Komodo National Park, East Nusa Tenggara.

Komodo National Park is a national park located in Nusa Tenggara Timur, or the East Nusa Tenggara Province. Geographically, the national park lies between Flores Island of the East Nusa Tenggara Province and Sumbawa Island of  the West Nusa Tenggara Province composing of three major islands- Rinca, Komodo, and Padar Islands - and other smaller islands. 

The national park was established in 1981 and was designated as Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1977 by UNESCO. Komodo National Park demonstrated exceptional natural beauty and hold the large majority of the only areas in the World in which wild population of Komodo dragon lizard still exist. Based on these values, the UNESCO designated the park as a World Heritage Site in 1991. In 2009, the park became one of the Official Finalist of New Wonders of Nature.

Komodo National Parks covers 1,733 square kilometers of rugged hillsides and dry vegetation that highly contrasts with sandy beaches and the blue coral-rich waters.

There are more than 250 plants mixed of Asian and Australian species in this park, some of these grasses and trees are fire adapted. The inhabitants  this park comprises also more than 30 mammals, 130 birds, 40 herpetofaunas, 100 fishes, 380 corals and numerous other invertebrate animals.

Most people living in and around Komodo National Parks are mostly fishermen which depend on the park's waters. There are three villages in the park : Komodo village in Komodo Island, Pasir Panjang village in Rinca Island, and Papagaran village on Papagaran Island with a population of more than 4000 people.

The Main Attraction : Komodo Dragons
Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) could only be found in the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Gili Motang, and Nusa Kode in KOmodo National Park. A small population of the dragons could also be found in western and northern Flores.

Komodo Dragons are carnivorous, cannibal, scavenger, and top predator. The main prey of the Dragons is imor deer. They also feed on water buffaloes, wild boars, wild horses, and long tailed macaques. The juvenile dragons feed on small lizards, rats, insects, and other small animals.  The mating season of the dragon occurs in around July - August, about two months later the female dragons will lay the eggs. Around February - April, the juvenille dragons hatch.

The Gateways 
There are two gateways into the Komodo National Park: Loh Liang and Loh Buaya. Loh Liang is the gateway in Komodo Island, providing visitors with the following activities : Komodo dragons and other wildlife watching such as Timor deer, wild boars, and water buffaloes; Bird watchingsuch as Sulphur crested cockatoo (cacatua sulphurea), orange-footed scrub fowl (Megapodius reinwardt), Sprangled drongo (Dicrurus densus), Green imperial pigeon (Ducula aenea), and Friarbird (Philemon buceroides).

Loh Liang is only two kilometers from Komodo village by sea and land transportation. Access into Loh Liang can be by sea and land. With motor vehicles, it takes approximately 10 minutes whereas by sea speedboat less than 5 minutes.

There are four types of trekking to choose, namely short track, medium track, long track, and adventure track. It depends on how long you want to see the dragons.Short track is reserved for tourists with a limited time. Tourists can take a short walk of around one kilometer  from Loh Liang to Tamaridn woods  and takes  a half-hour.
A medium trek takes you the route from Long Liang to Sulphurea Hill. The medium trek will walk you through dry forest and see water holes with Timorese deer wandering around. Once on the top of the hill,  the surrounding view of Komodo Island is worth the effort of climbing it.For tourists who love trekking, then the long and adventure trek is the right choice. Long Trekking takes you from Loh Liang to Banu Nggulung, while adventure trekking it takes you either from Loh Liang to Mount Ara or from Loh Liang to Loh Sebita via Rudolf Hill. By choosing this path of up to eight kilometer of walk then it is likely to see the cold-blooded animals in the wild roaming

Hikers on the island have to be accompanied by rangers armed with a long stick to protect from potential attacks of Komodo dragons. To get into the area of dragons breeding, you have to spend Rp 50 thousands, once entered, any kind of tracks you select, and Rp 80 thousands to pay for ranger services. Especially, for adventure, prepare a fund of Rp 500 thousands per 15 minutes to one ranger. 
The other gateway is Loh Buaya on Rinca Island. Loh Buaya provides visitors with the opportunity to the following activities :Komodo dragon and other wildlife watching such as water buffalo, long-tailed macaque, Timor deer, wild boar, and wild horse. 

Likewise, in Loh Buaya there are four types of trekking to choose, namely short track, medium track, long track, and adventure track.Short trekking takes you from Loah Buaya to Kepala Kuda, Medium from Loh Buaya to Panorama Hill, and the long one from Loh Buaya to Wae Waso. Adventure trekking gives you three alternatives  from Loh Buaya to : Golo Kode, Lengko Nggunung, and Kerrora village. It all depends on the time you have in Rinca Island.

Source: www.komodo-park.com


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