Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Little Island of “Komodo Dragon”

Meet a modern day dinosaur.
The Nusa Tenggara islands are rich in history and culture. One island, however, is particularly famous for being the home of the world’s largest reptile, the Komodo Dragon. These huge monitor lizards are nephews and nieces of dinosaur, so it will come as no surprise to discover they are capable of swallowing a small water buffalo in one sitting.

Ferries that navigate the treacherous waters between Sumbawa and Flores call at the small island if Komodo, national park and the haunt of “dragons”. A survivor of another age, the Komodo Dragon is in reality an oversized monitor lizard, a species which has been in existence for 200 million years.

Guides take visitors, “dragon spotting” and there’s also a gruesome twice weekly feeding time, when up to 15 reptiles tear apart the body of a goat with such avidity that within minutes not a trace is left. More of giant lizard, live on the neighbouring island of Rinca, also reached from Flores and Sumbawa.

Futher off the beaten track, Labuhanbajo and Komodo are umpressive enough for elite of international underwater photographers to return year after year. At Lembata you can wangle a dive with pearl shell divers. Kupang promises plenty of wall diving with caves and big fish. Roti is rocky, with plenty of slopes and drop-offs profuse with soft coral.
Dive Season, possible all year round. Best weather is in April and October.

A visit to Pura Lingsar (Lombok) the only Hindu shrine where both Hindus and Moslem worship.

Searching and underwater gardens of Flores for the rare and exclusive Blue Fire-Goby.

Cooling your heels on magnificent Senggigi Beach, Lombok.

Taro scent the air while the trio of volcanic lakes on Mount Kelimutu (which appear chameleon-like in different colors from burgundy red to turquoise green).

Photographing the magnificent Sindeniggile water fall (Lombok).

By Indonesia Tourism Promotion Boards. (Indonesia a World all its Own)
By This Way Indonesia (James Hardy)
Photo by Gery Bell (Oceanwide Images)

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