We set off bright and early at 9 am for our three-day boat trip, that would bring us around Komodo National Park for Komodo dragon hiking, and snorkelling missions.

After a three hour boat road on the calm seas, we arrived in Rinca, one of the three places that Komodo dragons can be found. After quite a few busts on the trip (like getting air tickets), it was a welcome sight, to see a Komodo dragon lounging by the island booth (I really don’t know a better term for this, they just built a booth for no purpose right after the jetty) of Rinca. Komodo dragon? Check.

A park ranger welcomed us at the jetty, and escorted us to the ranger station, which was probably about 100-200 m away from the jetty. Along the way, we saw a lot of dragon poo, which was interesting, because it’s white in colour (the white colour is due to the fact that Komodo dragons eat bones). After waiting before some lame foreigners who couldn’t make up their minds about what they wanted to do, we paid for our tickets quickly, and were on our way.

Before beginning on our trail proper, we ended up seeing more Komodo dragons hanging around the kitchen at the ranger station, than on the rest of the island. We opted for the medium length trail, after we didn’t see anything particularly interesting on the short trail (well, except some animal skeleton that the park rangers hung there for effect).

Well, I guess it didn’t really feel like it was a Komodo dragon trail, but was more like just a hiking trail, with some nature along the way. We saw quite a few water buffalos, but only one Komodo dragon on the way. The view returning from the trail was quite worth the hike, as we were descending downhill, so we got to see a panoramic view of Rinca harbour, and the surrounding area, which was very Savannah-like, and not lush tropical, which is the typical foliage for Southeast Asia.

After returning from our little hike, we were treated to a very nice lunch by Captain Mat. With some luck, our boat captain was also an excellent cook, so we had tempe goreng, and fried fish in tomato sauce, and a bunch of veggies that I didn’t care about. It was a little bit of overkill, as he seemed to be cooking for an army, not that we were complaining.

Following our food coma, we pulled into a spot where there was some great snorkelling. We swam with the fishes, and admired the corals, before retiring for the day at a cove, waiting for sunset, and for the bats to leave the caves for their adventures at night.

Setting off on our boat trip to Komodo

Komodo Dragon Greets us at the Jetty of Rinca

Savannah-like Environment of Komodo National Park

Sunset in the Bay with the Bat Cave