There’s only one place in the world where one could come face-to-face with the infamous Komodo Dragon. This fearsome creature, the only one of its kind on earth, roams freely in its natural habitat on two islands within the Komodo National Park.
It is believed that the Komodo Dragons originated in Australia. According to The Australian National University, the lizards crossed over to the Komodo National Park in West Flores, Indonesia, before becoming extinct in Australia.
Finding The Komodo Dragon
Today, there are approximately 2500 Komodo Dragons roaming on the islands of Rinca and Komodo within the Komodo National Park. The dragons live alongside other land species such as orange-footed scrub fowl, the endemic rat, and the Timor deer. Thanks to the islands’ dry and hospitable climate, rugged landscape, and unique flora, the Dragons have thrived in this UNESCO World Heritage Site for millions of years.
These creatures are a must-see for adventurers and explorers and continue to generate great interest among tourists, scientists and academia. Many scientists believe that the Komodo Dragon is directly related to the dinosaurs, which is why it continues to be a fascinating subject of interest for many.
Interesting Facts About The Komodo Dragon
Here are some interesting facts about the Komodo Dragon that you may or may not know:
- The Komodo Dragons can grow up to 10 feet in length and can weigh up to 300 pounds and live up to 30 years.
- They have long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, short bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails.
- They can eat up to 80% of their body weight in a single feeding.
- The Komodo Dragons have 60 curved, extremely sharp teeth containing a deadly venom which lowers blood pressure, causes large amounts of bleeding and prevents clotting which will send their victims into shock. Sepsis sets in and death occurs within a day, with the dragons following and closing in as the prey finally collapses.
- They can outrun and outswim any human or animal, even climbing trees to get to their prey. The Komodo Dragons can swim up to 21 km per hour and run at the speed of 17 km per hour.
- A female Komodo Dragon can lay about 15-30 eggs each time which it buries in the earth until they hatch 8 months later.
- Female Komodo Dragons have both male and female sex chromosomes, which means that they can reproduce asexually.
- Male Komodo Dragons have 2 penises called hemipenes.
The Komodo National Park
The Komodo National Park covers a total area of 1733 km2, comprising the four main islands of Rinca, Padar, Komodo and Seraya and 26 smaller islands. The Komodo Dragons can be found on Komodo Island and on Rinca Island, 40km away from Labuan Bajo.
In addition to the Komodo Dragons, Komodo National Park is also a fantastic diving and snorkelling destination. The waters surrounding the park are one of the richest marine environments on earth thanks to its location within the Coral Triangle, home to over 1000 species of fish, 350 species of reef-building coral and 70 species of sponges as well as dugongs, sharks, manta rays, whales, dolphins and sea turtles.
To get to Flores, one would have to fly in from Bali, Kupang, Jakarta or Surabaya. Flores is a large island with 6 different airports in six different districts so it is important to understand that the gateway to the Komodo National Park is Labuan Bajo. Be sure that your flight lands at the Komodo International Airport.
Nusantara Liveaboard Trip
The only way to get to the Komodo National Park from Labuan Bajo is by boat or private charter. Of course the best, most comfortable and most convenient option would be to charter our boat, Nusantara, to explore Komodo National Park.
You could cruise to the Komodo National Park with the Nusantara boat – measuring 21m long and 3m wide, a large diving deck at the back of the boat and a dive platform, a spacious dining area, a sun deck and a shaded top deck, she the perfect way to visit the park.
There is a dorm cabin below deck that can sleep up to eight persons with privacy curtains, fan, light, power sockets, plenty of storage space and two bathrooms with western-style toilets and showers. There are four more mattresses on the deck so if you so wish, you can sleep directly under the stars.
Meals are freshly prepared local dishes by our chef onboard. Fresh fruit and snacks are provided throughout the day, including tea, coffee and water. Soft drinks and beer are available to purchase at an additional cost.
Ready to go on an adventure with Mikumba Diving & see Komodo Dragons in person? Book our Komodo Liveaboard trip today and take advantage of our latest promotion. Contact us for more information or to book your diving trip with Mikumba!