Dancing With Dragons

The Komodo National Park

Cruising Komodo

The landscape here is as otherworldly as its residents. That’s because it’s here, miles below the earth’s surface, that three of the planet’s eight tectonic plates meet, their collision creating seabed fissures more than four miles deep and catalyzing vocanic activity. For those that cruise this region, this translates as Jurrasic-esque mountain peaks and pink hued crescents of sand surrounded by electric blue water, as well as pristine reefs and large schools of pelagics, including dolphins, sharks, manta rays and blue whales that are attracted by the converging warm and cold currents.

A Real-life Jurassic Park

The Komodo dragon is more than just a lizard. This primordial beast can extend more than three metres from its piercing eyes to the end of its muscular tail. Its scaly skin ripples across its broad shoulders like chainmail, while long curved claws extend like scimitars from each of its toes. Every so often, a long pink and yellow forked tongue ejects from its mouth, testing the air for signs of prey. Watching these majestic animals, it becomes perfectly clear why Steven Spielberg came to these islands to find inspiration for his film Jurassic Park, or why the story of King Kong has its origins here.

Exotic, Ancient, Otherworldly

Stay ashore until 11pm and experience the starry night lighting up the whole island as the electric power is switched off. Anchor at Kalong island at sunset and witness another of Indonesia’s wildlife spectacles. Watch from your sun deck, drink in hand, as clouds of more than 50,000 flying fruit bats - nicknamed Flying Foxes – erupt into the air from a mangrove patch every evening, screeching and soaring in silhouette against the dusky sky.

Primeval Paradise

Everywhere you anchor in Komodo National Park, there is something otherworldly to see. Tender ashore to hike in one of the islands’ forests to spot cockatoos, golden orioles and luminescent emerald doves. Kayak in protected bays to spot hopping sea fish that lie lifelessly on rocks then flip suddenly into the water. Watch pods of dophins that frolic playfully in your yacht’s wake. With smoking volcanoes oozing molten lava, dinosaur-like lizards and bats that flood the skies at night, this film-set-esque landscape is more exotic, more ancient, and infinitely more primeval than any other place on earth.