Komodo Dragons on Komodo and Rinca Island in Indonesia
Komodo Dragons on Komodo and Rinca Island in Indonesia

Komodo Dragons on Komodo and Rinca Island in Indonesia


When Is the Best Time

The Komodo dragon is a large monitor lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang. They are living in the wild on these islands. Rinca is one of the best spots because the dragons hang around the ranger station.

The endangered Komodo Dragons are the most giant lizards, with adults averaging around 2 to 3 meters (6.6 to 9.8 feet) in length and weighing about 70 kg (154 pounds).

Zoom photo of the head and jaws of a Komodo Dragon.

Komodo dragons have some adaptations that make them successful hunters, including a strong, muscular build, sharp claws, and teeth, and a forked tongue that they use to detect the taste of the air, similar to snakes. They are known for their powerful bite, hunting for deer, buffalo, and wild boars. They have venom glands that excrete toxins, contributing to the rapid blood loss and shock in their prey.

A water buffalo laying on the ground.

The best time to visit the Komodo National Park is during the drier season, from April until November. The driest months are July and August, the peak season. Komodo is less busy from September to November.

A colourful sunset in Rinca.

During the wet or monsoon season in Indonesia, from December to March, the paths are muddy and difficult to walk. The region experiences heavy rainfall, affecting your travel plans due to rough seas and poor visibility for snorkelling and diving. Some resorts and operators may close or reduce services during this time of the year.

Komodo Island

The Komodo National Park Entrance Sign.

Komodo is a small, tranquil village where people live harmoniously with the monitor lizards. According to legend, the Komodo Dragon was born by a woman. She gave birth to twins, one of which was the monitor lizard.

Rinca Island

Deers in Rinca Island

Rinca is the island I visited. You can take a hike on three different trails, and I'd recommend either the medium or the long trail, as both will show you the island's beauty, but there isn't any rainforest here. The dragons either protect their nest or wait for prey next to a waterhole. They look pretty clumsy, but when prey is available, they move fast.

A snake on the hiking path.

Snakes occur on these islands, too.

Reviewed and pictures by Leif Herrmann

Best Months to Visit


Location and Tips

Komodo Island

You can spot the Komodo Dragons on four islands in Indonesia only. Komodo dragons have a lifespan that typically ranges from 30 to 50 years in the wild. 

They are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss, human activities, and natural disasters, which have impacted their populations. 

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