Rinca Island,The Komodo Dragon

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Rinca Island, Indonesia

Rinca Island,The Komodo Dragon Reviews

The-Jellyfish The-Jell…
5 reviews
Rinca Island - Tourist Scam! Nov 09, 2014
I flew from Denpasar, Bali to Labuan Bajo to mainly see the Komodo dragon lizards as all tourists who visit this destination. Labuan Bajo town is quite small and dirty but provides a different experience than Bali. The town is mainly composed of a main road called Soekarno Road. Lots of tour operators are dotted across this road. When you look for a package to Rinca Island or Komodo Island to see the dragons, dedicate some time to check at every single tour operator. If you're alone, make sure that you join other people. Prices vary dramatically. Keep on negotiating the prices and make sure that you get the maximum out of it, for example, make sure that the price includes lunch, snorkeling stops and whatever else they can provide. The more people, the better the price. Note that the price DOES NOT include the park entry or the park ranger's fee.

Note that the tour operators will convince you to go on the Rinca island because it's closer and cheaper. Komodo island will require two days and consequently more expensive. I have also read that you can go to the harbor by yourself, negotiate the price with one of the boats and go because the tour operators work with the same people in the harbor.

When you reach at the park, the main officer in the park charges you the below:

1- Park entry

2- Park ranger/rangers depending on the number of members in the group. He claims that there should be one ranger per 4 members

3- Camera - if you're a couple who's using one camera then you pay once.

4- Vessel charge?! This is a scam, luckily the tour operator warned us about this. He told us to say that the the boat captain would pay it, so when the officer wanted to impose this charge on us, I told him that he should speak to our cruise's captain. He frowned and said: "well, he'd better pay it." Of course, nothing happened and he didn't walk back to the cruise to check because it was a scam.

The park rangers claim that you can choose between short, medium and long trek but this is not true. All treks are the same.

The most disappointing part is that the whole dragon seeing spots are set. First, you'll see them at the wooden hut in the beginning of the trek. Then, the park rangers will take you the nest where there's one female dragon lizard. Finally, here comes the biggest scam, the park ranger will claim that today is your happy moment because "allegedly" the lizards killed a buffalo yesterday and they are gathering now at the stream to eat the flesh of the buffalo. However, I believed that the park rangers had killed the buffalo and thrown it there so the lizards would gather and impress the tourists.

Overall, the experience is special because you get to see the lizards in their habitat. Also, snorkeling on the way back is very thrilling as the water is crystal clear and marine life is few meters away from the beach.
The lizards under the wooden hut
The lizards are walking under the …
The lizards are eating the dead bu…
The park ranger took a photo of us…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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WilliamHunt WilliamH…
1 reviews
Dinosaurs and manta rays Apr 02, 2011
In May 2009 a friend and I visited the Komodo Islands of Indonesia. Ever since I ha dbeen a young boy and watched David Attenborough walk amongst these giant reptilians as they were distracted by the carcass of goat, I had always wanted to see them first hand.

So whilst travelling through Indonesia, utilising the often haphazard public transport routes and links in search if surf and diving I decdied it would be a good time to check it out.

We arrived to Labuanbajo on Flores via ferry from Lembar on Sumbawa. Labuanbajo is the staging point for most visitors to Rinca & Komodo, the two larger islands that comprise the Komodo national park along with numerous smaller islands. It had been a long day travelling as we had left Lakey peak at 6am and finally arrived at our destination at 5am the following morning.

Unfortunately there were no hotels or guesti houses open that time and we had to wait until 10am before we could find somewhere to sleep! And then we crashed!!

Later that day we took a walk around the town checking the various offers availbe to get to the reserved,. Rinca seemed the most affordable and conveinient as we did not have to spend a night on the island. It was cheaper, closer, and still had plenty of Dragons to see- happy days!!

In additon, we checked out the local dive shops, and decided to check out a couple of spots, but most notably Batu Bolong as we had been recommened to visit that site bya german lodger in our accommodation.

We set forth and the islands were an amazing site. The trip out aboard a local wooden craft took in some fantastic scenary of the marine landscape as we coasted between various small islands and our arrival on the reserve was greetd by our first glimpse of a dragon, admittedly a smaller male but i was all ready thrilled.

Once on the island, which, along with the gretaer area of the reserve, is a UNESCO world heritage site, we had ot register at the office. and form there our guide (mandatory to take one) led us through some gentle foot paths throughout the island. But our main sightings of the quarry at hand took place in anad around the field office for the nature reserve. The large lizards get attracted to the habitation by the smell of cooking. They loll around in the sun or in the shade of the huts built off the ground on stilts. It was definietly a trip well worth doing.

