Nusa Tenggara, literary means Southeast Island, is quite different from the rest of Indonesia. More to the east of Indonesia, the climate becomes drier ad the flora and fauna are more evocative of parts of North Australia than of tropical Bali…….
Formerly known as the lesser Sunda Island, Nusa Tenggara is divided into two large provinces: West Nusa Tenggara (comprising Flores,Sumba,Timor and a number of small island). Each of the island of Nusa Tenggara has their own particular flavor,and the dragon of Pulau is amongst the leading attractions,rated as some of the unique attractions is Southeast Asia.
Komodo dragon is an ancient species, the varanid genus originated in between 25 and 40 million years ago in Asia.
The Komodo dragon is believed to be descended from this species and evolved to its present from over four million years ago. Komodo dragon is known for a long lived and the largest reptilian species with an estimated life expectancy of over 50 years in the wild life. The largest recorded specimen was 3,13 meters in length and was undoubtedly a male as the females rarely exceed than 2,5 meters in length. An approximate weight for an adult Komodo is 70 kilograms. The Komodo is a stealth predator which lies motionless and camouflaged. Prey species for the dragon on Komodo Island include deer,boar,wild buffalo,the maleo bird,snakes,reptiles and small mammals. On Rica,monkeys and wild horses are often become the constitute preys,as well as goats. The Komodo is typically a communal feeder and many numbers of dragon may arrive at the site of the carcass.
The home of the Komodo dragon,Komodo National Parks,lies in between the island of Sumbawa and flores at the bordr of the East Nusa Tenggara Timur and West Nusa Tenggara Barat provinces. Of course, the big attraction within this parks is the gargantuanlizard, known as “ora” to the locals or Komodo dragon. The park includes three major island; Komodo,Rinca and Padar, and identified by WWF and conservation international as a global conversation priority area. Komodo National Parks encompasses an area of around 173.300 hectares,in which 40.728 is land and 132.572 is sea. The highest point in the park is Mount Satalibo at 735 above the sea level.
Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and was declared a world heritage site and a man and biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1986. The park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo drago (Varanus Komodoensis)., first discovered by scientist J.K.H Van Steyn in 1911. Since its discovery, the conservation goals have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity,including marine and terrestrial. The majority of the people in and around the park are fishermen originally come from Bima (Sumbawa),Manggarai,South flores,and South Sulawesi.
At the national park, there are two ranger stations providing simple accommodation for tourist, at Loh Liang on Komodo and at Loh buaya on Rinca. However, most of tourists visiting the park pass through the Loh Liang ranger station,which nestled in the sweeping arc of Slawi Bay on Komodo Island. In fact,it is the largest facility in Komodo national park with bungalows and rooms, a restaurant and a dormitory for the park rangers. Over there,the most popular activity is a hike to the Banugulung viewing area,a two- hour roundtrip walk that originates from Loh Liang. Hikes to other areas of Komodo are also possible,and vary from one to two days,depending on the hiking locations such as: Gunung Ara,poring,Loh Sebita,gunung sata libo,soro masangga.
The entrance ticket to Komodo national park cost Rp 20.000 and is valid for three days,but it is easily reneable.
Apart from the Komodo dragon spotting activity,the national park has some of the best diving and snorkeling sites in Nusa tenggara. The diving sites are well known for its variety of marine life due to the convergence of the warmer Flores sea and the cooler sumba strait. The open waters around the national park are between 100 and 200 m deep,and the strait between Rinca and Flores,and between Padar and Rinca,are relatively shallow,within 30 to 70 m deep,with strong tidal currents. If you are keen on diving,it is recommended to arrange with operators in advance at Labuan Bajo,which is the jumping off point for trips to Komodo and its twin Island Rinca. As for your information, the komodo national park administrative offices are also located in Labuanbajo.
The port of Labuanbajo is easily reached by air from Bali and Java. Or by bost from Sumbawa. A trip to Komodo national park offers a great experience to meet with one of nature’s last living dinosaurs,the komodo dragon,and yet a different face of the Indonesian island.(taken from Bandung Advertiser)