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The Legend of Komodo Dragon
By: Paul Edmundus
a travel brochure of East Nusa Tenggara Timur Province or East Lesser
Sunda Islands where Komodo is located that we published recently, I
wrote that if there are 8 World Wonders on our earth, the eighth must
be Komodo, one of the great wild life areas in the world, a National
park, 59,000 hectares that occupied more than 3000 Komodo Dragons or
Varanus Komodoensis or the giant lizards which are considered the last
of their kind remaining in the world today and the largest on earth.
I can understand if you will NOT believe this as many of my listeners
when I told this story most of them interrupted me with questions:"
is that really Paul?, is that true Paul, wow
locals name this animal: "Ora" or Grand Pa or Grand Ma, as
they believe that it was changed or formed from human and they are the
grand children and always appeal not to attack them. These giant lizards
are growing 3-4 meters in length, 1 meter high (when stands), 150-300
kg weight, can run swiftly, dig holes, swim, dive and the young dragons
can climb trees. I saw this myself in 1975 when the first time I visited
Komodo island, unfortunately I
had no camera YET to take pictures. I and my group accompanied by 5
police man who brought their guns, ready to shoot, we picked up them
in Labuanbajo - Flores, no rangers, no tickets, no camera fee. Why did
the young dragons climb? Because I hung a bait, a dead goat on the tree
to enable the dragons to smell from far distance and come close to the
tree on the beach where I and my colleagues have made a very good camouflage
for our Italian journalists and tourists of 21 persons can make pictures.
But about 10 years ago the local Authority has forbidden visitors to
feed the dragon in order to live naturally.
The National park consists of 3 main islands: Komodo,
Rinca and Padar and other small islands surroundings. Komodo Dragons
are carnivore; they can kill goats, deer, horse, buffalo and wild boars.
Komodo dragons are NOT only live in the above islands, but also in Flores
Island, they are scattered from the west part to the central of Flores
about 200 km away to the east. Since 1975 I have visited this island
and witnessed the activity of the dragons for more than 300 times and
I have no boring at all.
they dangerous? The answer is YES and NO. No for the locals, but their
goats and roosters some times gone. There was sadly story about a Swisstzerland
tourist who disappeared on this island in 1974. There was a big rescue,
4 days police, armies, locals have searched the whole island, but unfortunately
no sign that he was still there a live. They found his camera 8 km away
from the spot that he should be with his tour group and his tour Guide,
no sign that he was attacked, no blood, no evident, nothing. Finally,
the local authority and his Swisstzerland family concluded that he lost
in Komodo Island.
What you have to do if you wish to visit Komodo island to see the dragons?
- Never, never and never walk in the jungle without a
Ranger or more.
- Always follow the instruction from the Rangers and your
- DO not wear red shirt, red hat or red pants. Red is
the color of blood.
- Ladies who are in "period" do not visit the
island, the dragon has very sharp smell and will run after you.
How to get there?
are 4 ways to reach Komodo island.
- By fly from BALI to Labuanbajo-Flores (daily flights).
Then cruise to Komodo 3 hours.
- By fly from BALI to Bima on Sumbawa island. There are
daily flights. Drive to Sape harbor for 1 hour then cruise to Komodo
- By fly to Maumere on Flores island, have an overland
to experience the people, culture, nature and wild life and as the
high light is the Three Colored Lakes Kelimutu. Then reach Labuan
Bajo, cruise to Komodo.
- By cruise from BALI which will take 5-7 days program,
combine air, land and sea.
In May 2004 a lady wrote me in 4 days to question all information
to visit Komodo, which I guessed she just want to find out information,
probably she would like to visit by her own. I gave all the answers
because she came to the right person. I have been very patient to answer
all her needs. Here are the questions:
- How many kilometers is it from Bima to Komodo island?
- How many kilometers is it from Komodo to Rinca island?
- How many kilometers is it from Rinca island to Bima?
- How many kilometers from Sape to Bima?
- What are the road condition?
- Are there any other ports that I could sail to islands
from or is Sape is the only one?
- Are there gate to the island? Is there a time to open
and close the park?
- What are the sea condition? Are there water somewhat
- Would I want to bring sea sickness pill? Or are they
- How many km is it from the Flores airport to the Labuanbajo
- How long and how much distance from Labuanbajo port
to Rinca? Are there differences in the sea conditions and currents?
Do you want to have the answer and especially to plan to
visit Indonesia includes BALI and KOMODO islands? Let me know. I am
Indonesian, I was born and live here, my personal experience in exploring,
designing, leading tours throughout Indonesia since 1971 (now is 43
years) and have promoted this destination since 1975 (now 31 years)
is a guarantee that you will be in a good hand. Please send us your
inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
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