Rinca and Komodo Island
The Komodo National Park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores at the border of the Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) provinces.
It includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totaling 603 km2 of land.
The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2,321 km2.
Almost entire Komodo Island are hills and barren, except palm tress and woods. This island is famous with its giant lizards which are considered the last of their kind remaining in the world today. To many modern naturalists, East Nusa Tenggara is particularly interesting because of its unique species, called the komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis).
The local people call the animal "Ora". It is a giant lizard with 3-4 meters length whose ancestors roamed the earth about half a million years ago.
Komodo lives by eating carcasses of goats, deer, and even of its own kind. The only human population in this island live in fishermen village. They also breed goats which are used to feed the giant lizards.
Komodo is protected by law and though they are considered harmless, it is advisable to keep them at distance. Komodo is now preseved at national park. The national park is home to a number of rare species, deer, and wild pigs, which are prey to the lizards.
To see komodo dragon at day time, baits have to be set in the hinterland where local guides are needed. The sea surrounding the island offers sea life, crystal clear water, and white sandy beaches. The only accommodation available is simple guest houses in the fishermen village. It is advisable to carry food supplies.
The best time to visit the island is between March and June, and between October and December. Komodo Island is accessible only from sea. From Labuan Bajo and Seraya kecil island, visitors can travel to the island by boat in about 3 - 5 hours.