Enjoy a short trek on Komodo Island, one of the 17,508 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia. The highlight of this trip is seeing Komodo Dragons. These relatives of the dinosaur are the biggest reptiles on Earth today, reaching lengths of over 10 feet (3 meters) and weights of more than 275 lbs. (125kg). After disembarking the ship's tender, you will walk to the Tamarind Woods rangers' station, where you will have a short briefing. Then, keep an eye open for these dappled giants as you approach Banuggulung, a former Komodo feeding ground, in the company of an expert guide who will provide further insight into the life of these unique and fascinating creatures. At the end of your trek, you will be returned to the rangers' station, where you will have time to browse for souvenirs from local villagers before being transferred back to the ship.
The earliest stories of a dragon existing in the region circulated widely and attracted considerable attention. No one visited the island to check the story until official interest was sparked in the early 1910s by stories from Dutch sailors based in Flores about a mysterious creature allegedly described as a "dragon" that spat fire. In 1915, the Dutch government placed the dragon on the list of protected species. More recently (November 2011), Komodo was named to the controversial list of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Please note: The number of rangers in the national park and on the island is limited, so for safety and security reasons, all guests wishing to join this excursion are required to book it in advance. Please wear comfortable walking shoes, and do not wear or carry any RED items or clothing on Komodo Island. Guests with fresh wounds or who are menstruating are advised to stay on board the ship. Because the terrain on Komodo is rough and uneven, this tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility. Do not attempt to feed the dragons.