Komodo and Rinca Islands - the land of the dragons.
Visiting Komodo and Rinca islands is highly adventurous. Those two islands are most famous for Komodo Dragons but actually it’s one of the most amazing and exotic parts of the world that you can visit. Firstly you would need to reach Flores, from where you can pick from number of boat tours to travel to the islands: Jump to a full post on Flores island.
Labuan Bajo which is an old harbor is the best place to stay. I met my friend Natalie again, our paths kept separating while we were both traveling across South-East Asia but I was really happy to meet her again. We met two other lovely girls from Germany and decided to go on a two-day boat trip to Komodo and Rinca.
Boat trip to Komodo and Rinca.
The two day boat trip was so beautiful that we decided to buy another one day trip to go back on the beauty track. We were drifting between the savage islands. Prices of boat trips are quite expensive and it was quite typical for Indonesia that they did not want to negotiatie much. There was 4 of us so it was easier but previously we would need to arrange a transport in different cities in Indonesia and the prices given were crazy! At least that was my experience in 2014.
The fact is that my trails are highly adventurous and it’s challenging to use non-standard pathways. Sometimes it was even not possible at all to negotiate the price, as they simply prefered to hang around than work. The most difficult was traveling to number of volcanoes, firstly because it’s very hard to get there and it’s time consuming.
Komodo National Park.
From the moment you leave the boat you need to have eyes all over your head! You are entering dragons’ island and it’s wild area. Of course the trip is led by Rangers, who guide you along the whole experience. They will also provide safety tips and rules of the National Park. There’s one Ranger walking in front of the group and the other one is walking behind.
Rangers are trained well to guide people across the island. They know exactly what to do in case of any emergency. Their experience is precious and knowledge impressive. There are 3 options of the trekking route (short, medium and long). Pick wisely because the heat was incredible in June.
After paying an entrance fee to the National Park you may pick the route. We followed the medium one, the full trail took us 1.5h. The Rangers cannot guarantee you’ll see Komodo Dragons on the way but honestly you’ll probably see them anyway. The island is inhabitant by couple of thousands of Komodo Dragons, although their population is dropping significantly.
In case you won’t get to see a Komodo Dragon in the bush, there’s one place where you surely see them – a place where the dragons used to be fed in front of enthralled tourist crowds. Although they don’t practice that anymore, the dragons still come near the bungalows, which are located near the harbour.
Komodo Dragon Tour
The island landscape is incredible – it’s a national park, the natural environment for exotic wildlife. On the way you’ll have a chance to climb a small hill to admire magnificent views over the nearest islands. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the pink beach, which gets it’s the color from the red reef fragments. Good reason to come back. 🙂
Trekking the island we saw a lot of Komodo Dragons. These predators are amazing creatures! They can eat everything, pigs, buffalo and even human (although it haven’t happen for a very long time now). Ask the Rangers for best stories about dragons’ celebrations.
Dragons’ saliva teems with over 50 strains of bacteria. Even if the bite is not heavy the wound is unlikely to recover and you will probably get blood poisoning and die eventually. Dragon’s toxins lower blood pressure and cause massive bleeding. Dragons are hunting buffalos, and because the animal is much bigger than the predator, they usually bite the leg which is enough for the toxins to work for few days to kill the animal.
Once the buffalo is bitten they track it for days until it’s too exhausted to move because of the bacteria infection. But this hunting technique is not recognized any more. Komodo Dragons tackle medium sized mammals like pigs or deers, which die much quicker from blood loss.
We almost bumped into one dragon passing our trail. It wasn’t aggressive at all toward us and he just followed further. However it’s scary to know the predators are twice faster than any human. That’s why on the beginning of the trekking route everyone is a bit concerned but there’s really nothing to worry about.
I could not imagine myself doing selfies with one of the dragons after the tour. The Ranger was standing really close in case the animal attacs. But this one was stuffed, which made him lazy, playing on my favour.
On the two-day boat tour you are sleeping on the boat. We moved our beds to sleep on the roof. This was one of the most incredible nights in my life! We stopped near the bats island. With the sunset millions of bats are coming back to the island. They are literally covering the whole sky and the sound is undescribable. It was pure magic!
On the next day we finally reached Rinca Island. For the rest of the day we were just chilling on the boat, swimming with mantas and snorkeling.
Komodo Island offers amazing snorkeling and diving adventures, and if you are looking for a paradise island – Kanawa Island is your destination! Check full post here!