Tourists flock to see Indonesia’s dragons
KOMODO NATIONAL PARK in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province has welcomed over 45,000 visitors so far this year.
And despite recent terror attacks in East Java and Riau, provinces further west along the archipelago, tourists are still flocking to the eastern tip of Indonesia to see the giant lizards.
According to the park’s administration head Dwi Putro Sugiarto, of the park’s 45,000 visitors, over 60 percent or 27,550 visitors came from overseas while the remaining 18,080 took the journey from other Indonesian islands, Kompas reported.
This marks a nearly 20 percent increase from the same period last year: the park recorded 38,147 tourist visits last year, averaging around 9,500 visitors per month.
However, the start of 2018 has seen an increase of visitors every month. In April alone, a staggering 14,217 people came to marvel at the Komodo dragons.
Komodo National Park, Budi Kurniawan, told Kompas he was optimistic the number would increase until the end of the year.
Komodo dragons are the world’s largest lizards and notorious for their lethal bite. Although they aren’t venomous, the bacteria transferred through their saliva can slowly kill animals and humans.
But visitors to the national park don’t get close enough for this to happen.
Visitors can explore the Komodo dragon’s natural homes on Komodo Island and Rinca Island, both located in the Komodo National Park.
A ranger will be assigned to every group wandering the islands. They understand Komodo dragons and their hunting patterns so will be able to track them down for a distant selfie.
Beyond admiring the scaley creatures, there is so much more to do and see in East Nusa Tenggara. Whether you want to sit on the pristine Pink Beach on Komodo Island, watch the sunset on Kalong Island or snorkel at Kanawa Island, you’ll undoubtedly be besotted with the province.
But don’t take it from us, have a look for yourselves.