The rumbling hiss of the dragon caught us off guard as we ventured forward trying to find our tour guide. We had just landed on Komodo Island and we were excited but terrified to see the deadly and epic beasts!
Our tour of UNESCO world heritage site Komodo National Park was everything we could have ever imagined! In this part one video above, we explored two of the four islands that Komodo dragons are endemic to: Komodo Island and Rinca Island. We weren't sure what we would see, but to our glee and fright we saw many Komodo dragons!
In April of 2019, there was an announcement by the Indonesian government that Komodo Island would be closed for one year due to poaching of the dragons. But that plan was quickly scrapped in replacement of another plan to hike up the price of entry for tourists to around $300-$500 USD which started in August 2022. However, the locals protested because the higher rates meant fewer tourists, which caused a decrease in income and jobs that their tours provided. Now, as of 2023, Komodo Island has reopened with regular entry prices of only $12 USD! That's more like it! It's a perfect time to visit now.
We saw these islands on a group liveaboard tour in which we slept overnight on a boat with a group of travellers. We had boat drivers that took us to each location and provided us with meals and drinks. When we landed at the various islands on the tour, we were left to explore with a certain amount of time on each island, which brings me to my first tip for a tour like this:
Tip 1 for a Liveaboard Komodo National Park Tour:
When landing on the Komodo dragon islands, stick together with your group and quickly trek to the official entrance of the park so that you can be joined with your tour guides whom are your only protection from the deadly dragons!
In my video above, you will see that often a Komodo dragon would inspect our crew BEFORE we had joined up with a tour guide at the park. This is extremely dangerous, as a Komodo bite is deadly. Five people have died from Komodo dragon bites in the last 50 years!
The first of these dragon-dwelling islands we visited was Rinca, also known as Rincah, Rindja, Rintja and Pintja. On this island we learned so much about Komodo dragons. Here were some of our favorite facts:
Komodo dragons make a rumbling hiss to assert dominance.
Komodo dragons have venomous teeth and bacteria in their saliva. Death occurs in prey from poison or infection.
Komodo dragons are cold blooded animals.
Komodo dragons can grow up to 10 feet or 3 meters long!
Males have large heads and bodies but females can grow longer than males.
Komodo dragons are carnivorous creatures.
After meeting up with a group of komodo dragons resting in the shade, we hiked up the island and saw a beautiful view from above, which leads me to my next tip:
Tip 2 for a Liveaboard Komodo National Park Tour:
There is a lot of trekking throughout the multiple days in which you will be touring the islands of the national park. Wear good walking shoes, preferably ones that are also waterproof.
Then we headed over to the famous Komodo Island, which had more dragons roaming alone, as opposed to in groups like Rinca. On this island the tour guides assisted us in taking trick photography photos that made it look like we were right behind the dragons!
Tip 3 for a Liveaboard Komodo National Park Tour:
When taking photos with or of the dragons, keep at least 5 meters of distance between yourself and the dragons! Let the tour guides with protective sticks get the closer shots of you and the dragons!
Looking back at the footage from this video, I do notice that there are times where it seems as though Cedric and I are closer than 5 meters to the dragons! Naughty, naughty us! You may feel the urge to let your guard down because most of the dragons you will see move in a clumsy, slow way or not at all! They are very similar to crocodiles in that they lounge and move slowly to conserve their energy, but at any moment they could pounce into action to catch their prey or attack a tourist!
Here's an example of how you can still get a great shot while being a safe distance away from the Komodo dragon!
Overall, seeing Komodo dragons in real life was a thrilling experience! Very scary but also fun and amazing! Stay tuned for the part two video of this Komodo National Park tour by subscribing to the Deanna Troy Travels YouTube channel!
Here is some more information about the islands in this movie:
Komodo, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Pasir Panjang, Komodo, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia