Why not make your next trip a wonder of nature? Visit the Komodo National Park, listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and home to the Komodo Dragon!.
A quick google image search of the Komodo National Park and you shouldn’t need another reason to book a trip to this gorgeous part of the world. But in case you do, here are a few more.
The Komodo Dragons
These living dinosaurs found nowhere else in the wild, are definitely one of the biggest draws to the Komodo National Park.
Komodo Dragons are the largest living species of lizard in the world. They can grow up to 3 meters long and weigh up to 70 kgs. Their size is often attributed to the fact that they are the only apex predators in their environment.
However, being apex predators hasn’t saved these creatures from the destructions of man. Due to human activity, the population of these dragons has decreased to the point that they are now listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Although listed as vulnerable it is definitely not the adjective that comes to mind when you lay eyes on one. These impressive creatures are fierce and have been known to attack visiting tourists.
Tourists, though delicious in their eyes I’m sure, are not a part of the Komodo Dragon’s diet. They instead prey on the mammals, birds, and fish that inhabit the Komodo National Park. A good percentage of their diet is also made up of younger Komodo Dragons, who live up trees when they are young to avoid being eaten.
Your chances of seeing a Komodo Dragon when visiting the Islands are incredibly high. If you don’t come across any roaming around the grassy plains or forests, you’ll find them hanging around the kitchen buildings waiting for scraps.
Flora and Fauna
The Komodo Dragons do not inhabit these islands alone. The three main Islands Komodo, Padar, and Rinca and the 26 smaller Islands that make up the Komodo National Park are home to a number of other native mammals, birds, and lizards.
For the animal lover, you are likely to come across Timor deer, wild boar, water buffalo, crab-eating macaques and civet (many of which are a food source for the Komodo Dragon) as you explore the islands.
The Pink Sand Beach
Not all the wonders of this place are living. The landscape and seas are just as incredible as the plants and animals that call them home. One such spot is the Pink Sand Beach. There are only 7 pink sand beaches in the world, each getting their colour from a mix of soft white sand and tiny broken pieces of red rock or coral.
Snorkel, Dive, Swim
Although the National Park was initially founded to protect the Komodo Dragon the protection extends far beyond the sandy shores of the Island. In 1991 the Komodo National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site meaning a number of the human activities that could damage the park were put to an end. And of the 1,733 km2 of Komodo National Park, only 603 km2 of them are land, meaning there are over 1000 km2 of protected and pristine ocean to be explored.
As a result, sea coral and sea creatures native to the area have been able to flourish. The Komodo National Park provides, what are arguably, some of the top diving destinations in the world.
The water in and around Komodo National Park is clear, blue and teeming with life. Swim with manta rays and dolphins. Dive with turtles and whale sharks. Explore the many coloured coral reefs and fish or just float in the calm blue waters after a hot day chasing dragons.
Whether you are an experienced scuba diver, an enthusiastic snorkeler or you just enjoy swimming close to shore the Komodo National Park is not a place to be missed by anyone who loves the sea.
Sail the Seas
Just as below the waves, there is beauty in sailing atop them. The best (and only) way to get to the Islands that make up the Komodo National Park is by boat.
Take it slow aboard a large wooden sailboat equipped with everything you need to spend the night, or the week. Sleep out under the stars on the deck of the boat, rocking ever so gently on the calm blue seas.
Or zip between the Islands on a fast boat for a bit more of an adrenalin rush.
I mean why not have a journey that’s just as good as the destination?
Another benefit of being out to sea is the unobstructed view of the sunrise over the ocean and the sunset over distant mountains (or vice versa depending on where you are).
There could be no better way to start your day of swimming and sightseeing than waking with the warmth and colours of the rising sun.
And if getting up early is never your thing, don’t fret, the sunsets are equally as spectacular, followed by a sky full of stars undiluted by light pollution.
Every which way you look in this pristine nature park there is something living or scenic to take your breath away.
It’s one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature
Although not a ‘new’ wonder of nature it was recently voted in the 7 New Wonders of Nature. Millions of people voted and Komodo National Park made the cut. So if this list isn’t enough motivation that should be.
With the National Parks popularity on the rise, it is a good idea to book your tour well before you arrive. So what are you waiting for, its time to go chase dragons!