Did you know that Komodo dragons are the most ancient reptiles to exist in the world at the moment? Ancient reptiles? You mean a dinosaur? Yes, komodo is the only “dinosaur” living on the planet nowadays. At present, there are around 2,500 komodo dragons in the world and they can only be found in two komodo sanctuaries scattered on islands in the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia. The first is Taman Nasional Komodo (Komodo National Park) located in the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Nusa Kode and Gili Motang and the second is called Wae Wuul Nature Reserve in the Western part of Flores island.
Where did the Komodos came from?
Before those islands became sanctuaries, komodos were found in some other small islands nearby like Padar island, but now no one can see a single komodo there, as the komodos are presumably dead or have escaped to other komodo-inhabited islands because of human activities like hunting and illegal logging.
Getting up close and personal with Komodos - Is it safe?
Welcome to the Jurassic Park! It’s not a movie or a dream, my friend, it is real! These sanctuaries are open for visitors to witness the ancient creatures in their habitat only for 15 USD for a three-day ticket to any islands of the Komodo National Park!
You may have been misled by the Jurassic sequels made by the Hollywood. The movies tell you how fierce dinosaurs were towards men and how they attacked each other.
A misconception about Komodos
Well, that is just a movie and it is not 100 percent true. These “komodo dinos” don’t attack humans and have no interest in getting close to humans (but we do). They will attack humans only if they are harassed. This explains why the sanctuary islands are also inhabited by people. There are no boundaries between komodos and human settlements here and although sometimes, komodos come to the villages to steal and eat cattles, so far there have been no incident of komodos attacking the villagers. However, to guarantee your safety, you can’t wander in the island alone. Your group will be accompanied by one or two rangers and he will take you to see the population of komodos and other animals such as monkeys, deer, boars, buffaloes, etc. that share space on the island.
Check out the natural habitat of Komodo dragons and other animals!
Since these animals live in separate areas, you will need to walk for several kilometers in the jungle and it takes at least 3 hours to explore. The rangers will tell you what to do and not to do when your group is inside the sanctuary. Two of the things you should not do is being too far away from your rangers and being careless with komodos. You may of course have some photo sessions and get very close to a komodo, but the rangers will tell you how to do it safely. No feeding session is available and it is prohibited to bring food and feed the komodos, as it is considered to be a dangerous act.
Other activities around the Komodo sanctuaries: Diving!
Besides komodos, you can also enjoy the beauty of more than 250 species of coral reef and more than 1,000 various species of sea animals in the water. There are some travel companies in Labuan Bajo that offer diving trips to diving sites around the area. The rates range from 950,000 IDR (74 USD) for a day trip to 4,200,000 IDR (324 USD) for a 5-day trip per person. Isn’t that affordable?
Local delicacies at Labuan Bajo, one of the Komodo islands
What are you going to eat during your stay there? Since these islands are surrounded by sea, you will find plenty of seafood here. To find good restaurants, you need to go to Labuan Bajo where you may find many Indonesian restaurants. One of the decent places to eat is Mediterraneo. It sells seafood cooked in Balinese ways where the chefs always use kecap manis (sweet and thick soy sauce) together with some spices including chilies.
Visit Komodo Island Today!
Depending on the kind of tour package that you take, a 2D1N package costs 308 USD to 463 USD and the price includes two lunches, one dinner and one breakfast on the islands, prepared in small kitchens by the cooks provided by the national park (you can choose Indonesian, Chinese or Western food). The boat departs around 9am for the journey and gets back to the base camp on the following day at dusk. It’s quite friendly to your pocket, isn’t it? So, do you have an adventurer’s soul? Let it bring you to the dinos!
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