Komodo dragons are the world’s largest lizard. They live on only a few islands in the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. Komodo National Park is a World Heritage Site. It was also voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
King of Komodo
Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) are also known as the Komodo monitor. They were first documented by Western scientists in 1910. They called them ‘land crocodiles’. Or in Indonesian ‘buaya darat’.
In 1926 Douglas Burden went on an expedition to Komodo Island. The main reason to go was to see these land crocodiles. Burden went on to write a book called Dragon Lizards of Komodo. He was the one who coined the common name ‘Komodo Dragon’. In his book he referred to these amazing animals as the ‘King of Komodo’.
Burden was friends with Merian C. Cooper, the creator of the movie King Kong in 1933. Cooper was certainly fascinated by Burden’s story of his expedition to find the King of Komodo. Burden’s adventure provided Cooper’s inspiration for the King Kong movie!! Burden’s encounter with Komodo dragons was a big influence on the King Kong story.
Komodo Dragons are King!
The Komodo dragons can grow up to 3 metres long. They dominate the ecosystems where they live. They can live up to 30 years. Their favourite food is deer but they will eat anything, even their young!
Komodo dragons lay eggs in a nesting hole. The eggs hatch after 7-8 months. Dragons are cannibalistic so when the babies are born they immediately climb into the trees. Here they will eat insects. They mature at around 8-9 years old.
Komodo or Rinca Island Trekking
We can find the dragons on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores and Gili Motang. There are two ranger stations in Komodo National Park where you can go for a walk to see dragons. These ranger stations are based on Komodo Island itself and also Rinca Island.
Coralia Liveaboard usually visits Rinca Island. This land excursion begins with a speedboat ride into a bay, the beautiful scenery starts here! Once landed, it is a short walk to the ranger station.
Komodo dragons are pretty smart and have a very strong sense of smell! Therefore, it is quite likely you will find some hanging around the kitchen at the ranger’s station! After passing by the kitchen you will head up a winding path through long grasses and a small forest. At the top of the hill there is a great view.
Komodo Dragons on the Beach
On the south of Rinca Island is an area well known to scuba divers. Horseshoe Bay is formed by Rinca Island and Nusa Kode. The dragons roam the beaches here likewise. Famous dive sites include Cannibal Rock and Yellow Wall of Texas.
During a surface interval we can take the speedboats to the beach. We don’t get out of the boats because the dragons are roaming wild. There are no park rangers down here.
See a Komodo dragon up close in this video.
Join us to visit the Komodo Dragons!
Walk with us to see the King of Komodo by joining a Coralia Liveaboard cruise to Komodo!
Coralia will be visiting Komodo on several cruises in 2021. Please view our cruise schedule here.
Please feel free to contact us in case you have any questions. We look forward to your message!