Monday, March 30, 2009


Komodo Island located in Nusa Tenggara Timur Regency, Flores. Komodo is one of scarce reptiles which still survive in Indonesia. Big lizard with strong tail that can hurt anyone. According to the tale, there was a mystical lady called the Dragon Princess lived on a remote island. She was married to a man named Najo. She conceived and gave birth to an egg she kept in a cave. A komodo dragon hatched out of the egg and was given the name Ora. A child, Gerong, was born at the same time. One day Gerong went out to hunt deer in a forest. He ran into Ora, who wanted to eat the deer being pursued. Gerong became enraged and was on the verge of killing Ora. The princess appeared at the last moment to remind them that they were twins. Gerong calmed down and behaved kindly toward Ora.
Remembering this myth, islanders treat the lizards they call Ora humanely. They feed aged komodos who are no longer capable of stalking prey, while the youngsters are free to chase deer and other animals in the forest. Thus, there are thousands of these rare dragons today.
The cave where Ora is said to have hatched is called Loang Atawini, on southern Komodo Island. There, the grave of Najo is also highly venerated. The Dragon Princess herself has no burial place, because locals feel certain that she is immortal and comes back when necessary to protect the island.
The old story and the Komodo culture are only part of the charm the island has to offer. Various beautiful places can be found in Komodo National Park (TNK), including Banu Nggulung, Merah Beach, Poreng-Sabieta, Mt. Ara and Mt. Satalibo
The prehistoric lizards can reach over three meters long and weigh as much as 90 kilograms. Besides Komodo Island, they are scattered on Rinca Island and a number of surrounding islets. Rinca's dragons are a bit fiercer, with yellowish skin. Komodos are solitary animals, very seldom seen in groups except in Banu Nggulung. Banu Nggulung is the location to watch and photograph komodos with ease. Komodos often appear on the route to Banu Nggulung, poised to devour the unwary. Therefore, visitors are not allowed to walk alone; they must be accompanied by national park guides or forest rangers.
Komodo Island also boasts a beautiful panorama of two brownish hills, Poreng and Sabieta, with expanses of grassland and rows of palmyra trees.
Another lovely spot is Mt. Ara, which is 510 meters above sea level and has a campground. One can get there via an 8-kilometer path from Loh Liang. Finally, Mt. Satalibo is the farthest destination from Loh Liang. With an altitude of 735 meters, it is the tallest mountain on Komodo
How to reach Komodo Island.
You can enter Komodo Island pass through Sape, on Sumbawa Island in West Nusa Tenggara. Tourists can take a ferry from Labuanbajo or Sape and disembark in Komodo Island waters before proceeding by sampan to the Loh Liang terminal. Fishermen's motorboats or speedboats can also be hired at negotiable fares. It takes 4 hours to travel from Labuanbajo to Loh Liang by motorboat
You can reach Labuanbajo by any major form of transportation. It takes four days by bus or sea from Jakarta. In order to save time, visitors can fly from Jakarta to Mataram, Lombok, and then go by bus to Sape and further by speedboat to Loh Liang.
Komodo National Park feels like a remote area. That is because its natural and geographic conditions are different from most other regions in the country.
The climate is relatively dry, with average rainfall of 800 to 1,000 millimeters. Its rainy season, which runs from January to April, and its longer dry spell affect the forms and types of flora and fauna.
Covering an area of almost 220,000 hectares, the TNK mainly comprises Komodo (33,937 hectares), Rinca (19,625 hectares) and Padar (2,017 hectares), plus Gili Motang and a number of islets and their waters. Flanked by two provincial borders, it lies in the Sape Strait between the western tip of Flores and the eastern tip of Sumbawa.

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