At last it was time for the main event of my boat tour of Komodo National Park: the island of its namesake, home of the famous dragons!

Komdo Island is hard to get to because it is five hours by boat from Labuan Bajo. A more popular trip is to nearby Rinca island.

But I never take the easy route. I booked a two-day tour so I could visit Komodo Island, and Rinca on the way back.

I’m glad I did. Komodo Island was really great. It helped that we got there in the morning, before it got blazing hot and the crowds arrived. We were able to do a fairly long hike up the hills, which isn’t really possible later in the day.

So sleepy.
So sleepy.

Another reason Rinca Island is more popular is because you are guaranteed to see Komodo dragons. This is because the rangers throw food out the window of the kitchen, so they are always hanging around. So you’ll see them, but they are not exactly in their native environment. It seems like the rangers should know better.

So with Komodo Island, you’re taking a gamble on weather or not you will see the dragons. Well we were incredibly lucky, and saw one within seconds of walking in. Then we saw another. Then two more. In fact, we saw so many, I lost count!

I also saw deer, buffalo, a boar, and monkeys. It was a magical place. A highlight of Indonesia.

Was the ranger's stick to keep dragons away from the tourists, or to keep the tourists away from the dragons?
Was the ranger’s stick to keep dragons away from the tourists, or to keep the tourists away from the dragons?
Up close and personal with a dragon.
Up close and personal with a dragon.
A dragon on the move.
A dragon on the move.
I'm Terry, former cubicle-dweller, and now traveler, photographer, writer, and entrepreneur. I quit my job in 2014 to travel to US national parks, then to South East Asia. I write about independent, flexible, long-term, budget travel. Sign up to my newsletter to get the latest news on what I'm up to. I hope you join me on my trek around the world.

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