Visiting the dragon’s lair

Well of course it is not the dragon that can spit fire or even fly as known through many fairy tales. It is only a giant lizard that can grow to more than 2 meters long from its head to the tip of its tail. People believe that the creature is a living dinosaur, because of its appearance. The unique creature is known as the Komodo Dragon (varanus komodoensis), an endangered species which can only be found in the Komodo National Park, which is located in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

The National Park consists of three main islands namely Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as many small islands and islets around those three islands. Last November, I got the opportunity to visit Komodo Island, one of the main islands in the National Park.

Komodo Island is located between Sumbawa and Flores. Travelers usually use Labuan Bajo in Flores as their base, if they want to visit Komodo Island. For them, who have more adventurous spirit; they can try to live on board while visiting Komodo Island.

When I visited the island, I found that Komodo Island was quite dry. Almost every plant has yellowish color of dry leaves. It was a perfect setting for an island that is inhabited by dragons. The beaches, however, are beautiful. The sands are white and the water is crystal clear.

On my hike on the island, I was accompanied by ranger who brought a long stick that can be used to prevent a dragon attacking travelers. Usually, a ranger will accompany up to five visitors. They who want to see the komodo dragons can choose a short, medium, or long track through the forest and savannah on the island. But since the dragons live in the wild, it is not guaranteed that travelers can always found ones. At that time I chose the short track, and fortunately not long since I started my track, a komodo dragon came out from the bushes and crossed my path. It was around 2 meters long. Wow, it was amazing to see the wild creatures up close in their natural habitat.

According to the ranger, even though the creature has a threatening appearance, they are not active hunters. They usually stalk their victims, usually wild boars, deer, or also monkeys, that can be easily found on the island. The komodo dragon will bite it, and then release the injured victim. Then the dragon will follow its victim patiently and let it dying, sometimes up to several days. If the victim has already very weak, komodo dragon will devour it whole, includes its bones and fur.

Categories: Travel Pictures | Tags: , , | 50 Comments

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50 thoughts on “Visiting the dragon’s lair

  1. A few years ago, I have seen a tv-documentary about these Komodo-dragons – quite impressive animals; your pictures of them and the landscape are amazingly beautiful.

  2. Kemarin aku baca postingan serupa ttg pulau komodo di blog lain, skrg di blognya mas Chris, jadi pengen ke sana juga mas, terpesona dengan foto foto cantiknya

    • Aku juga belum puas disana Mbak πŸ™‚. Pengen juga berkunjung kesana sewaktu sedikit menghijau, tidak kering kerontang seperti pas aku kesana itu.

  3. Foto ketiga dari atas aku sukaaa sekali dan komodonya bny bgt ya😊

    • Yang ketemu di jalan pas trekking sih cuma satu, Mbak. Tapi di bawah markas ranger itu memang ada beberapa. Katanya sih mereka ngumpul gitu karena mencium bau masakan yang dimasak para ranger itu.

  4. The beach is so beautiful, imagine it makes so much different over the other side of the sea!

  5. Komodo dibawah rumah tuh kereeen

  6. Ayoooo! Kita main main sama KOMODOOOO! Hiks! Ngidam:D

  7. Β‘ImΓ‘genes maravillosas!, se ve un lugar hermoso!!

  8. Ahh I’ve been dreaming to go to this island. I hope it will be sooner than later. Nice pictures you have!

  9. Beautiful pictures. I’d love to go to that island as well! I’ve seen these animals in the zoos but to see them on their ‘home’ island would be amazing.

    • Thank you. Yes it is very different to see those animals in the zoo and in their natural habitat where there is no cage separate us with them. I like it better to see them in the wild even though it must be more dangerous to us.

  10. omg, reptiles scare me! haha but the island is truly lovely! ^^

    • In this case, you don’t have to worry. There are always rangers who will guard you if you happen to visit the island πŸ™‚

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  12. these photos are really lovely! I would love to visit this place someday…

  13. petit4chocolatier

    Chris, the clouds in the pictures were amazing! Some seemed dramatic before the dragon pictures, and then calmer afterπŸ™‚

    • Hi Judy, I agree with you. It was dramatic indeed, and in some place looked quite menacing since it was so thick and heavy. Fortunately, the wind blew them away and made the sky clearer πŸ™‚

  14. I’ve already read and watched a lot about Komodo, and yeah, they’re damn beautiful! Thanks for the article. Hopefully I could go there someday.

  15. Nice Post !!πŸ™‚

  16. Beautiful shots!!! I like second picture.. It’s amazing!!!

  17. oh, now I seeπŸ˜€
    great photos!!!!

  18. Amazing pictures and details of Komodo dragons. You make it sound easy to study them…walk confidently and carry a big stick! Very interesting post.

    • It is not as easy as it sounds, of course. It is the rangers that carry the long stick. They know exactly how to handle the komodo. When they found a raging komodo that they cannot handle, then the best action is running zig-zagly because komodo are not easy to maneuver when running.

  19. katrina

    Wow..they are really fascinating ya Chris, scary though…

    *visiting Komodo Island will definitely stay in my wish listπŸ˜€

  20. Yes indeed πŸ™‚

  21. This is great! I am glad you got to see the dragons up close–they do look both prehistoric and like something out of a dragon tale. I read about their hunting style long ago. Fascinating. I will certainly put this island on my wish list of places to see.

  22. I just photographed a komodo at the zoo….how thrilling to see them in the wild. Awesome photos!

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