Komodo National Park lies within an area known as the Wallacea—the domain of a fierce and rare species of reptile that looks like a dinosaur, but is called a Komodo dragon and, of course, is not even remotely related to either a dinosaur or a dragon. Instead, the Komodo dragon is the remnant of a once widespread ancient order of monitor lizards that today survives on only a handful of these islands. Approximately 1,100 of this protected species remain on Komodo Island. This giant reptile often measures up to 11 feet in length and can weigh more than 300 pounds. Like other monitor lizards, the head is tapered, the ear-openings are visible, and the neck is long and slender. The Komodo dragon is a carnivore, and preys on the deer and wild pigs that inhabit the island. They also sometimes eat their own young. It is a good swimmer and, for short distances, quite swift on land. The island of Komodo itself is about 60 squares miles in area and is volcanic in origin, with dramatic landscapes of 2,000-foot craggy mountains, deep arroyos, canyons, savannahs and monsoon rain forests. Fresh water is scarce on the island, collected during the monsoon season in a few isolated areas. Human habitation is therefore limited to only one settlement in Slawi Bay. Once ashore, you will be escorted on foot to Komodo National Park for a walking tour in search of the Komodo dragon. Accompanied by park rangers and an English-speaking guide you will walk about one mile (roughly 1½ hours) to the fenced area near Banunggulung to look for the dragons. You’ll have a chance to take some photos here. Guests with less walking ability can walk partway or just stay at the ranger station where Komodo dragons are occasionally seen. An open bar with soft drinks and mineral water is available to you at the ranger station and reception area. The monsoon forests of Komodo teem with activity of other wildlife, particularly in the morning before the sun is at its peak. Squawking cockatoos flock in often leafless trees, disturbing large green imperial pigeons, black-napped orioles, sun birds, flowerpeckers, and noisy friarbirds, while shiny black dragoons and enormous crows soar nearby. Finally, you will reach the finish point and have some free time for local souvenir shopping.Notes: Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. The Komodo dragon is wild and is not artificially fed by the local authorities. The park rangers accompanying the tour will decide which route the trek will follow. Weather conditions can be extremely hot and shade is limited; dress accordingly, wear sunscreen and a hat, and bring bottled water.
Average Customer Rating:
(13 Reviews) 10
Rating Snapshot(13 reviews)
12 out of 13(92%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Komodo Island Trek
Review 1 for Komodo Island Trek
A pleasant walk to see the Dragons
Date:March 9, 2015
Cruise Date Year:2015
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
This was something on my "BUCKET LIST" and I was totally happy I went to Komodo.
Its a pretty easy trek actually, not much in the way of serious hill climbs (we had a couple of small sharp climbs of around 15 metres or so). The walk itself was mostly in shade which was very good considering the heat (around 35C or 95F along with very high humidity). All up it was the long trek that we took which was some 2 hours in total.
Animals spotted were wild boar, wild pig, deer, wild chickens and various bird species.
The Komodos themselves were all lazying around a man made waterhole about 10 minutes walk from the Ranger Station. The Dragons are big but very much like well fed large dogs, they just lay around and slept. A couple of Dragons did move around and we got to within 10 metres of them at times. Beautiful animals and you can see just how powerful these Dragons are when you are that close to them.
Word of Warning, make sure you are properly HYDRATED and TAKE Water with you. We had an elderly lady collapse from the heat just after seeing the Dragons, excellent response by the Rangers, the lady concerned was back to the ship well before we were and made a full recovery. You can't drink enough water in this type of environment.
Finally the only real low point was having to endure the "market" run, where our trek took us through various local market stalls. T Shirts, wooden Komodos of all sizes etc for sale not to mention having either very young children or the elderly begging for dollars (not Rupiah). You really must ignore them and just focus on either buying a present for the folks at home or just walking on by to get back to the ship tender.
All up it was an excellent couple of hours very well spent.
