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Meeting real dragons 

On Komodo Island in Indonesia

Real dragons? Let’s go see them up close (but not too close…). Some of these strange reptiles, with 60 teeth and tails as long as their bodies, are in the wild in their natural habitat, far away from the cold and located just under the equator.

Komodo Dragons take their name from the island, one of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands on which more than 5,000 of them live. Komodo National Park was founded to protect the vulnerable species that live in an environment of contrasts among volcanic rocks, savanna, tropical forests, white sand and turquoise waters.

The lords of the island

The world’s largest living lizards, growing to a maximum length of 3 meters (10 ft) and weighing up to 70 kilos (150 lb) are estimated to live up to 30 years. They hunt prey including birds, invertebrates and mammals as large as deer and goats.

As attractive as the island may be and as impressive as the dragons are, it is forbidden to camp on the island. Wonder why? As a matter of fact, Komodo dragons have a venomous bite: glands in their jaws secrete several toxic proteins.

Nonetheless, for the discovery and adventure, they are really worth the trip!

Where to stay?

On a boat:
For a 4-day/3-night stay with the Komodo Cruise tour operator, for example. They offer a cruise on a small boat with various options to those who want to see the dragons and have a few dives in the turquoise waters of this exceptional diving site: diving with manta rays, swimming or snorkeling.

For obvious security reasons, it is recommended to do business with a well-equipped professional tour operator. It could be tempting to accept the offer of a local inhabitant and give him a few dollars to help him out, but one must be aware that most of them don’t carry life jackets or other security equipment. It is at your own risk!

On land:
With the option of a one-day nautical excursion and for a comfortable and pleasant stay located directly on the Waicicu Beach, at a very reasonable price (starting from $55 US), the Sylvia Resort Komodo is a good choice. Located on the neighboring Florès Island, at Labuan Bajo, the complex has fast boats on which you can discover the surroundings.

Research and French original: Sylvie Berthiaume 

Translation: Christiane Théberge

 

  

 

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