Monday, January 23, 2012

Forbes: On The Tail Of The Komodo Dragon In Indonesia

“The Komodo Expedition” is a seven-night adventure, March to October, designed to explore the pristine wilderness and waters of Indonesia’s Komodo National Park, a World Heritage Site. The Park is near the eastern end of a long skinny string of the 17,508 islands that make up Indonesia and covers three major islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar.

The Komodo dragon, simply the biggest and fattest lizard on earth, is undisputed superstar of the park. Some grow to almost 10 feet long. And they eat meat, especially the little local Timor deer. Yikes. Komodo Island is also distinguished by its pink sand beach, one of only seven in the world.

In addition to dragons, these islands are also a rich refuge for buffalo, monkeys and wild horses, civets, cockatoo and macaques. Over 1,000 species of fish are happily at home in the now-protected coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds. There are at least 260 species of reef-building coral and 70 species of sponges, plus dugong (a manatee cousin), sharks, manta rays, and about 14 species of whale, dolphin, and sea turtles. As you may imagine, this is a world-class diving site too.

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