Getting to Pulau Komodo is no easy task. Getting around neither !!! And not only because of the lizard itself ...
Walking along the beaches please, do wear sand-shoes. You would not be the first stinged by a thornback. These little rays hide in the sand close to the "pinggir", ocean water's edge.
Always bring a bottle of water with you!!!
Although only the Flores islands of Indonesia house these mighty reptiles, they use to be present in Australia not too long ago. Here the dragon was more dangerous, and much larger (in mind the still alive sea-crocodiles!).
It still is an odd idea the leviathan lizard was discovered only in 1911. So Komodo Dragons were unknown to the Western world until early in the 20th century!
The worst threats to the Komodo dragon are caused by humans (my oh my!). They bring diseases like pest, leave animals like wild dogs and rats, cause fire, and create habital loss for the Komodo.
So this is a warning topic to save the endangered Komodo Dragon and to learn more about their habitat ... thanks!
You cannot tell enough ... always bring a bottle of water!
The water ("air", pronounced "a-yer") in Indonesia is not good at all, because of bad treatment. You'll find a bunch of bacteria and viruses in it. Be sure you only drink bottled water (air putih)! Ask to boil the water when staying with families, or use sterilized water. No problem to get it, wherever you are ...
Donot drink the water of rivers, small streams, ponds, lakes unless it has been purified in some ways. The Botol Air Minum (Aqua, Ades, Vit and Oasis) you can get anywhere, and is sold throughout the islands! Going for a hike, take enough with you! And if you are unlucky your bottle is empty or lost ... get some cool coconut-water ...
It is just stupide and against its rules to walk around on your own on Komodo Island. And because of the dragon's superb sense of smell it is adviced menstruating women take care when trek here. Keep in mind this marvelous island belongs to the Komodo dragon itself, no boundries, no restrictions, no confinements!
For that is quite bizar the guides only avail themselves of a forked stick! Trekkers stay on guard for wayward Komodos crossing footpaths, as the reptiles must be distracted by the requisite ranger-guide wielding large forked stick. The guides don't have guns, or other defending equipment. Such a forked stick is named a "tongkat", a walking-stick. Also used to keep feeding these dragons at bay, or around the accomandation of tourists.
I read something about "dowsing". Also known as divining, water witching, doodlebugging and other names, it belongs to ancient practises out of ancient history. However some hand-made paintings on walls has been discovered in North Africa (Tassili) with tribesmen in a circle and a man in the centre with a froked stick, maybe to look for water (dowsing). Same kind of art has been found in Egypt and China.
So I learned a bit about the forked stick, and about the forked incredibly sensitive tongue of the Komodo of which its possiblity can smell a ripe, putrefying carcass from 11 km away! The forked tongue indeed is used for smelling (included sex). So you better grab for a forked stick ...
Komodo & Rinca