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 km of which 603 km of it is land. Originally founded in 1980 to protect 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.
These volcanic islands are inhabited by a population of around 5,700 giant lizards, whose appearance and aggressive behaviour have led to them being called 'Komodo dragons'. They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution.
The rugged hillsides of dry savannah and pockets of thorny green vegetation contrast starkly with the brilliant white sandy beaches and the blue waters surging over coral.Later it was dedicated to protecting other species, including marine species. In 1991 the national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Komodo National Park has been selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.The waters surrounding Komodo island also contains rich marine biodiversity. Komodo islands is also a part of the Coral Triangle, which contains one of the richest marine biodiversity on earth.
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.
Scuba diving is popular because of the park's high marine biodiversity.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.
Several types of boat tours run through the national park including upscale scuba liveaboards, short daily snorkel trips and 4 day, 3 night tourist boats between Lombok and Flores.