ROL Cruise recommends...
1. Meet the dragons
At three metres long, Komodo dragons are the largest living lizard species anywhere on earth, and visitors come to Komodo Island exclusively to see these prehistoric creatures in action. Komodos are carnivorous but mainly eat carrion; their slow metabolism means large dragons can survive on as few as twelve meals a year. Nevertheless, komodos can be very dangerous: they have a history of attacking humans and their saliva is venomous, so always stay close to your local guide and listen to their instructions.
2. Dive beneath the sea
Snorkelling and diving around Komodo Island is a fantastic way to explore the mangroves and coral reefs which make the region a UNESCO protected Marine Reserve. As your head dips below the water you’re likely to see numerous species of fish, squid, starfish and sea turtles, plus occasional schools of sharks – if you’re lucky, you might even spot some manta rays. Would-be scuba divers are usually required to have a few dives already completed but the reefs aren’t overly challenging for the less experienced.
3. Sunbathe on a pink beach
One of only seven ‘pink sand’ beaches in the world, this little bay on Komodo Island contains a large amount of eroded red coral which washes through its shallow waters and gives the white sand a pinkish hue. The crystal water also means an amazing level of visibility for swimming and snorkelling – or even just sitting in the shallows and absorbing the beauty!
4. Explore island life
There are around 1,000 people living on Komodo Island. Set in an east coast bay, the secluded little fishing village of Kampung Komodo is a friendly place where the Bugis fishermen have adapted their lives to coexist with the Komodo dragons by building their houses on stilts. Most of Kampung Komodo’s residents are said to be descendants of former convicts exiled to the island in the nineteenth century by a local Sultan. Nowadays the village community work closely with tour groups to explain their local customs and traditions to tourists.