Our second part involved diving at three locations, but two of them stand out as being among the ebst dives I have ever made- at manta alley and at batu bolong.

Manta Alley has strong currents and almost not massive reef formations (due to the strenght of the current hwich would prevent the settling of coral larvae) but it has reputation for manta spottins as they pass by feeding on the plankton. ANd indeed it lived up to the billing but it also provided me with my first ever glimpse of giant eagle ray, huge napolean wrasse, bumphead parrotfish and a few others. there wer enot large volumes of fish her ebut that was down to the current.

Batu Bolong is a rocky out cropping which rises straigh up for the sea bed. It teems with life, large gian trevailly, lionfish, sharks, turtles, lots of different nudibranchs, the occasional barracuda school (though i saw just the one) and many others, too many to list. It is definietly in my top 3 sites to have dived, the others including sipadan on Borneo and the skelligs rockas at ireland.

But theis trip was special for the sights, the osunds, the amzing sunests over the harbour, the crystal waters, the company i was with.

Enjoy it.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
tbuchan tbuchan
3 reviews
Boat Trip Lombok to Flores May 11, 2011
Definitely a highlight traveling through Indonesia. Did a 4 day 3 night boat trip from Lombok to Flores. The boat itself wasn't great but the stop offs along the way were well worth it. A lot of different companies put it on so don't be pressured into buying into the first one you hear about. Some amazing snorkeling along the way with great reefs.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
tbuchan tbuchan
3 reviews
Scuba Diving In Komodo National Park Jun 18, 2011
After taking a 4 day boat trip from Lombok to Flores with stops along the way, I arrived on Flores Island in Luambajo. After looking around at local dive shops I ended up signing up for a 3 day two night dive trip with Komodo Cruises. It consisted of 8 dives (two night dives) at world class sites. The abundance of marine life was incredible. Manta Rays, Sharks, Sea turtles, Eagle rays, Sting rays, to name a few. Was the best diving I've done in my life and a must do if you are in the area. For about 40 (Canadian) dollars its a great deal.
yuness yuness
250 reviews
'The Komodo Dragon,National Park' May 11, 2009
Rinca Island is made up of two Island, one of which the main the other is Komodo National Park is often referred to by the name of Loh Buaya. The Main Island is located west of East Nusa Tenggara (Flores).The two are separated by the Straits of Mola, with the the Komodo National Park to the west of Rinca. Also within this area as the Islands of Komodo and Padar. Komodo National Park is managed by the Central Government of Flores. You will have to rent a boat and pay a separate price to enter the Park.

Rinca Island is one island for the traveler who wants to experience trekking in the famous Komodo dragon’s habitat. I advise you to also go up to the top of Rinca Island, here you will find a haven, because from the hill you can see the sights around the Islands and this pays off all the tiredness of the trek up to the top by seeing the sights of the beautiful Island of Rinca.

Rinca Island, is one of the places that you should visit, at least once in your lives. This is what made me finally decide to visit this exotic place.

Arriving on the island of Rinca we must report and pay the entrance IDR 12,500 rupiah (for local tourists), plus also the Ranger fees IDR 50,000 rupiah (for 1 group) and 5,000 rupiah to take in your own camera. On this island, we were accompanied by a ranger. Before we start trekking, the ranger explaines beforehand what we’ll be going through.

The trekking takes 2.30 hours during this I think so many Komodo dragons this is scary for me because this is my first experience of trekking amongst them. The dragons on Rinca Island are about 1300 in population. Wow .. so really I just met a few dragons.

The dragons like to be near any kitchen because of the smell of meat/food from the kitchen that makes them feel at home and I did see this here, there are many gathered together, they are very large and they pose to look to be asleep, but still must be careful and always follow what the ranger said. I just took photos from a distance ... in fear of them chasing me 

So, Rinca Island is only a small part of the evidence of the natural beauty of Indonesia, so if you have the desire and the opportunity to go here or other places in Indonesia..just do it !
Rinca Island
Rinca Island
Rinca Island
Rinca Island
9 / 9 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
yuness says:
Thank you Jim :)
Posted on: Apr 01, 2013
rsvpme says:
Well done..well presented
Posted on: Apr 01, 2013
yuness says:
Your welcome Mike..:-)
Posted on: Dec 01, 2010

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