By Dian Hasan | July 1, 2010
As a travel destination, Indonesia has long held captive the imaginations of many. Arresting sights for the world’s the culture- and nature- curious travelers. Stunning natural environment, intriguing culture, and beguiling flora and fauna to match.
The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is one such curiosity. The world’s largest monitor lizard, it can reach up to 65 kilograms (365 pounds) in weight and 3,13 meters in length. Female Komodo Dragons rarely grow over 2,5 meters (7 feet 6 inches) in length. Komodos may appear sedentary most of the time, but they can run! They commonly run at a slow trot of 8-10 km/hour, but when startled, they can pace up to 18 km/hour for short distances. Scientists estimate that Komodos can live up to 50 years or longer.
Komodos live exclusively on Komodo Island, in the Komodo National Park. The national park was established in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, and the marine biodiversity in the surrounding islands. In 1991 the national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Accommodation is available on the island, Bajo Komodo Eco Lodge, a certified eco lodge run by Eco Lodges Indonesia that operates three other eco lodges in national parks in Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), and Bali.
And for those seeking the solitude and tranquility of living like Robinson Crusoe on a deserted tropical isle, there are Seraya Island Bungalows and Kanawa Island Beach Bungalows on the nearby islands.