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The Komodo Dragon in its natural habitat (by Sergey Uryadnikov)

Tickling the dragon’s tail

How audacious would it be to tell your friends you went on a vacation to chase dragons? Komodo Island, a protected island in eastern Indonesia, is the home of the Komodo Dragon.

Komodo National Park

Indonesia’s remote Komodo Island – last haven for dragons

How audacious would it be to tell your friends you went on a vacation to chase dragons? Komodo Island, a protected island in eastern Indonesia, is the home of the Komodo Dragon. It’s not as vicious as one would imagine though, as the Komodo Dragon, the largest lizard on Earth growing up to 10 feet in length, tend to be shy and avoid human interaction.

The island makes up the bulk of the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with Padar, Rinca, and 26 smaller islets. From the small town of Labuan Bajo in Flores Island, visitors can rent a boat to reach Komodo. The island and the general region is usually quiet and mostly untouched. There are around 2,500 Komodo dragons in the island which makes it the best place to observe these creatures in the wild, with an experienced local guide of course.

It is important to respect these gentle giants, as there have been cases of the dragons biting over-enthusiastic photographers, leading to deadly outcomes. After an exciting day with the dragons, there are numerous villages nearby that are worth a visit, small outposts brimming with colours thanks to beautiful, traditional woven fabrics. Komodo Island’s marine biodiversity is no exception. It is one of the best diving hotspots in the world, with pristine coral reefs, dolphins, sharks, blue whales, and manta rays all out on full display.

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