The Komodo Dragon is so popular and renowned throughout the world that the Flores Tourism department has adopted the creature as its very own ambassador. The local government even renamed the Labuan Bajo airport in its honour. Unique to the island of Komodo and Rinca, which are part of the Komodo National Park located minutes away from Labuan Bajo within the district of West Manggarai, these giant lizards attract thousands of tourists to its habitat every year.
The heaviest lizards on earth, the Komodo Dragon weighs 300 pounds and reaches 3 metres in length with distinct long, flat heads with rounded snouts, scaly skin, bowed legs, and huge, muscular tails. A dominant predator, the dragon eats anything in its path including deer, pigs, water buffaloes, chickens and even humans. Currently there are about 3,000 to 5,000 dragons on the two islands.
When visiting the Komodo Dragons, it is compulsory to be accompanied by a guide. The dragons may look docile and lazy, but can in fact move at the speed of light (up to 11 miles an hour in short bursts) and attack when provoked.
Aside to the dragons, wildlife on land in Flores are quite similar to neighbouring tropical islands where you will most likely come face-to-face with monkeys, wild pigs, wild deer, bats, lizards and snakes. Flores is also home to some endemic species of birds including the Hanging Parrot, the Flores Scops Owl. Hiking across Flores’ pristine forests, you may just come across an orchestra of singing birds perched among groves of towering indigenous trees, adding a mystical touch to your adventure in the east.
Flores’ underwater worlds and the surrounding islands are filled with rich and colourful marine life, which you’ll be able to observe just by snorkeling. The calm underwater current near the shoreline helps provide for good visibility and you’ll get to come close to sea turtles, stingrays, reef sharks, lobsters and all kind of big and small fish. The marine area around Komodo National Park is a world-famous dive site and is home to over 1000 species of fish and more than 350 reef building corrals.
|The Legend of the Komodo Dragon
Long, long ago, a mythical princess lived on Komodo Island whom people called Putri Naga or the Dragon Princess. The princess married a man named Majo and bore him twins; one was a boy and the other a baby dragon. Her son she named Si Gerong and raised him amongst men. The dragon she called Orah and raised her in the forest. Neither knew anything of the other.
Years later, Si Gerong shot a deer while hunting in the forest. As he stepped forward to take his prey, a giant lizard appeared from the bushes and seized it hungrily. Si Gerong tried to chase the beast away but failed, as it stood over the prey and barred its teeth. Si Gerong raised his spear to kill the giant lizard when suddenly a radiant woman appeared; it was the Dragon Princess who said to Si Gerong, “Do not kill this animal, she is your sister Orah. Consider her your equal because you are twins.”
From then on, the inhabitants of the island treated the Komodo dragons with kindness. The animals roam freely in the forests, feeding themselves on wild pigs, deer and other animals. Komodos who are no longer able to fend for themselves are fed by their human brothers.
Komodo National Park – Flores Plus Magazine
Rediscover Hidden Paradise
Flores Plus Magazine is the go-to media for everything unique, interesting and useful on the Komodo Dragons and the Komodo National Park in Flores Island, Indonesia. In this section, readers will find tips, information and updates on the Komodo Dragons, the Komodo National Park which consists of hundreds of smaller islands including Komodo Island, Rinca Island and Padar Island, the waters surrounding them as well as Labuan Bajo, which is the gateway to the Komodo National Park. Find out more on various available activities including cruising, diving, trekking, snorkeling, wildlife sightseeing, entrance tickets and other fees in the Komodo National Park. Flores Plus is part of the PT. Trijaya Dewata family, a premier publishing and media brand in Bali and across Indonesia. Established in 1996, it has decades of experience with multiple titles in three languages published over the years. With the launch of Flores Plus, the company now will lead the way as one of the pioneers of tourist media in Flores, Komodo and the Komodo National Park. Available now in English and soon in Japanese, Flores Plus Magazine has a strong online presence and engagement via its website, daily e-newsletters and social media platforms which are updated daily