Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sights to See: Komodo Island, Indonesia


Komodo Island  200 miles east of Bali; where the famous dragons are.

approaching Komodo Island in Indonesia
approaching Komodo Island in Indonesia

Komodo National Park  The Komodo dragon—actually a giant monitor lizard--is the world’s largest and most lethal lizard.  An endangered species, it lives only on small volcanic Komodo Island and a few neighboring Indonesian islands (a visit here is often tied in with a visit to Rinca Island).  The lizards can grow up to 12 feet long and have inch-long serrated teeth that drip hemorrhagic venom.  They have been known to attack humans, although they prefer to eat birds and small mammals like monkeys that will not attack them but will also go after not-so-small wild pigs, eagles, deer, horses, and even water buffalo.  They are cannibals and will eat another dragon, and there is documentation that they have killed and eaten humans.  Mating occurs in July, when each female lays 15 to 30 eggs, which incubate until March or April (8 to 9 months).  They do not live in family groups, and the 4-inch-long newborns live in trees for about two years. 
On my visit, we did the 1-hour, 1-mile medium trek to the waterhole and Sulphurea Hill (named after the cockatoo bird).   Rules dictated that we stay together, keep silent, and don’t touch anything.  No smoking is permitted.  Out of the estimated almost 6,000 dragons that live here today, we saw four.  We were told that on a good day in winter (I was here in October) you might see 14.  And though they can move like the wind, on the hot day we visited the dragon's we saw didn't move, which is probably a very good thing.  One appreciated perk of the visit is that the ranger will take a picture of each visitor with a dragon if timing permits.  Locals sell lovely local pearls and hand-carved dragons as souvenirs.  Wish I’d bought something. 

pier at Komodo Island in Indonesia
pier at Komodo Island in Indonesia


entrance to Komodo Island in Indonesia
entrance to Komodo Island in Indonesia


ranger guide and komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia
ranger guide and komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia


komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia
komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia
 

picture-taking with komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia
picture-taking with komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia


picture-taking with komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia
picture-taking with komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia


picture-taking with komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia
picture-taking with komodo dragon at Komodo Island in Indonesia


souvenir vendor at Komodo Island in Indonesia
souvenir vendor at Komodo Island in Indonesia

Most tour boat excursions to Komodo Island will also stop at one or two of the area’s gorgeous beaches for snorkeling and a picnic.  My group stopped at:
Pink Beach on Padar Island for snorkeling and a delicious buffet picnic lunch.  A natural phenomenon, the pink sand on this beach gets its color from red coral fragments. 
approaching Pink Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia
approaching Pink Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia


view from Pink Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia
view from Pink Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia


picnic spread at Pink Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia
picnic spread at Pink Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia


picnic spread at Pink Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia
picnic spread at Pink Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia

and also on:
Angel Beach on Pulau Bidadari Island, which in addition to being the perfect spot for snorkeling, diving, and sitting in the clear, turquoise water, offers a private Honeymoon Beach.
Angel Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia
Angel Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia

view from Angel Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia
view from Angel Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia

picnic tray at Angel Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia
picnic tray at Angel Beach near Komodo Island in Indonesia

More things to do on Flores Island.
 
More things to do in nearby Bali.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 



5 comments:

  1. Very interesting article about Konodo Island and the Komodo Dragon. I was curious to read your comments about that giant lizard. I certainly would have thought twice before venturing close to a Komodo Dragon.Thanks for a great posting!

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  2. Wow, great photos! They look very slow and lethargic, but somehow I'm sure they can really move when the want to.

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  3. What an adventure. The Komodo dragon is such an interesting and storied creature. I really enjoyed your photos.

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  4. We have been in Flores in 2008 and visited the Komodo Dragons from there. It was most impressive to see that the guides have only a stick to keep the Komodo dragons away. They can move amazingly fast!

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  5. Those Komodo dragons are a bit scary looking to me. Not sure if I'd want to see them or not- not a big reptile fan.

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