By Jeremy Biberdorf
Last year, I decided to visit one of the most peculiar places on earth: Komodo Island. This area of Indonesia – famous for the Komodo dragon – has always fascinated me, since I watched a documentary on the giant lizards when I was younger.
At first, I had initially recruited a few friends to come with me, before they all reneged one by one. So making the decision to go alone was probably the best thing I could have done. Getting there required nine months of saving and a little bit of credit, however, so it was far from easy. I didn’t know if I would have been eligible for a loan, so decided to run an instant credit check and found out that I was in a better position than I thought I would have been. I got loan approval 6 weeks before I was due to go, and that was that, it was time to go to Komodo Island.
How to Get There
Image: Adhi Rachdian via Flickr
In order to get to Komodo Island and explore Komodo National Park, you must first make your way to Bali. You can then take a plane to Labuan Bajo on Flores Island. I found that this was the best starting point for exploring Komodo National Park. There is also plenty to do here, and I stopped by the diving center to try my hand at diving.
From Labuan Bajo take a Live-aboard in order to see the Komodo Islands. You can also rent a boat, or sign up for a diving cruise which adds an element of adventure to proceedings.
When to Visit
Image: Bernard Dupont via Flickr
If you go to the Komodo reserve in the dry season (April to December) you will avail of temperatures averaging at around 26°C. Alternatively, if you go between January and March, the average temperature clocks in at around 28°C. If you do go in high season – why is between May and July – try and book tours of the island ahead as they are very popular.
There are a number of ways to get tours, however, meaning if you have missed out on booking them online, you can probably pick one up off of street vendors. Do exercise caution when using these, however, and try to make it a last resort.
What to expect
Image: Jenny via Flickr
There is a reason why Komodo Island is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. It is absolutely incredible, and its main attractions ensure that you will have reason to remember the trip for the rest of your life. The island itself is very dry and does not tend to have much going on aside from the presence of these wonderful creatures.
When you arrive at the park, ensure that you have cash to pay for the entrance fee and guide. If you need refreshments, make sure that you are equipped for these, too. I forgot to bring sunblock and paid for it hugely, so also make sure you are protected against the heat! Komodo Island is an eye opening experience, and you can enhance it by making sure that you are equipped.