Komodo National Park :: Travel Guide

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Get in

The ferry service between the cities of Sape on the eastern tip of Sumbawa and Labuanbajo on Flores drops off passengers on Komodo once or twice every week. There is no port on the island, so passengers are unloaded onto small vessels which ferry’s them into the island’s only village – note that it’s not all departures that has this service, so check beforehand. Bima, a short drive from Sape, has an airstrip with flights to Denpasar.

Travelers coming in from Sape to the west (those traveling overland through Sumbawa and also those arriving at Bima airport) should note that the once-daily ferries from Sape can be suspended indefinitely due to bad weather, so if you want to be sure of your travel arrangements, flying to Labuanbajo is a much safer bet. (If you get stranded at Sape, the best Bima airport will be able to offer is a flight back to Denpasar on Bali.)

Perama Tour. The Hunting Komodo by Camera trip leaves every six days from Lombok. The route is not really on open water beacuse it travels along the coastal line and most importantly it has navigation and safety equipment. Stops are made along the way in Labuanbajo and Komodo. Price for a cabin is around Rp.4,000,000 deck class is Rp.3,000,000 where you get to sleep with a thin carpet.

Fees/Permits

You need to buy the appropriate fees and permits at one of the park headquarters when you arrive.

Get around

On land: On foot, only, as there are neither roads nor motor transport.

On sea: By chartered boat, only, as there are no regular connections.

You may wish to wear long pants, sunglasses and a hat as you walk in the interior.

See

The main reasons to travel to Komodo National Park are the Komodo Dragons, the superb beaches and the unspoilt corals.

Keep in mind that there are also wild pigs, monkeys and horses on Pulau Rinca, one of the two largest islands in the park.

If you return by sea at night, you can also see legions of flying foxes (fruit bats whose wing span may exceed 4 feet) flying in the twilight sky.
At night on the Flores Sea, you also have a magnificent view of the stars.

Do

Depending on the time you have available, one or more guided tours on the islands of Rinca and Komodo itself. Please note that it is neither permitted nor advisable to do any tours without local guides, as the Komodo Dragons are dangerous when they attack.

This area is inhabited by more than a thousand different fish species, making it one of the world’s richest marine habitats. You may also swim in the Flores Sea on your incoming or outgoing boat trip to one of the islands. Beware of sharp corals on the sea floor near some of the small islands.
Komodo Liveaboards (Komodo Liveaboards), [3]. Komodo Dive Liveaboards (Rinca Islands Liveaboard) cruise gives divers the ability to explore some of the most pristine and diverse marine habitats on the planet, while living right on the Komodo Liveaboard diving boat. edit

Buy

On Pulau Rinca near the park headquarters you may buy hand carved wooden komodo dragons along with park stickers and park t-shirts. Prices may be cheaper in Labuan Bajo, Flores than on Pulau Rinca.

Eat

A limited selection of food is available near the park headquarters on Pulau Rinca, and the prices are not high by Western standards.

Drink

Under no circumstances drink any tap water. The tap water is not potable. Near park headquarters on Pulau Rinca, you may purchase water and soft drinks. If you go trekking into the island’s interior be sure to take a large bottle of water with you. You will need it!

Sleep

Lodging

There is a 7 US dollar a night losmen in Labuan Bajo, Flores.

Travel Warning: Stay safe

The Komodo Dragon has a history of attacking humans. Beware of getting too close, and if you are visiting via the park’s office (which you should), ask for a guide and stick close to him. Do not wander off or do anything without his consent. Komodos may approach the guest rest area during annual feeding time, but in this time, find a building (which are usually elevated) and stay clear from the railings. Komodos can and will jump to obtain food if necessary. Park rangers are usually present at these events and will deflect any Komodos trying to get in (which they can do).

You may be given a large pole with a split on the end, forming a “Y” shape. This can be used as a walking pole or for moving things on your path – however, if wild animals threaten, it can be used as a last form of defense (despite being hardly useful against komodos). Overall, try keeping a watchful eye and steer clear of any wildlife.

Komodos are extremely dangerous if close enough. They can run faster than humans (and accelerate very quickly), so best not approach if necessary. Jumping into water (as Komodos are often found near the beach too) doesn’t help either, as they can swim faster than humans, can dive, and can also swim against strong currents (in fact, sometimes Komodos are found on neighboring islands, suspected of swimming there). It has recently been discovered that Komodo dragons are the largest known poisonous animal. The previously widely accepted theory that prey die from septicemia caused by toxic bacteria living in the dragon’s mouth has now been discredited. The poison is slow acting but anyone bitten will require medical treatment (which is usually not immediately possible ). Furthermore their jaws can mean instant death. It may also charge at its victims. Its tail is equally deadly and may be swung dangerously, knocking victims off their feet.

Younger Komodos may live in trees. While not as dangerous as their parents, they can still jump off suddenly and cause panic. Snakes, monitor lizards, and other animals are also present and may cause minor problems.

Saltwater Crocodiles are not present on Komodo Island but they may be present on the surrounding islands and in the ocean. Any area with estuaries and river mouths should permit extra caution as, although they are technically not present on Komodo, the islands ARE within the species natural range. It was once believed by Indonesian natives that monitor lizards (including the Komodo dragon) were capable of warning humans of a crocodile’s presence.

Source: Wikitravel