Off to Find Komodo Dragons!

We were finally setting off on quite an adventure to hopefully catch a glimpse of the Komodo Dragons, found in the wild only in Komodo National Park in Indonesia.

We were in Labuan Bajo on Flores Island and the day before we had contracted a boat and a local crew to take just me and Toni on a two-day expedition to Rinca Island and Komodo Island where we hoped to spot the king of lizards.

The landscape in this part of the world is stunning: paradise islands dotted in a gorgeous turquoise sea.

Here I’ll tell you and show you the story of the first part of our adventure from setting out in Labuan Bajo to reaching our first stop: Rinca Island.

Sometimes it’s not so much the destination that’s important, but the journey that takes you there . When you want to go to a new place, you have to make serious decisions about the best route to take: should you walk, drive, go the long way round, go direct…? Just cross your fingers and see what happens? . The choices we make, not only about our destination, but just as importantly, about how we arrive there, are what shape us for our future goals and adventures . It was with this in mind that I found myself at the crack of dawn on a rented fishing boat complete with two crew members that didn’t speak a word of English, setting sail from Labuan Bajo, supposedly heading for Rinca and Komodo Islands on a two day expedition in search of the rare and dangerous Komodo dragon…

A photo posted by Amelia (@naughty_amelia_jane) on

Chugging slowly and calmly towards…

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Okay, so during this boat trip, we were travelling through the largest archipelago in the world: Indonesia. And we were travelling through the area of Flores. That’s where there are hundreds of tiny islands all very close together . These islands were, at one point, one landmass. So between each island is a huge sandbank right under the surface of the water, making it very tricky and dangerous for boats navigating the area . That’s why when you see boats in these waters, just like in this photo and the previous one, there’s always one little man sat right on the prow staring earnestly into the water and waving his hands either one way or the other (at the same time as smoking, of course), indicating to the captain the course to take in order to stay in waters that are deep enough for the boat.

A photo posted by Amelia (@naughty_amelia_jane) on

Gorgeous rolling hills of Indonesia, it’s landscape and it’s islands…

A photo posted by Amelia (@naughty_amelia_jane) on

The grass is always greener on the other island

A photo posted by Amelia (@naughty_amelia_jane) on


off to find komodo dragons

When we arrived at Rinca Island, we could already see from the first moments that this was a place of abundant wildlife . The first thing we saw were two hawks – eagles maybe? – circling above our heads . I quickly attached my zoom lens to get up close and personal with these birds of prey. I have a million photos of them but none a perfect shot – wouldn’t stay still, would they?! 😂 – and most are a blurry mess . Actually these two photos are of the same bird. It was a pair that were dipping and circling and flirting with each other in the sky, quite oblivious of our boat beneath them.

After a lot of sailing and ooh-ing and aah-ing at the spectacular scenery with islands dotted here and there (see #naughty_offtokomodonationalpark ) we arrived at Rinca Island . As soon as our small but exclusive fishing boat docked at Rinca Island we were greeted by a man with a flimsy-looking wooden stick which forked on the end like a Y. He was to be our guide, he told us, and we weren’t to go anywhere on the island without him . The crew that had brought us here nodded solemnly, confirming that we should go with the man . As we walked up the tiny wooden jetty we saw more men with these wooden stakes waiting for more boats to arrive. No visitor to Rinca Island would be permitted to venture alone: we were in Komodo National Park now.

A photo posted by Amelia (@naughty_amelia_jane) on

Now we were in Dragonland on Rinca Island. Stay tuned to find out about what happened on Rinca Island and whether we saw the Komodo Dragons – or whether they saw us first…

Filed Under: AdventureasiacruisesfeaturedIndonesiaNusa TenggaraTravel PhotographyWildlife


About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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