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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.
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. Go this link if you want to see more information about it.
Watch the video about Komodo and Labuan Bajo:
For more information please contact:
Komodo Marine National Park Office
Jl. Kasimo Labuan Bajo
West Flores, East Nusa Tenggara 86445
Ph. +62 385 41004
Fax. +62 385 41006
PT Putri Naga Komodo
Jl. Pengembak No.2 Sanur 80228, Bali
T: +62 381 780 2408
F: +62 361 747 4398
Gg.Masjid, Kampung Cempa. Labuan Bajo, 86554 West Manggarai. East Nusa Tenggara.
T: +62 385 41448
F: +62 385 41225
Your feet will be your trusted companion on this island. Good thing most people never leave home without them. When you wish to see these animals in their natural habitat, you have to walk to the hills nearby (paths have been designated). On Komodo Island, you have to climb Mount Ara (538 meters above sea level) for three to four hours. On Rinca island, you have to trek for about one and a half hours. If you are lucky, you can see Komodos attacking prey, fighting, or even employing their mojoes along the way, as illustrated by this picture on the left. If that's too wild for you, you can try to spot a group of deers, buffaloes or wild horses.
By daily flights from: Bali - Labuan Bajo/Komodo Airport - Bali (each 1.5 hours)
Everyday, there are two to three flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo by Transnusa, IAT (Indonesia Air Transport), and Merpati. In addition, there is a twice a week flight from Kupang. Inter-island motorboats from Sape in West Nusa Tenggara are also available everyday (when the weather permits), and the Pelni ship from Bali and Lombok makes a stop over here every two weeks.
Land transportation from the East (Flores mainland e.g., Ruteng, Bajawa, Ende and Maumere) is also available. If you are interested in making a long trip in Flores, you can start from Maumere to the west i.e., to Moni, Kelimutu, Ende, Bena, Bajawa, Ruteng and lastly Labuan Bajo (Komodo) or vice versa.
The site www.floreskomodo.com offers more detailed information on how to reach the Flores areas.