Komodo Island, 5 Reasons to Visit the Magnificent Komodo National Park
2 September 2020 667x Artikel
Komodo Island is one of the 17,508 Islands that comprise the Republic of Indonesia. The island is particularly notable as the habitat of the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard on Earth, which is named after the island. Komodo Island has a surface area of 390 square kilometres and a human population of over two thousand. The people of the island are descendants of former convicts who were exiled to the island and who have mixed with Bugis from Sulawesi. The people are primarily adherents of Islam but there are also Cristian and Hindu congregations.
Komodo Island is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands and forms part of the Komodo Nastional Park. In addition, the island is a popular destination for driving. Administratively, it is part of the East Nusa Tenggara Indonesia.
Komodo Isaland have Komodo National Park Located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores in the East Nusatenggara province, sits the vast and impressive Komodo National Park. The Komodo National Park encompasses a total of 29 volcanic islands (including the 3 major islands Rinca, Padar and Komodo) and is home to approximately 2,500 Komodo Dragons and other terrestrial fauna such as various species of reptiles, birds, and mammals. The park’s terrain is uniquely diverse, consisting of a mountainous hillside, tropical rain forests, grass-woodland savannah, and pristine white sandy beaches that harbor rich marine biodiversity. The marine environment in the Komodo National Park is one of the world’s richest in flora and fauna and is still relatively undiscovered. The 2,000 km2 park (which includes protected land and water), is recognized as a global conservation priority area and has an array of natural attractions.
For the first time travelers to this wonderful piece of Indonesia, here are 5 tips to help you explore this great National Park.
1. The Komodo Dragon
Approximately reaching 3 meters in length and weighing over 70kg, the Komodo Dragon (or otherwise known as Varanus Komodoensis), is the world’s largest lizard and reptile. The dragons are identified by their massive size, flat heads, bowed legs, long thick tails, and fork-shaped tongues. Komodos can run and swim up to 20kph and have an excellent vision where it can see objects from 300m away. A fierce predator, these reptiles are carnivores and can eat 80% of their weight in one feeding. The Komodo can consume very large prey such as water buffalo, deer, carrion, pigs and even humans. It has a unique way of killing by biting its prey – especially when it is a large water buffalo, – surrounding it in a group then wait patiently until the poison in its saliva has slowly killed its victim. After which it completely shreds apart and devoured with bones and all. If the prey escapes, it will usually die within 24 hours due to the poisoning of the blood that comes from the venomous and bacteria-ridden saliva.
2. Climate and Geography
The climate in the Komodo National Park is one of the driest in Indonesia. The national park experiences little to no rainfall for approximately 8 months of the year and is heavily impacted by monsoonal rains. Daily temperatures during the dry season between May to October average around 40. Due to this dry climate, the land is rough with stony hills and plant species are limited to grass, shrubs, orchids, and trees. In contrast, the marine area has a rich and colorful landscape. The national park falls within the Asia Pacific Coral Triangle and is full of a variety of seagrass beds, colorful coral reefs, and dense mangrove forests.
3. Land and Marine Fauna
Aside from the magnificent Komodo Dragon, The Komodo National Park is the habitat of various other land and sea creatures. Visitors can witness these intriguing animals roaming freely in their natural outdoor settings.
Terrestrial fauna that can be found here includes a diversity of reptiles, mammals, and birds. This includes but isn’t limited to 12 snake species, 9 lizard species, various frogs, the Timor deer (the main prey of the Komodo), horses, water buffalos, wild boars, the endemic Rinca rat, fruit bats, the orange footed scrub fowl and over 40 species of birds.
The marine fauna is astonishingly diverse and includes over 1,000 fish species, 70 types of sponges, 10 types of dolphins, 6 types of whales, dugongs, green turtles and various types of sharks, huge manta rays, stingrays, marine reptiles and crustaceans and occasionally migrating whales.
4. Dynamic Diving Site
Komodo National Park conveniently sits in the heart of the Asia Pacific Coral Triangle and is home to one of the world’s richest marine environments. Divers, scientists, and photographers from around the world come to this national park to experience the astonishing biodiversity which can be found in one of the many dive sites – the larger islands of Rinca, Komodo, and Padar, together with the smaller islands that surround them, make up at least 100 world-class dive sites.
The area is famous for its fierce currents, riptides, and whirlpools which bring in rich nutrients from the depths of the Indian Ocean to create ideal conditions for thousands of species of tropical fish and corals to flourish.
5. Hiking Up Padar Island
The breathtakingly beautiful landscape on Padar Island is second to none. This island is the perfect place for a scenic hike and spectacular photos. As you ascend one of the many grassy hills, you will be swept away by the surrounding gorgeous green, white and blue hues. The vantage point from the tallest peak will give you a stunning view of four crescent-shaped sparkling beaches and an abundance of photos to make your family and friends green with envy. A hike up the main peak of this mountain will approximately take 2 to 3 hours. Be prepared and bring comfortable shoes, clothing, water, and sunscreen as the sun can get scorching hot.
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