Another exoticsite to spend your rest and recreation is the place in Indonesia where the “dragons” are settling. Yes, you read it right, there are literally dragons living in the jungles of Lesser Sunda.
Lesser Sunda or Nusa Tenggara (Southeast Islands) is an assemblage of islands located in the southern Maritime Southeast Asia, north of Australia. This tourist site is least visited and least developed parts of Indonesia. Unlike other exotic world of animals in Borneo, Sulawesi and Papua, the Lesser Sunda is relatively dry and rocky. It’s neither home to great rainforests nor a big diversity for exquisite local islands. The islands in fact are less populated with big animals.
Geogically, they constitute the inner outer arc built by Tertiary volcanic arc and some of the young volcanoes that are still active.
The lesser area where shrubs abound, you may find some deer, wild pigs, bats, snakes, dragons and other lizards. There are just few local mammals found in the area, one kind of wild pig, one kind of mice and couscous. Small Cacatoo, singing birds and other birds are also found on the islands.
There are two main routes to which you may get here. Frequent trips from the Javanese mainland and Denpasar are Lombok, Maumere and Kupang. Ferry services also travel from Bali to Lombok. PELNI ferry sail between Makassar (South Sulawesi) to Flores, but only travels occasionally.
There are flights that offer a number of short distance inter-island flights. The major regional carrier is MerpatiNusantra Airlines and TranNusa Air Services. Buses are also available that ply the Bali to East Timor which crosses the Nusa Tenggara.
Where to Stay
|Puri Sari Beach Hotel|
|Bajo Komodo Eco Lodge|
|Bintang Flores Hotel|
What to See
1. Komodo Dragon
Perhaps the most sought after attraction in Lesser Sunda is Komodo dragon (Varanuskomodoensis). The dragon is the biggest living lizard in the world which measures to about 3 meters in length and weighs up to 150 kilograms. This big lizard looked like a snake, with movable jaws independent from each other, that it can swallow its prey with much ease even the prey’s size is bigger; its toungue is shaped like a fork which it uses for smelling and tasting. The predator has also a powerful tail to take down its prey with strong jaws and sharp teeth to tear its victim apart. As well as its saliva and stomach juices are so powerful that it can decay horns, bones and hair. With all these facts on hand, be sure to keep yourself safe as you tour the place.
2. Underwater Wonderland
The underwater world of Lesser Sunda is one of the richest ecosystems in the world. One single big reef can home a thousand species of fish, more than what you’ll find in the seas of Europe combined. The underworld is very colourful where you see Anemone fishes who are bravely defending their living house. Underwater species include coral butterflies float between the reef walls and other fishes cross the reef in couples. It is also the home of big sea mammals such as the Sperm whale and the Indian seacow (looks like a Walrus without teeth). Borders of the reef are pelagic fishes such as Giant sharks, Reef sharks and Mantha’s.
3. Wallace Line
This line was named after Alfred Russell Wallace, a Zoologist who travelled Indonesia from 1854 until 1862. His observations with the impassable demarcation line, which was an actual barrier found in between Borneo and Bali and Lombok and Sulawesi. His observations tell that there are sea-lanes that show transit between Asian and Australian fauna.
The floras striving in Lesser Sunda are those who can live in drought very well such as eucalyptus species. The Wide Sand-wood was once the main export product of Timor. The fire and drought resistant lontar-palm (Borassussundaicus) is one of the most useful plants in the area and is an important food source.