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- One Day Sail To Discover The Habitat Of Komodo Dragon - June 17, 2017
- A Day At Wae Rebo Village, Flores - May 29, 2017
Komodo National Park is an increasingly popular destination in Indonesia, renown for one of The New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2011 and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Why all of this? Because, it’s the only place, where you can meet this fascinated Komodo Dragon in their natural habitat. This biggest lizard on earth lives together with around 2000 inhabitants on only 390 square kilometres island! The National Park of Komodo has a lot to offer as wonderful panoramic views of savannahs, rain forests along with the ecosystem inside of it such as monkeys, snakes, wild boar, and even the white sandy beaches with beautiful corals where you can snorkel or dive to see the Manta Ray. Just to give you more insight about the place, the national park consists of 5 main islands, Komodo, Rinca, Gili Motang, Nusa Kode and Padar. We can find Komodo in almost all of the main island but only in Padar island that is uninhabited by the Komodo.
HOW TO GET TO KOMODO NATIONAL PARK?
The National Park of Komodo is located in East Nusa Tenggara province between Flores island and Sumbawa. The best way to get there is to go to Labuan Bajo city located in West Manggarai, where many options are offered by travel agents or boat agents on the main road. As this island is reachable only by boat, you will have to pass through an agent.
Get to the Labuan Bajo’s harbour that starts being busy at 7:00 am and board on one of the boats. Many kinds of a boat are available, starting from a small boat to a larger one or more modern or even the legendary traditional Pinisi ship as it is known to cross the Indian Ocean to reach Madagascar.
One Day Sailing Komodo, my choice to reach the habitat of Komodo…
Using a small boat with the capacity of 10-12 people, you will head to Rinca Island for Komodo National Park Trekking and Snorkelling at 2 points including Kelor island. This island becomes a must-visit destination for tourists to enjoy and capture magnificent scenery from the top of the hill with the view of the sea, the white sandy beach as well as the hill on the other side of the island.
Well, that was what the tour provider told me about One Day Sailing Komodo Package. And I have got to admit that it was quite interesting for me.
So, I decided to take this package because the trip is only one day and just cost 250.000 IDR (16.80€) including the boat and refreshment drink (coffee or tea) along the sail. A little advice is to prepare money to pay Rinca Island entrance fee, rent a set of snorkelling equipment before leaving, and do not forget to bring some snack or food for the sail as they don’t serve or sell any food on the boat.
At 8 am, everyone on board, the journey began. Accompanied by 2 crew members and 12 passengers, 3 were Indonesian and 9 others are from Netherlands, Canada, Germany and Hawaii. The boat started to head to Rinca Island for one-hour trekking in Komodo National Park at Loh Buaya. You can also choose to visit Komodo Island instead of Rinca Island to see the Komodo Dragon habitat that lives there. but the trek is much longer, around 3 to 4 hours as you have to climb Mt Ara (538 Masl) and the trip is more expensive.
Our sail was really pleasant, at that time the sea was very calm and the sky was bright. All the passengers had their own time to enjoy the way until people started to talk to each other…after few minutes, we all started to felt comfortable and enjoy the sail even more.
THE NATIONAL PARK OF KOMODO
After few minutes on the sea, we arrived on Rinca Island where the Rangers of Komodo National Park welcomed us. They showed us the way to the entrance to pay the retribution ticket of 20,000 IDR (1.35€), plus the entrance ticket of Komodo National Park 5,000 IDR (0.34€) and trekking fee 10,000 IDR (0.68€) per person with additional guide fee charged per group of 80,000 IDR (5.40€) for one guide. Our group of 12 people had to be accompanied by 2 Rangers, one in front and one back to protect the entourage. They gave us few a briefing before start the trekking about the Komodo as they live freely on the island. Be very cautious as Komodo can attack you and you can be in danger if you don’t follow their instructions. If you are foreign tourists don’t worry, the Rangers can speak a good English, so do not hesitate to ask all the questions you have.
Please notice! for women who are having their monthly period, is recommended to DO NOT TREK as Komodos are very sensitive to the smell of blood. They can sense it within a radius of 5 km and you will become their target….so unless you want to be chased by a Komodo, make sure you come on the right time so you can enjoy your trip here!
There are 3 route options, short, medium and long. Generally, visitors choose the medium route that takes approximately 2 hours. During the trip, we got a lot of information from the Rangers about Komodo National Park and of course the details about the Komodo Dragon itself. It was very educative, informative and also quite challenging considering we walked in the habitat of free-living Komodo!! Rangers did help us taking pictures with Komodo Dragon, with their guidance of course! Be prepared to get some adrenaline as Komodo Dragon that is seems sleeping can surprise you by waking up so fast and without any signs!! So stay alert!
During my trek, I had the chance to see 6 to 8 Komodo gather in one group, also one that was dragging a hole in the ground for the nest, and a small one about 1 meter long that was busy walking and travelling alone.
But even before to start walking, you will experience the real feeling of living in community with the Komodo Dragon. I say that because you will see many Komodo Dragon taking a rest under the house of the Rangers! Why this place?This is because they love the smell of fish from the kitchen of the Rangers! A second place that Komodo enjoy is the shadows of the trees along the way. After few minutes of walking, you will start to climb a hill where the view was amazing. On the top, you can enjoy the panorama on Komodo Island and the sea.
A little tip: Make sure to bring water, sunglasses and sunblock with you!
Once satisfied with the magnificent panorama, we walked back to the entrance where there was a canteen that sells drinks, foods and souvenirs. We had few minutes to take a rest before returning to the boat and continue the journey.
The boat took us to another destination where we could enjoy the underwater world of the Komodo National Park. While reaching the first snorkelling spot, we all enjoyed our picnic on board accompanied by the slow sea breeze. After 30 minutes, the boat leant on an island that I, unfortunately, lost track of the name as there was a lot of small islands around the area. But what I remember was, there were no residents around the coast from the observation of the wooden pier where the boat was leaning and not many boats stopped by. The snorkelling? I have to be honest, nothing so special in my point of view, but there’s a lot of beautiful fish came around us and I can see it make everyone happy. So that’s the most important! I think this spot is a part of the package because is on the way between Rinca Island and Kelor island. That was a nice place to relax and swim especially after the trekking, but don’t expect to discover a wonderful diversity of fish or corals. After 1 hour, the boat shifted to Kelor Island, the last destination of this trip.
Kelor island will welcome you with its clean and white sandy beach, calm waves and trees. We had around 30mins to explore the island, where a hill of 25 meters high can give you a nice view point. Full of excitement, I decided to go straight up the hill to discover the scenery. I jumped out of the boat and walked barefoot, it turned out that this island is made of rock so I wouldn’t recommend going up here without any shoes or sandals. I continued up to the top of the hill, took some photos and returned to the beach. I joined others who were snorkelling, then again I do not see much coral and fish. Maybe the best was to relax on the sand and enjoy the view.
When the sun started to set, the boat brought back everyone to Labuan Bajo Harbor. We arrived just on time to enjoy the sunset while walking towards Kampung Ujung, a perfect place to eat fresh grilled fish on the seafront. A short and fruitful day trip had come to an end. I guess I took the right choice after all!
Written by: KEBEN MENULIS (Our Contributor Writer)
* All prices listed are from November 2016. For update information regarding price changes or other matters regarding this place, please leave a comment on this article and we will help you as soon as possible.
English is not our native tongue, so we are sorry for all of the grammatical error in this article. Thanks for your understanding.
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