Others National Park
Komodo Adventure Tour Package
About Komodo Dragon
Komodo National Park encompasses 603 km sq of land and 1.214 km sq of marine
waters. It contains three large islands (Komodo, Rinca and Padar) and many
smaller islands. Established as a National Park in 1980, Komodo has been
declared a Man and Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site in 1986.
One of the world’s great wildlife regions, this small archipelago of 280 km sq
between Sumbawa and Flores is home to the Komodo dragon, the sole survivor
of carnivorous dinosaurs that thrived in tropical Asia 130 million years ago. Today isolated by the strong, unpredictable currents in the straits that
separate them, these dry and barren island draw thousands of travelers from all
over the world to view the lizards in their natural habitat. Komodo, as well as
the neighboring islands of Padar, Rinca, Motong, and two small areas on Flores
south of Labuhanbajo, were made a national park in 1980.
The sea surrounding the islands offers crystal clear
water to swim or snorkel, vistas of sea life and white sandy beach. 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 lizard
Thirty-six km long by 16 km at its widest, and 500 km east of Bali, Pulau
Komodo lies in one of Indonesia’s driest regions. The highly permeable soil is
shallow and poor. Above 500 meters, the island feature dense, cool and shady
cloud forests. The highest mountain is 735-meter Gunung Satalibo. The south
portion of the island , little frequented by visitors, offers wild mountain
landscapes and empty seashores. One fishing village hugs the east coast on Teluk
Slawi; two to three other temporary fishing encampments are maintained as long
as the water supply lasts after the rains.
Prior to the wet season, the islanders burn off much of the island’s grassland
to improve the fresh growth of new grass for grazing. Komodo is tropical
savannah with dramatic landscapes of hills covered mostly in high, coarse,
golden-green grass, scattered fire-resistant thickets, stunted scrub growth,
thorny zizyphus trees, and tall, fan-leafed lontar palms that break the
horizon like exploding artillery flak.
Volcanic in origin, the island is composed of pyroclastic-like ash which has
solidified into arid tuffaceous hillsides. The whole east coast is eroded cliff
that plunge straight into the sea, with alluvial fans, occasional coastal
mangroves, rocky streambeds, and great black ravines gouged out of cliffs.
Perfect dragon country.
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The wet season from November to April is heaviest during the monsoon months
(Dec – March), but the rain just last a few hours each day. Rain squalls during
this period may prevent or delay sea travel. Between June and September,
rainfall is very low. The dry season here can last 8 – 10 months, and standing
water is rare even during the wet season. Komodo, in fact , receives the least
rainfall of any of the surrounding islands. From April through the rest of the
year, its scorching hot, when searing winds from Australia desiccate the land.
May is a good time to visit; water is more plentiful, grass is green, and
temperatures are agreeable.
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Flora and Fauna
Only lontar and zyziphus trees (typical vegetation of the lesser Sundas)
can survive during the dry spell. Riots of endemic orchids droop pell-mell over
the trails, and high grass covers the hills. Herds of deer and wild hogs, water
buffalo, and cattle the share the upland valleys of the island of the Komodo
reserve, and serve as a prey for the dragons. Cave bats (kelelawar) hover
around black hollowed cliffs, and the island swarms with snakes. The strong
yellow-like plastic webs of Naphilia, 15 -centimeter-long spider, stretch for as
long as six meters across walking tracks.
Birds include the sulphur-crested cockatoo, which shrieks hysterically; equally
noisy friar birds, stunning yellow-breasted sun birds, black-naped orioles ;
musk cuckoo shrieks ; spangled drongos ; bee eaters, and a great number of sea
and shore birds. Nount-building megapodes nest on southern Komodo and Rinca;
dragons often raid their mounds for eggs. Dolphins, whales, and sea turtles are
often seen in the straits.
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