The Wheel and Axle

Indonesia 2017, Leg 2: The Komodo Dragon

by on Jul.18, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

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The highlight of our trip to the Komodo National Park was, of course, getting to actually see the majestic Komodo dragon a.k.a. Komodo monitor lizard (Varanus komodoensis).

These creatures, considered as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are the largest living lizards in the world. They are now found only in five islands in the area: Komodo, Rinca, Gili Motang, Gili Dasami, and Flores.  They’re believed to be extinct on Pulau Padar, the last one having been seen in 1975″ although there have been claims that a komodo had been spotted there in recent years; these claims are unverified, despite apparently spreading on social media.

Our tour brought us to Komodo Island for dragon sightseeing. Note that, when doing these tours, it is not always a guarantee that you’ll see one as the animals are left in the wild and may not necessarily appear when you’re there.

There are tickets to enter the island, and the cost includes having a tour guide bring you and your group on a trek through the trails. There are several options: short trek, medium trek, and long trek. The longer and farther the trek, the better chance of seeing a Komodo.

The guide is important as he will bring you through the right places to try and spot these creatures. It will be hard to get lost in the jungle, given it is home not just to these dangerous lizards but also to a host of other wild animals, including highly venomous snakes like the Javan spitting cobra. Moreover, the tour guide provides a lot of stories and insights into the habits and behaviors of the Komodo dragons.

Take a look:

All in all, just seeing one of these creatures was worth the side trip to Flores from Bali and the several hours’ boat ride and hiking.

Next time, I’ll definitely be back to try and see these glorious creatures on Rinca Island.

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