Yep, they really exist though we didn't see them until the end of the walk. We set out with our guides who carry these forked sticks to fight off the feared Komodo dragon, which is just a monitor lizard. Up hills and down dusty paths we walked and saw only the occasional deer – not even a snake to hold my interest. I was convinced that the Komodo dragon was a promotional stunt to lure unsuspecting tourists to the island.
Then, at the final watering hole, there they were; some big lazy ones, and some smaller active ones! Here’s the word on these lizards: they are carnivores; as reptiles, they lay eggs – Mama leaves and they have to fend for themselves when they emerge. They climb trees to survive until they are big enough. It’s dog eat dog in the lizard world (or dragon eat dragon). Mom doesn’t know her kids so she might eat them. Mama lays 15 to 20 eggs – only 5% survive, it that. These big, ugly lizards eat the deer and wild boar on the island. Here’s how: they have 60 different kinds of bacteria in their saliva. When they bite their victim, an infection starts. The deer die in five days and the boar in seven. Then, and only then, do they get devoured. In the group before us, a dragon bit a deer on the tail. You know what that means! Yummy!
The only downside was the gauntlet of locals selling trash and trinkets at the end. There is a path around it but you have to look for it. Otherwise a great experience to see these large creatures.
You must get off the ship at Komodo Island as you cannot see the 'dragons' in the wild elsewhere (not the same as seeing them in a zoo cage). Unless you have managed to arrange a private tour with a ranger in advance (almost impossible to do) then you cannot disembark the ship unless you are on a tour (nothing to do with HAL, but it is to protect the wildlife). The 'long' trek (more like a Sunday afternoon stroll) takes you through pretty unremarkable scenery and at the end you encounter the animals. If these are all you want to see (as we did), then you might as well go on the shorter walk, since the animals are obviously always at the same place, just a few yards away from the end. The chances of seeing them elsewhere are pretty remote, especially if you are in a group. Having done other nature treks elsewhere, we were disappointed and I found the walk pretty boring, until the last 10-15 mins when we got to where the animals were. To get back to the ship you have to run the gauntlet of a large market with children begging. Shame. If someone could just advise the islanders that a large number of stalls selling the same items is counter-productive and having children overtly asking for money in a somewhat aggressive way id offputting, then they would doubtless sell far more. To sum up: you must get off to see the animals, but don't have high expectations. However, you MUST be on deck for the lengthy sail away as the scenery is magnificent. This really was one of the highlights of the trip.
This was a good excursion. Our ranger was knowledgeable and provided a very good guided tour. We saw deer, a wild boar, a flying lizard and several Golden Orioles. We saw the dragons only near the end of the trek where they (I counted nine) were congregating round a waterhole. This water hole is also on the short trail, so if it is only dragons you wish to see, this may be a better option as it is very hot. Seeing these creatures is a wonderful experience and not to be missed. At the end of the trail, you follow a roped path which forces you through a series of local souvenir stalls with fairly aggressive hawkers and young children tugging at the heart strings. This excursion or the shorter version is thoroughly recommended.
This hike was exciting and educational. On booking the tour, I was a bit worried (unnecessarily) that the hike might be too strenuous or perhaps dangerous. The path is in a level forest area and not too long, and the guides are well trained and numerous. The dragons seemed to be interested in us too, and want to come over to look! A couple of times the guides just decided to pull a dragon back away from the group, when one seemed to be getting too close for the guide's comfort. No problems, just great photos, and now I have seen them up close!
It was one of the highlights of the entire cruise. You really do get up close and personal with the dragons. One walked within 10 feet us us. Do not miss this.You cannot go ashore without an excursion.
Nice trip to see the "dragons." It was very, very hot.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
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Review 9 for Komodo Island Trek
The dragons and more
Date:May 4, 2012
Cruise Date Year:2012
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Delightful tour in an exotic location !
We got to see the dragons (a lot of them) and we were even attacked (closely followed) by a racing dragon. Fortunately (their bite is lethal), our knowledgeable guide and 2 assistants had long prong to keep them at bay. It is a very special tour, something that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world. This tour is for everyone but there is a long walk involved...not for mobility challenged persons.