Komodo, the volcanic island of giant lizards, lies 320 miles (515 kilometres) east of Bali. Komodo is 25 miles (40 kilometres) long and 12 miles (19 kilometres) wide; its parched hills ascend to a height of 2,410 feet (734 metres). Komodo is home to a small community of some 500 people who make their living primarily from fishing. The island's centrepiece is Komodo National Park, where you will find the most tangible legacy left behind from the Jurassic Era.
Komodo Island was little-known and the Komodo dragons were only a myth until pearl fishermen discovered the giant lizards in the early-1900s. Extinct almost everywhere else, the island attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who come to see the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. Komodo National Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. A variety of bird species also make their home on the island.
The Komodo dragon's great bulk and weight are its most unique characteristics; even hatchlings average 20 inches (51 centimetres) in length. The adult male can reach 10 feet (3 metres) and weigh up to 330 pounds (150 kilos). Females attain only two-thirds of this size, and lay up to 30 eggs at a time. With their saw-like teeth, these fierce creatures are able to rip apart a deer, goat or wild pig. The animals have an uncanny sense of smell, and are considered among the world's most intelligent reptiles. They are quite agile over short distances, and can move swiftly to capture their prey.
The Indonesian Directorate of Nature Conservation (PPA) administers Komodo National Park. A park ranger must escort all visitors; independent exploration of the park is not permitted. A Visitor's Centre near the jetty provides information about the National Park and its inhabitants. Sightings outside the viewing area cannot be guaranteed, but the experienced park rangers usually know where the dragons are hiding out.
The ship is scheduled to anchor off Komodo Island. Guests will be taken ashore via the ship's tenders to a wooden jetty near the small Information Centre.
Souvenir stalls near the Information Centre offer a variety of souvenir items, including t-shirts, postcards and woodcarvings of the giant lizards. The local currency is the Rupiah. U.S. Dollars are generally accepted; credit cards are not.
Please note: Depending upon sea conditions, coming ashore may involve negotiating a ladder from the tender up to the jetty. Walking into the island's interior without a ranger is strictly prohibited.
Private arrangements are not available in this port.