Sunday, July 19, 2009

Komodo Island

This exotic island is located on the west edge of Nusa Tenggara Timur Province-to the East from Bali/Lombok, Indonesia. Since 1980 this island has become a national park and then later in 1986 UNESCO declared Komodo Island as the world's heritage.

What's so special about this island is as you can see from the name of this island, it is the natural habitat and in fact Komodo island is the only habitat for a pre-historical species called Komodo (Varanus Komodoensis), the natives use to call it "Ora". Komodo is a giant lizard with 2-3 meters long and could reach the weight up to 70-100 Kg.It loves hot and dry places in the Savannah or in a low ground tropical forest. During the night they would nest in a hole in the ground about 1-3 meters depth to maintain their body heat. Komodo is a carnivore, they eat goat, deer, wild boar and birds. But in certain condition they can turn into a cannibalistic animal by eating other komodos. Using its tongue as a smelling sense a komodo can smell its prey's carcass from 9 km away. The main weapon they use to hunt is their bite which is a very deadly bite since it contains poison and deadly bacteria, beside that they also have sharp claws and don't forget about their tail which can be used to hit the prey. Komodo also can run for 20 km / hour in a short distance, they can climb up a tree, swim and even dive.Like other reptiles, komodo regenerate by spawning. But a research had proven that there is another way for a komodo to breed, that is by parthenogenesis way. This way makes it possible for the female to produce eggs without being fertilized by male, and this unique way of breeding is believed to be the reason why komodo can survive all this long from the pre-historical time, they are truly amazing creatures.

The tourists are allowed to go and see komodos from a close range, but they have to be extra careful and there must be a ranger to accompany them, after all komodos are wild carnivore animals and one single bite from them could be very fatal.

But komodo is not the only attraction in this island, beside komodos this island has a beautiful beach and amazing coral and underwater beauty. you can find so many diving spots in this area with its natural beauty you wouldn't believe.

As one of the main tourism objects in Indonesia Komodo Island has many resorts from simple cottages to luxurious hotels and other tourist facilities. To get to this island you can take a plane from Jakarta / Denpasar to Kupang and then change plane to go to Ende in Flores Island, Then you shall continue your journey with a shuttle to Labuhanbajo (this trip would take about 10 hours) and then you take a speed boat that will take you straight to Komodo Island within 2 hours.

* If you wish to visit Indonesia, please go to Indonesia travel tips page

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