Komodo is an Indonesian island home to approximately 2,000 people who are mostly
descendants of former convicts once exiled here.
The island which covers an area of 390km² is part of
Komodo National Park and is especially
known for its native Komodo Dragon - the world's largest living lizard!
For centuries, a local tradition required feeding the dragons by leaving deer
parts behind after a hunt or by sacrificing goats. In the past, the practice maintained a friendly
relationship with the animals, which can live for more than 50 years and
recognise individual humans. Ancient taboos strictly forbid harming
the komodos, which is why they survived here while becoming extinct elsewhere.
In 1995 a US environment protection group began a conservation project designed
to create a more natural habitat for the komodos, prohibiting
the feeding tradition as well as deer hunting practised by the islanders.
The deer population consequently increased and is now providing the
komodos a more self-sufficient and natural hunting ground than in recent history.
Still, having become used to being fed, the komodos occasionally prefer to
seek out easier prey in the vicinity of human settlements by
entering villages and hiding under stilt-houses while awaiting the opportunity
to snap passing goat or chicken. At the same time, the animals have
become more aggressive towards humans, sometimes resulting in deadly attacks.
Nevertheless, the Komodo Dragon remains a symbolic attraction of the island, drawing
a large number of visiting tourists, which provides employment and supports the local economy.
Komodo Island is not just known for its heritage of convicts and
fearsome lizards but also for its rich marine life and
excellent dive sites.
Two injured in attack by komodo dragon - a nearly one metre long komodo attacked a park ranger in his office and thereafter turned on his colleague who tried to come to his aid - BBC Online February 2013.
Komodo Liveaboard - a well-maintained fleet of liveaboards from large traditional wooden schooners to smaller specialised dive vessels, offering various dive tours within Komodo National Marine Park including visits to Komodo Island.
Trans Nusa - local airline operating flights between Komodo and neighbouring islands.
Flores Exotic Tours - a local tour operator devoted to the cause of sustainable tourism and supporting local communities, offering tours to Komodo Island, usually in small groups between 5 and 10 people.
Dive and Cruise - a tour operator owned by professional divers with many years of experience, dive-and-cruise offers a variety of dive liveaboard services to the Komodo National Park.
East Nusa Tenggara Tours - a tour operator located on Bali which organises various trekking and diving tours to Komodo and surrounding islands.
Putri Komodo Tours - an organiser of volenteering tours to Flores, Komodo, Bali and other Indonesian islands, tailored to groups of students who are invited to help preserve the environment by participating in tree planting, beach and seabed cleaning activities.