Witness Komodo Dragons in Indonesia
2nd June 2016
Earlier this year, Star Clippers announced they would be enhancing their range of Far East Asia sailings with a range of itineraries to Indonesia. With sailings set to commence in May 2017 on board the Star Clipper, this is the first time the Star Clippers fleet will embrace the archipelagic nation. Each itinerary will deliver a fascinating insight into a range of beautiful beaches and untouched paradises, as well as a unique glimpse into the natural habitat of one of the world’s most renowned species of reptile.
After a day of sailing eastward from the island of Lombok, you will reach Komodo Island, which is located in the Wallacea Region of Indonesia. This island is one of three that make up the Komodo National Park, which has been identified by WWF as a global conservation priority area and is widely recognised as being the sole natural habitat for komodo dragons. These species are classed vulnerable, but you will have no trouble spotting several of these amazing creatures in the Komodo National Park.
Historically, stories of dragons on the islands circulated quickly and widely, however, these were not investigated until the early 1910’s. Dutch sailors based in Flores in East Nusa Tenggara (Indonesia) visited the island and reported seeing a huge creature which measured up to seven metres in length and had a mouth which spat fire.
After hearing these reports, Lieutenant Steyn van Hensbroek planned an armed visit to the island, with the intention of killing the fierce lizard. After a few days, he managed to kill a lizard and brought the remains back to headquarters and these were later photographed by zoologist, Peter A. Ouwens. Unbelievably, these records are the first reliable documentation of the islands that today make up the Komodo National Park.
Touring the national park may also provide the opportunity to visit the neighbouring islands of Rinca and Padar. Across all three of the islands, there is a good chance you will be able to witness komodo dragons, which are also the largest living species of lizard and can grow to a maximum length of three metres. It is thought that the unusually large size of the creatures can be attributed to gigantism, as no other carnivorous animals reside on the islands.
That said, there is a good chance that you will be able to see wild pigs, monkeys and horses on the island of Rinca. It is also home to one of the world’s richest marine environments – which is made up of over 260 species of reef-building coral and over 1,000 species of bony fishes. Undoubtedly, this also makes the area an ideal spot for swimming, diving and snorkelling.
If this blog has inspired you to visit the fascinating Komodo National Park, why not take a closer look at the range of Far East Asia and Indonesia itineraries offered by Star Clippers. Alternatively, you could embark on an elegant tall ship cruise around the Mediterranean, Caribbean, or across the Atlantic.