Viewing Komodo Dragons in Komodo and Rinca Islands – Komodo National Park
Few visitors come to Komodo National Park without witnessing its most famous inhabitant: the Komodo dragon. Komodo dragons are only found on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Gili Motang and Nusa Kode in the Park, with another population in a small part of northern and western Flores. They do not exist anywhere else on earth. Komodo dragons need protection as they are considered endangered due to their extremely limited range.
The best way to see the dragon in its native habitat is by taking a guided trek from one of PT Putri Naga Komodo’s tourism management concession areas at Loh Liang on Komodo Island and Loh Buaya on Rinca Island. Dragons are most active from 6 to 10am in the morning and again from 3 to 5pm in the afternoon, and these are the best times to trek for Komodo Dragon viewing. Because Komodo Dragons are cold-blooded, they are constantly regulating their body temperature.
In the early morning, they must warm-up their bodies in the sun. During the rainy season (October to April), Komodo dragons stay in burrows if they are too cold. Mating season is from July to August, during which time opportunities to encounter dragons in the wild are somewhat decreased.
PNK’s experienced naturalist guides and Park rangers lead treks of varying lengths from both concession areas, which pass through forest and savannah dotted with Lontar palms. Dragon encounters are common in both types of environment; the park rangers and PNK nature guides are extremely experienced in identifying likely dragon haunts. Visiting Loh Liang over several days is a great way to learn more about the world’s largest living lizard – longer treks into the interior of the island can be arranged and habituated dragons can be observed in the immediate surrounds of the concession areas.