Here Be Dragons - Tourism Indonesia


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Here Be Dragons

"Visitor-friendly" might not be the first description that comes to mind when talking about an island swarming with giant, carnivorous lizards. But Indonesia's Komodo, the entire area of which is a World Heritage Site and national park, is becoming just that, thanks to an array of new visitor facilities that make seeing the fabled Komodo dragons more enjoyable.

Komodo lies between the islands of Flores and Sumbawa. Overseas visitors typically take a 90-minute flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo in the western part of Flores, then charter a boat to Komodo — the closest you'll ever come to Jurassic Park.

More than 2,500 Komodo dragons still roam freely across the island, with some measuring up to 10 ft. (3 m) in length. There are 37 different types of reptile species besides, as well as 32 species of mammals. The waters off Komodo are diver heaven — home to more than 1,000 species of fish, 385 species of reef-building corals and six species of whales.

Detailed information, including a guide to alternative transport arrangements, can be found at Do note that July and August is mating season, which makes it more difficult to catch a glimpse of the dragons — and even if you do spot one, a mating Komodo dragon is disturbed only at your dire peril.

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