The Reality of Visiting Komodo Island: Inside the Park
Some firmly believe that the Komodo Island is the base of the Lost World and the Jurassic Park. Looking at its barren savannah lands dotted with dry bushes and high palm ‘lontar’ trees which is inhabited with giant scaly lizard that seems like just appears from the prehistoric era, this dragon-populated island do looks like a land from the primeval age. Aside from its mythical appearance however, how does visiting this remote island actually like? Is is just as fabled as it’s hyped? What should you expect from the resident dragons during your visit there?
The Komodo Island was Isolated from the World
Form millennia, Komodo dragons enjoy living in total isolation on their tiny islands. The outer world was completely unaware of their existence—not even Indonesian locals outside the Flores Island. They were first recorded by a Dutch scientist in 1910 during Dutch colonialism in Indonesia. These giant monitor lizard was the apex predator on their ecosystem; they have no natural predators which ensured their survival for so long. In their quarantined habitat and unbeatable position, they were largely overlooked by evolutions.
The Deceptive Behaviours of Komodo Dragons
The dragons at Komodo Island are generally well-fed. Park rangers routinely feed them water buffalos, deers, and sometimes chicken and fishes for snack which keep their tummy happy. With full belly, these dragons usually appears docile and a bit lazy. They love to relax and sunbathe in the warmth of Flores’ sun or lounge around in the shade of rangers’ kitchen, looking almost docile and not dangerous at all. But don’t be fooled. They are packed with strong limbs, big claws and sharp teeth that can beat you at any second. These dragons are also fast runners—they can run up to 18 kilometres per hours!
Yes, They Do Attack Human
The one million question. Yes, Komodo dragons do attack human occasionally. They do see us as potential yummy foods, but the attacks rarely based on hunger. Normally, Komodo dragons become aggressive and strike people when they feel threatened. Either you come too close to them or making them feel disturbed. That’s why you have to always walk with a ranger and keep your distance from the dragons.
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You Cannot Stay at Komodo Island
There are few bungalows in Komodo Island run by the national park. However, these villas are usually designated for special guests or reserved for film crews. As for now, you cannot spend a night in Komodo Island. Most tourists usually stay in Labuan Bajo, nearby resorts, or embark on liveaboard trip. Sailing trip with liveaboard is the most popular thing right now—travelers love to experience living and sleeping on Indonesian-style phinisi boat for an exciting island-hopping trip in Flores.
It’s A Conservatory Wild Park, Not A Zoo
There are about 4,000 dragons living in Komodo Island, but you might just stumble upon a few of them during the trip. That’s perfectly normal. In fact, you should expect nothing as the island has no pre-designated viewing areas. It’s the wilderness and the wild animals will behave as they do in the wild. They come and go through the forest, sometimes guarding their nest deep inside the island where no one pass by.
Are you ready to visit the mighty dragons in this isolated island?