Komodo Island has ever been nominated to be one of The New 7 Wonders. Although at the end, this island could not make it to the list, Komodo Island is still worth visiting. The name Komodo Island clearly explains that this island is the habitat of Komodo, the only archaeological reptile still alive at this era. The reptile looks like a huge lizard with about 2-3 meters of length and about 100-165 kilograms of weight.
Planes to Labuan Bajo, Komodo Island, are available from Bali about three times a day. The flight takes only 90 minutes. Passenger boats are also available from Bali and Lombok for better sceneries during the trip. In order to make a wonderful experience in Komodo Island National Park, we would like to recommend a list of activities you must try out there. Here we go:
1. Komodo Hunting
The word “hunting” does not mean you can chase a komodo and shoot it with gun. That is against the law because Komodo is classified as endangered and protected species. Hunting Komodo at Komodo Island means you check their trails from their footsteps so you can see the creature closer. Komodo likes to be in a savanna. That makes you easier to watch them spend their time. Komodo eats only about once in a month. They like to eat in groups. Male komodo sometimes fight with each other to show dominance. If you are lucky, you can get to watch those scenes.
Komodo walks and moves slowly. But do not consider them as a tame animal. Do not walk too close to them and do not try to feed them. Komodo are able to be aggressive and move fast spontaneously, especially if they are hungry or feel threatened.
To do this Komodo Hunting, you must be accompanied by trained guides called Ranger. The Ranger will guide you through a designed route. This route includes climbing the Mount Ara and walking near the savannas.
2. Trekking to Rinca Island
There are 3 islands that are the habitat for Komodo; Komodo Island itself, Rinca Island, and Padar Island. On Rinca Island, there are more komodo and they tend to be more aggressive. But the island has a perfect contour for trekking. So this island can be your second choice to do Komodo Hunting.
Rinca Island also has more beautiful sceneries to see. So even if you fail to see the komodo (which is a little bit impossible), you can still enjoy the view of mangrove forest, wild savannas, and beaches with clear blue water and bright sand. At Rinca Island, there are some ecological houses where the national park officers live. Sometimes komodo likes to chill out nearby the house. This might be your easiest spot to get to see the komodo.
To avoid komodo from being extinct, the officers on Komodo Island National Park intentionally leave the islands natural. They do not make significant buildings there and they minimize the use of machine to avoid pollution so the nature stays natural. Due to this, not only Komodo may live well at this island, but also plenty kinds of rare and amazing animals and plants live in balance at this island.
As there are various living creatures on this island, ecotour can be one choice of activity for your unforgettable adventure in Komodo Island. There are about 12 species of snakes, horses, boars, deers, hogs, monkeys, ferrets, and hundreds kinds of bird.
4. Diving and Snorkeling
Various creatures around Komodo Island are not just available above the land. If you see under the water, you will be amazed by how beautiful the view is. That is why you should never forget to dive in around the Island. There are about 385 species of corals, thousands species of fishes, 10 species of dolphins, 6 species of whale, 70 species of underwater flowers, and much more.
The best place for diving is on Merah Beach. Besides the underwater view is very beautiful, the beach itself is very unique. Its sand can turn to pink when soaked with sea water. In the whole world, there are only seven beaches that have this uniqueness. After diving in the afternoon, you can enjoy the sunset at this beach. This amazing view must not be missed.
5. “Live Aboard” or Stay In
Because Komodo Island is such a rare tourism destination, the adventure will cost you a little bit much. To save the budget, some tourists choose to stay and sleep at the boat every night when they are still around the Komodo Island. This trick is well known by the term “live aboard”. Sometimes tourists who choose to “live aboard” have different reason; they are scared that the Komodo might attack the hotel they stay in. This is just a kind of paranoia because no such thing ever happened in real life. But they feel more comfortable to just spend the night at the boat.
Tourists who do not feel comfortable to stay in a boat can stay in a hotel. There are several hotels in Labuan Bajo. They can also stay at ecological houses where the National Park officers live on Rinca Island. Or, they can stay in Kampung Bajo Ecological Huts. The huts are made and managed non-profit organization of Iniradef. They built the huts on the Bajo Villages for conservational purpose. The hut uses solar cells as energy source. Waste water and disposal are processed for farming.
6. Shopping for Souvenirs
After having an unforgettable adventure, it is essential to buy some souvenirs prior leaving the island. The souvenirs shops are available at both Komodo Island and Rinca Island. The shops at both islands are located nearby the port so you can easily access it as you arrive or about to leave the island.
The souvenirs are various such as art crafts, desk ornaments, wall decorations, key chains, accessories, and much more. The most popular one is the miniature of komodo that you can put on the desk or shelf as a decoration.
Before you start planning your trip to Komodo Island, check out these useful tips first:
- Komodo can smell blood from afar. So if you are having menstruation, please inform the Ranger so he can anticipate it.
- Always wear shoes. There are sharp rocks, snakes, and biting insects on the ground.
- Never lure attention from komodo. They can turn aggressive to respond you. They are not really interested in eating human, but they might consider it if you provoke them.
- Never go around the island without The Ranger. You do not understand the environment and the animals’ behavior.
- Always bring a long stick with branched end. This can be used to scare the komodo off if it suddenly appears in front of you. But do not start scaring them off before the Ranger tells you to.
- Prepare a lot of anti-mosquito lotion. There are seriously plenty of them, especially inside the mangrove forest in Rinca Island.