Lets start off by saying obviously didn’t go hunting the Komodo dragon, but it sounds a whole lot cooler than searching or discovering which I’ve used already. Plus with the size and speed these animals can move at, I would be at a distinct disadvantage.
I did get to see them on their native islands of Rinca and Komodo.
When I arrived into Bali I had no idea that you could sail through the Indonesian archipelago to find these amazing creatures. Once I saw some posters stating that you could, I knew I would be on a boat as soon as my hangovers had stopped. This took a few more days than expected but then I finally boarded one of the least sea worthy boats I had ever seen.
The Boat Ride
There was about 20 of us the boat plus the five crew who would navigate us around the islands. The boat consisted of the crew area, a small deck and the sleeping quarters for all the brave travelers. The kitchen and bathroom were to the rear of the boat in way to close proximity, but what could we do.
The journey to the islands was broken up with stops at some random islands along the way. Each had waterfalls and lakes and a few hiking areas. We remained at each stop for an hour or two and the rest of the time was spent on the slow journey through the ocean. We broke up the boredom by reading, talking, watching movies and unsuccessfully flirting with the single women on the boat.
During the day the sea seemed to be relatively calm, but once night came so did the big waves and the fear of capsizing. Luckily this didn’t happen to us, but it did happen to another blogger, check her story here. My own near death experience came when we went snorkeling for Manta rays and the current pulled me away from the boat.
I genuinely thought I was going to die. For the next couple of days only me and a guy from Africa who never learnt to swim, wore life jackets.
It was funny for everyone else, but even if I could stand in the water the life jacket was staying on. After that hunting the Komodo dragon didn’t seem to worrying.
Hunting the Komodo Dragon
So after a few days on our slow boat we finally reached the islands. Was the journey worth it, for me its a resounding yes. Since childhood I’d wanted to see these animals. It’s the A-Pex predator in its area without any natural rivals except for the inept human of course. Without weapons though we would simply be another meal.
We left the hunting up to the Komodo dragons, and did we see it hunt, nope not once. On both islands we only saw one walking any distance and this was the very first we saw. Getting off the boat we walked up the pier and in the distance we spotted the very first dragon. We were excited and walked towards it as fast as possible. It was huge and simply sauntered across the beach in front of us . When one of the guards on duty saw us he told us to back away as they can move very fast when they need to. Also there bite can be fatal if not treated properly.
After this we officially met our guide. He told us the history of the islands and about the wildlife. Mainly the dragons, some cattle and humans with a few others in between. Then we took a trail across the island to view points and areas where the dragons were known to nest and rest. As they are massive reptiles we mainly saw them sleeping or resting in the shade of trees and houses.
Although none moved quite like the first one it was still amazing to see these giants in their own habitat. Protected by humans and in no danger from any outside forces. On Rinca it was much of the same, except there were far more dragons to see. We also saw some juvenile ones which are much faster and active, but a lot less intimidating.
After the islands:
We then left the islands and went to Labuan Bajo the closest port town and also the nearest airport. We stayed for one night and then the group departed. Some went snorkeling, others overland through more of Indonesia and I was going on to Cambodia. I wish I’d stayed to dive but having almost died, I thought it was best to leave it. Hunting the Komodo dragon was enough excitement for the time being.