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Komodo Island

Komodo National Park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores in the Lesser Sunda Islands, at a distance of 200 nautical miles to the east of Bali. It has a total land area of 75,000 hectares and encompasses a number of islands, the largest of which are Komodo (34,000 hectares), Rinca (20,000 hectares), Padar, Nusa Kode, Motang,  numerous smaller islands, and the Wae Wuul sanctuary on Flores. A total of 112,500 hectares of the surrounding waters are also under the jurisdiction of the park rangers.
Komodo Island Map

In 1938 Padar and the south and west of Rinca were declared a Wildlife Sanctuary, but it was only in 1965 that the island of Komodo was formally included in the sanctuary. Komodo National Park was established by government decree in 1980 followed by the designation of Komodo National Park as a World Heritage Site in 1991.

Komodo National Park has the lowest annual rainfall in all of Indonesia, with an abbreviated rainy season in the month of January. For most of the year Komodo is dry and hot, parched by arid winds from the Australian desert that blow from April through October. Maximum temperatures reach 43 C, with minimums of 17 C in August.

Most of the Park is dry, rugged and hilly, a combination of ancient volcanic eruptions and more recent tectonic uplift of sedimentary seabeds. The irregular coastline is indented with rocky headlands and sandy bays, many framed by soaring volcanic cliffs.
Komodo island  is 35km long and 15km wide, and is mountainous on a north to south axis, with an average altitude of 500-600m. The highest peak is Satalibo (735m) in the north. Most of the island is lontar palm savannah with remnates of rainforest and bamboo forest at higher elevations. On Rinca the land rises gradually from the north coast to a plateau that ends at Mount Dora (667m) in the south.  The rugged south coast is very sheer as a result of volcanic activity in the distant past, as evidenced by the crater bay in which Nusa Kode nestles.

The Park encompasses most of the recognized habitat of the largest known lizard, the world famous Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis). The Park is also home to Sunda deer (Cervus timorensis), wild buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), wild boar ((Sus scrofa), the macaque monkey (Macaca fascicularis), and wild horse (Equus qaballus). All the large mammals have been introduced by man, but indigenous frogs, snakes and lizards abound on the island. The sole endemic species found on Komodo is the aptly named Komodo rat. Over 150 species of birds have been identified in Komodo National Park, many of which are migratory and more representative of Australasian than Asiatic species. Distinctive species include sulphur-crested cockatoos, imperial pigeons, white-breasted sea eagles and maleos. The seas surrounding the park teem with over 1000 species of fish and marine mammals.


Komodo Dragon, Indonesia

Varanus komodoensis called Komodo dragon

Dragon Komodo running in Rinca Island

Komodo dragon Information

They Live in a remote area in Indonesia in the Komodo National Park located East of Bali and Lombok.
These giant lizards belong to the reptile family. Their scientific name is Varanus komodoensis.

Life span and size

Komodos have a life span of 50 years! Their length is about 3 meters (10 feet) and they weight around 70 kg ( 155 pounds).

Fun fact, they can swim!

They can swim in the open sea and are actually very good swimmer. They swim from one island to another island inside the Komodo National Park. They usually change of island to find food and their favourite prey or during the mating season to find a receptive female in order to make babies! However it is very rare to see them swimming in the open sea.


These giant monitors Lizards can run very fast with a speed up to 12 mph (about 20 km/h) and even more when they hunt. Visitors of the Komodo National Park have to be very careful especially with Kids. The dragons are usually sleeping and seem to be very slow but in a second they can reach maximum speed!

pics of a komodo dragon running to hunt its prey

Komodos lay eggs

Female lays between 15 to 30 eggs. There are four times more female than males! The maturity age is about 8 to 10 years old. See the specific page on the reproduction of Komodo Dragons.
They are usually solitary animals but it can arrive to find them in a group for feeding and during the mating season.


They have been discovered one hundred years ago in 1910 when a plane WWI pilot crashed into the Komodo sea. He swam to the Komodo Island and discovered this new specie. Then in 1912, a scientific expedition was carried on and they captured several dragons.
They are the largest lizards on earth. Their length can be up to 3 meters (about 10 feet). They are also the heaviest lizards and they can weight up to 70 Kg (about 155 lbs).  If you want to know more about the komodo dragon facts you can ask me in the comments.

How many are left?

The estimated population of Komodo dragon is about 5 700. They live on the Komodo islands in the National Park. It is located in Indonesia, between the island of Lombok and Flores. These giant lizards live on the following islands:
  • Komodo island (3000 dragons)
  • Rinca Island (900 dragons)
  • Gili Motong (150 dragons)
  • In some parts of Flores island, North of Labuan Bajo.
It is an endangered specie. They don’t have any predators but humans hunt their favourite prey: the dear and the water buffalo. If you want to know more about the diet of Komodo dragons.
Since this giant Lizard has been protected and the creation of the Komodo national Park, their number is actually increasing but very slowly.
Natural habitat of Komodo dragons
If you don’t have the chance to spot them in their natural habitat, you can fly to Bali and then take another flight to Labuan Bajo. Then you can take a boat to visit the Islands to see the giant lizards. Otherwise, you can see the Dragons in several Zoo around the world like in Singapore Zoo, the London Zoo and in Washington.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Sauria
Family: Varanidae
Genus: Varanus
Species: komodoensis
Category: Reptiles, lizards
Common Name: Monitor, Komodo Dragon
Other Common Names: Land Crocodile, Ora, Giant Monitor

Observe the Komodo dragons with kids

It is possible to visit the Komodo National Park and spot the reptiles with kids but it is recommended to always watch them and keep them close to you. Don’t let them them run away as they attack on running subjects. They do NOT eat people but some accidents happened in the past.