For most of us, Indonesia, first of all, is associated with Bali – a fashionable resort with unearthly beauty of nature. But there are still a lot of amazing islands in this state, famous for their unique flora and fauna. Check topschoolsintheusa.com to learn more about Indonesia.
Komodo stands out among them, which, along with other land areas, is included in the National Conservation Park of the same name, which occupies not only six hundred square kilometers of land, but also a significant part of the coastal water area, in which slightly less than half of all species of ocean inhabitants live. This park was founded over thirty years ago and is under the auspices of UNESCO.
But most importantly, the descendants of prehistoric lizards still live on Komodo today – huge monitor lizards that appeared here about two hundred million years ago, in the Jurassic period.
How to get there
You can get here from the nearby large island of Flores, where there is a small airport. There you can be offered both an organized sightseeing tour to Komodo, costing about six hundred US dollars, and a simple boat transfer for about one hundred and fifty dollars per person.
Legend and true
The holy lie is never an artistic metaphor, but the most authentic story of the discovery of the zoological pride of Indonesia – the dragons of Komodo Island. One foggy morning at the dawn of the 20th century, the Dutch pilot Hendrik van Bosse took off from Java to one of the islands of the archipelago. A sudden tropical storm picked up a light plane and threw it into the raging ocean, fortunately not far from an uninhabited island, where the pilot miraculously managed to get out. Recovering his senses and looking around, Herr Hendrik froze in surprise: a strange dragon was walking straight at him, not intending, however, to cause any harm to the rescued. The pilot spent a whole year on the island in the company of a couple of hundred giant lizards (one of which, they say, Hendrik called Friday), after which he designed a raft and departed on it for the civilized world, in which, here’s the trouble, no one believed the tales of Robinson, who had lost his mind. And then the pilot went to the trick: he began to praise the island, painting downright paradises, rivers of ambrosia and naked houris. Greedy humanity was not slow to follow this earthly paradise… and saw firsthand the existence of fantastic dragons. By the way, Hendrik didn’t cheat at all about bushes: ask any tourist who has been to Indonesia.
Flores also has a beach hotel consisting of several bungalows. There is also a small restaurant, the dishes in it are unpretentious, but no less tasty, a dinner for one person will cost no more than twenty dollars.
For the inhabitants of the mainland, rumors about these unprecedented animals – monitor lizards – seemed so implausible and even ridiculous that only when, at the dawn of the 20th century, one pilot who accidentally flew here brought the skins of these “Komodo dragons” to the Butensorg Botanical Garden for research, the world community believed in them. Existence.
Monitor lizards of Komodo Island weigh on average about seventy kilograms, in the conditions of reserves they can be much larger. The largest monitor lizard that we managed to see weighed more than one and a half centners, and its length was three meters.
Monitor lizards with Komodo
The locals, of whom there are about two thousand on the island, greatly revere these inhabitants and still believe in the fantastic legend that the snake princess gave birth not only to a man, but also to the first monitor lizard – the female Ora, bequeathed to her human son to treat Ora as to equal. Since then, these huge lizards feel completely safe and are completely calm about the presence of numerous tourists.
True, the latter should just be more careful, because monitor lizards are still predators, although they hunt for the most part deer and wild boars, which are also full of the island. They attack the victim, leaving her torn wounds poisoned with a specific poison, and when she dies, they calmly start eating.
However, the Indonesians are trying to feed the lizards to ensure the safety of tourists.
The main thing to remember is that these animals, like sharks, are able to smell blood at a fairly large distance (up to five kilometers), so having open wounds, it is better to refrain from visiting the island for a while.
In general, many people come here just to see with their own eyes how a monitor lizard hunts or, more interestingly, sort things out with another representative of its species. This is a truly rare and breathtaking spectacle, which can only be seen by the most careful and patient tourists. But the vast majority of the time, “Komodo dragons” imposingly walk around the island, generously allowing themselves to be photographed.
It is worth noting that there is something to photograph on Komodo – hills overgrown with green grasses and shrubs, coming close to the azure waters of the Pacific Ocean, entire groves of cotton trees, the fruits of which are not difficult for city dwellers to confuse with bananas, dozens of varieties of unique tropical birds, butterflies and snails.
Features of rest on Komodo
Also, unusually friendly, smiling people live on the island, whose main occupation is fishing and, of course, tourism. All of them are concentrated around their small village almost on the very coast, and rarely move inland, especially alone. Moreover, all houses stand exclusively on piles, because this is the only way to protect your home from the ubiquitous “land crocodiles”.
There are no hotels, cafes or supermarkets here. Even electricity in these parts is very rare, it appears only for a few hours a day thanks to a single diesel generator.
However, on the island, especially in places where boats and boats with tourists moor, there are original souvenir shops where locals, old and young, sell handmade beads, pearls or even dragon claws.
Going to Komodo Island, it is advisable to take a minimum of clothes and a maximum of essentials, because there are no shops here. There is also no mobile connection on the island. And remember, if you went to the island for just one day, try to start the return trip as early as possible, as it gets dark here very quickly, and sailing in pitch darkness is not very comfortable, even if an experienced local resident is at the helm.