Over 5,000 million years ago, gigantic monitor lizards used to roam the earth. The Megalania—meaning “ancient great roamer”—were at least 5.5 meters long and weight minimum 575 kg, originally coming from Australia. As time pass by, the giant roamers of the earth migrates to nearby places. The collision of Asia and Australia allows them to move to what today is Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia’s eastern archipelago. During this time, the Megalania evolved into what we know as Komodo Dragons (Varanus Komodoensies). While their sister Varanus taxon died out in Australia and Eurasia, the last glacial period cause the now Komodo Dragons are trapped on Lesser Sunda Islands. The condition seems to support the gigantic lizard to thrives on—these relic animal is still pretty alive and kicking. Today we call it the Komodo Dragon Island, which together with few other islands become the last sanctuary of these prehistoric beasts.
Protected by the government and almost left untouched from human civilisation for decades, the Komodo National Park grow into Indonesia’s best hidden treasure. Well, it’s not completely hidden anymore but its stunning charm still lives on. One step on the Komodo Dragon Island and you will transported back to the land before time.
The Rugged, Outlandish Beauty of Komodo Dragon Island
Dry forest, undulating hills, and high palm “lontar” trees punctuating the sky make the topography of Komodo dragon island. The Komodo Dragon Islands and other islands within the park have these surreal look. Almost like straight from a film set. The climate on these islands is the driest in Indonesia, contributing to the savannah vegetation and mangrove forest. It’s like watching the Jurassic movie—plus the wild-roaming dragons—only, this is very real.
Chance of Meeting the Dragons
The Komodo Dragon Island is the only place in the world where Komodo roams free in the wild. But it’s not the easiest place to spot the Komodo Dragons. The island is not a zoo and the freedom that the dragon has means that they can choose to live in the remotest parts of the island. They are even harder to found during the mating seasons. If you are lucky, you can meet three to five dragons during the walk. They do make majestic impression with their beastly looking, lurking around the trees and the dry grasses. But some travelers has to be satisfied with meeting only one in the wild! However, they are most frequently seen hanging out in their favourite spot; under the shade of the kitchen hut. Not the most Jurassic-looking sight you can get, but thats better than nothing.
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Maintain Your Safety
Never venture inside the Komodo dragon Island without a guide. It’s dangerous to walk alone and you might probably attacked by the dragons. These lizards are very good predators—they are very patient and act all sleepy when they wait for their prey to get distracted before a launching a sudden ambush! One bite and you are done. Also, they are highly sensitive to smell. Especially to bloods. Guides know the safe route, the dragons’ behaviours, and how to keep them at bay with their branchy wooden stick. It might seem fragile, but believe them. It can keep your body intact after finishing the dragon trip.