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Covering the islands, and the sea area between them, of Komodo, Rinca and Padar, the Komodo National Park is a stunning place covering and area of 1,817 km² of which 603 km² of it is land. Originally founded in 1980 to prodect the largest lizard in the world, the Komodo Dragon, this park has been expanded its mission to protect all the different species in the park and sea life around it. The park offers great opportunities for hiking, scuba diving and bird watching/lizard watching.
The Komodo Dragon is the largest lizard in the world, belonging to the monitor lizard family. They can grow up to 2 to 3 metres on average and weigh 70 kilograms. These massive beasts can actually live up to 50 years. These animals are mean and have even been known to eat small children. Although they possess no venom, their mouths are home to some horrible bacteria that if bitten by it would kill any animal or person with out modern medicine in a couple of days. Most Komodo Dragons just bite their prey once, walk away and let the animal die and slow and painful death from an infection, then go an eat it a few days later. It has also been known to knock over prey with its tail and use it front claws to kill its prey. Remember to watch these animals from a distance and they can move very quickly when they want to.
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The crystal clear waters offer great scuba diving fan. The water is home to several species and the park helps to preserve there habitat. In recent years scuba diving has become more popular then lizard watching. For more information on diving read the website of Komodo National Park.
Pelita Air Service has flights from Bali and Maumere (Flores) to Komodo Airport (LBJ) in Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. Merpati Nusantara Airlines flies to Bima Airport (BMU) from Bali and Surabaya.
Lion Air has flights from Bali to Labuan Bajo, several times a day, with new turboprop planes.. Although a bit more expensive than other carriers. Sky Aviation is a cheaper carrier, which you also notice in the planes. They use old Fokkers 50, but they are stil very reliable and have onboard service.
There are several different ferry services to and from Komodo Island. If interested Contact the Indonesia Sea Transportation Company (PELNI) at Jalan Raya Kuta No. 299, Tuban - Bali (Tel: 0361 - 763 963) to reserve a seat on the next boat. The trip takes about 36 hours and most ferries only leave ever 2 weeks on Saturdays or Thursdays. If you have a small group it is also possible to charter a local boat to the island if your located in Labuan Bajo or Bima.
Kanawa Island Bungalows is located on a small island within the reserve, featuring 14 huts and 10 gazebos. It is also possible to camp. Prices range from US$8 to US$18. There is only a limited amount of fresh water supply of 50 litres per hut per day. Breakfast is included. Their office is located in Labuan Bajo. There is a boat ride at 1:00pm going to the island for free if you stay there. Return from the island is at 8:00am. There is a dive shop loacted on the island as well.
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