One of the highlights of our trip to Indonesia in 2009 was the two day boattrip to the Komodo Islands. Everyone (I think?) has heard of the worldfamous Komodo dragons and how dangerous these prehistoric creatures are. If you don’t know how a Komodo dragon looks than check out the little youtube film (from national Geographic) which shows you a bit more of their nature.
While the ultimate highlight was meeting the Komodo dragons the entire boattrip was not too bad either. it was gorgeous weather and the trip from Bima (Sumbawa) till Komodo showed beautiful sights and we stopped a few times along the way on a little deserted island or at a place we could go snorkeling. (I saw Nemo!)
The boat was ofcourse not very luxurious and the sleeping quarters left some things to be desired. Not because it was small or dirty but because the smell of gasoline was horrible and it was below and warm and hot. Tom and I quickly decided we would sleep outside on deck. Not that I slept that well but at least I wasn’t completely nauseous from the gasoline smell. And we got to stare at the gorgeous stars in the sky. It was a bit cold on deck. And man how fast it get to be light in the morning! It’s like turning on a light switch. As fast as it becomes night, it becomes day as well.
On Komodo it is not allowed to wonder of on your own for the obvious reasons. Although I have to say that those rangers with their wooden sticks didn’t strike me as that much protection against a dragon attack. The biggest lizzard in the world against a wooden stick. Who do you think will win eventually? The Komodo dragon is so dangerous because their bites are poisonous. It is filled with all sorts of bacteria and one bite will slowly but surely kill you. They can stalk their prey for weeks after having given it the fatal bite. It might take long or it might take short but the animal will die eventually. Nice huh.. ? Long and painful dead!
The first thing we saw when we came onto the island was a clear sign of recent komodo activity; their foodsteps Fresh, so they were around! Ofcourse we felt like true adventurers while we were led across the island in search of Komodo’s.
Proof of the fact that we did see them is in the photos.. 😉 And they are so deceivably calm, but yet there is this weird threat if you look at them. They’re just scary and you can see and feel they’re used to kill. And have no natural enemies either. I was happy with my long telelens; I did not want to get close to these monsters! Ofcourse the rangers know exactly where they are usually so the change of you not seeing one is not so big. It was impressive and the island itself is also nice to walk around on.
It can be that you hear a certain breaking of branches in the bushes… That happened to us and it is a bit of a scare really when you all of a sudden find a komodo getting out of the bushes. not that they even look at you but we carefully retreated a bit…Our group was split int two parts to make sure the rangers could keep the overview and the second group had witnessed a spectacle of two mating komodo’s. They came back with impressive photos and we sadly missed it. We saw only sleeping komodo’s… O well, you can’t have it all right?
If you find yourself on the Sunda Islands than I would definitely recommend you pay a visit to the Komodo islands. Because believe me when I saw that a komodo in real life is something else entirely!