komodo dragons are dangerous beasts capable of hurting humans. In fact, there is a history of them attacking humans. Exercise precautions on your visit. Just like the saying, better safe than sorry. Remember these tips while exploring the Komodo Island.
- Don't visit alone. Make sure that you explore the island with a Ranger at all times.
- Travel in groups and don’t wander away.
- On the presence of Komodo dragons nearby, keep quiet.
- Taking a picture is okay, but don't panic.
- Komodo dragons can smell blood from miles away. If you get an open wound, tell the Rangers.
- Beware of the surroundings. Remember, you are in the nest of Komodo dragons.
That’s all about Komodo Island. So, what do you think about spending holidays on an exotic island with the magnificent beasts?