Places of Interest in Komodo Island, West & East Nusa Tenggara
A small island of 280 square km, Komodo
is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. The island is
almost all hill and barren except for palm trees and some wood but it is
famous for its giant lizards which are considered the last of their
kind remaining in the world today. To many modern naturalists, East Nusa
Tenggara is so particularly interesting, because of this unique
species, called the Komodo Dragon. Called "ora" by the local people,
Komodo dragon ( Varnus Komodoensis ) is actually a giant monitor lizard.
Growing up to 3 to 4 meters in length, its ancestors roamed the earth
up to about half a million years ago. Komodo lives on carrions of goats,
deer, and even the carcasses of its own kind. The only human population
on the island is at the fishing village called Komodo who supplement
their income breeding goats which are used to feed the lizards. The
Komodo is protected by law and though they are considered harmless, it
is advisable to keep them at a distance. Komodo is now a nature reserve
being part of a national park. It is home to a number of rare bird
species, deer, and wild pigs, which are prey to the lizards as well. To
see the lizards in the day time, baits have to be set in the hinterland
where local guides are necessary. The sea surrounding the island offers
vistas of sea life, crystal clear waters, and white sandy beaches. The
only accommodation available is in simple guest houses in the fishing
village. lt is advisable to carry food supplies. The best time to visit
the island is between March and June, and between October and December.
Komodo is accessible from the sea only. Fly to Labuan Bajo, from where
it is about 3-4 hours by boat to the island.
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