Discover the land of Dragons!
- Cost: To be confirmed (depending upon the number of participants coming), but approximately £1,650 for 7 days/6 nights, all inclusive of costs on the islands (not inclusive of flights to/from Flores).
- Start Point: Jakarta International Airport, Indonesia.
- End Point: Jakarta International Airport, Indonesia.
- Dates: Saturday 15th December to Saturday 22nd December 2018.
- Group Size: 6–10
- Bespoke Tour: If you do not wish to join a group tour, we can customise a private trip to fit your dates and interests. Please email us for details and a quote.
Komodo Island is the stuff of legends. A remote tropical paradise ruled by dragons... or more accurately... the largest lizards alive on Earth today. Known as Varanus komodoensis, the dragons can measure up to 3 m in length and weigh up to 70 kg.
This unique adventure takes you on a journey across the island of Flores (where the dragons also live), through rainforests to the spectacular multi-coloured crater lakes of Kelimutu volcano, the native village of Bena complete with megaliths and long-tailed macaques, and a day trip to the fascinating thatched conical “drum houses” of Wae Rebo village. The climax of the trip comes as we reach the west of Flores and travel by boat to Komodo, Rinca and Padar Islands, all home to diverse wildlife, unbelievable scenery, some of the best coral reef snorkelling in the world, and of course, the famous dragons which we observe in their natural habitat, safely with skilled local rangers as our guides!
Join this adventure to see the best highlights of Komodo and Flores!
Explore the land of the dragon, and see this unique reptile up close and personal!
The Komodo National Park is a bright jewel in Indonesia’s diverse archipelago. Well off the tourist trail, this park is formed of three big islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar, plus a few other islets making a total of 2,321 Km2 of protected land and sea.
Approximately 5,700 dragons call this stunning part of Indonesia home, with the largest population occurring on Komodo Island (about 2,000 individuals). The dragons were first documented by Europeans in 1910, when rumours of a “land crocodile” reached the Dutch colonial administration.
Seeing Komodo dragons in the wild is an unforgettable experience. When accompanied by skilled local rangers, visits to the habitat of the dragon can be undertaken safely, allowing for incredible photo opportunities. But we must respect the dragons at all times, and remember their powerful and fierce nature. Even seemingly docile dragons may become unpredictably aggressive, especially when the animal’s territory is invaded by someone unfamiliar.
When arriving in Komodo National Park, we will receive clear and detailed instructions: don’t look directly at a Komodo dragon, keep your head down, walk only along the trails, stay together with your group, one ranger goes in the front the group and the other in the back. Never go to the toilet alone, and girls on their period need extra attention and double security, as the dragons can smell the blood and might be more likely to attack. By law, we will be accompanied by at least two rangers who have years of experience guiding tourists in the Komodo National Park.
That said, many visitors are surprised at how slow and seemingly lazy the dragons are for much of the day. Dragons are often spotted sleeping, or lying on the ground digesting their last meal, or walking slowly looking for food. From a respectful and safe distance, we may observe these majestic animals and watch individuals interact.
Trekking across Komodo, Rinca and Padar Islands is not difficult, and we will follow several excellent trails to the best dragon locations. The trails also offer the opportunity to see diverse birdlife and spectacular scenery. The view across Padar Island (which has several curved bays set amongst mountainous scenery) is one of the most spectacular views in all of Asia.
Although Komodo dragons can be spotted all year round, December is an excellent time to visit. It is the end of the dry season, before the wet season really sets in, after the mating season (from July to August when dragons can be more aggressive), and after the nesting season (from September to November when sighting dragons can be more difficult).
The Komodo National Park is also home to some of the best coral reefs in Indonesia (even some of the best reefs in the world according to many divers). We can spend time visiting Komodo Island’s unique Pink Beach, and snorkelling in the National Park’s pristine waters to see the diverse underwater marine life. For those interested in scuba diving, we can arrange dive trip extensions, including live-aboard trips in luxury sailing vessels to sail around the Komodo National Park to reach the very best dive locations! Please contact us for details.
Those undertaking the Christmas Island Adventure will arrive in Jakarta the night before Day 1. We can overnight in the airport hotel at Jakarta International Airport (rooms can be booked for you, if required).
Day 1: Meet at Jakarta International Airport and fly to Maumere on the island of Flores. We meet our team of guides at Maumere, and transfer by vehicle (approx 3 hours) to Moni town at the foot of Kelimutu volcano. The settlement is surrounded by spectacular scenery, and a landscapes dotted with palms and banana trees. There are also a number of visible burial sites in front gardens, a local cultural tradition. Dinner in a local restaurant. Accommodation at a hotel at Moni.
Day 2: An early morning wake up call for departure to the Kelimutu volcano. We recommend departing prior to sunrise, but can decide the departure time as a group. A short walk (30 minutes) takes us to a lookout point to wait for a spectacular sunrise. Kelimutu means Mountain of the Spirits, and this volcano is known for its famous three coloured lakes in craters at the summit: turquoise, brown and black that arise from differing concentrations of dissolved minerals. The lakes change colour with the changing light of the morning. We will have breakfast by the lakes, for the amazing lake colours are best in daylight. As we descend, we will likely see long tailed macaques, and can visit hot springs. After lunch, we continue our journey westwards, driving through the beautiful landscape via Ende to Bajawa with stops at Soekarno’s House in Ende, at the striking green stone beach Pengga Jawa, and enjoy beautiful views of the Ebulobo volcano. Before reaching Bajawa, if time allows, we can stop at the traditional village of Wogo (with interesting traditional architecture). Dinner in a local restaurant. Accommodation at a hotel at Bajawa.
Day 3: After breakfast, we visit the traditional village of Bena, situated about 16 km from Bajawa at the foot of Mount Inerie. Home to the Ngada people, it is full of fascinating stone megaliths and ancestral shrines, as well as traditional houses. The village consists of two parallel rows of traditional, high thatch-roofed buildings. Prominent in the center of the village are ngadhu and bhaga, pairs of shrines – one for each clan of the village – representing the clan’s ancestors. We enjoy a guided tour around Bena, and can buy locally crafted ikat (tie-dyed woven cloth sarongs with beautiful motif patterns). At the end of the village, elevated on a small hill, a viewpoint affords breath-taking views of Bena, Mount Inerie and the Savu Sea. We then continue our drive west to reach a small village not far from Denge. Dinner in a local restaurant. Accommodation at a hotel not far from Denge.
Day 4: After breakfast, we drive to Denge and trek for about three hours to Wae Rebo, an old Manggaraian village situated amongst isolated mountain scenery. The village includes numerous mbaru niang (‘drum houses’ in the Manggaraian language) - spectacular, tall, traditional, circular, cone-shaped thatched houses with very unique architecture. The drum houses are still a place to hold meetings and rituals, and the walk to the village passes through dense rainforest with diverse vegetation, including orchids, palms, and different ferns, and a wide diversity of birdlife. After our trek, we drive to Labuan Bajo (approx 3 hours). Dinner in a local restaurant. Accommodation at a hotel at Labuan Bajo.
Day 5: Early breakfast and transfer by boat to Komodo Island to meet rangers for safety briefing. The rangers guide us safely along trails to spot dragons as well as diverse bird life, and possibly wild water buffalo, native deer, boars and macaques. We can visit the famous Pink Beach (made of pinkish sand that is a mix of white sand and little pieces of red coral brought by the waves). The beach is a surreal landscape, framed by clear warm water filled with colourful fish and coral. Leaving Komodo, we cruise past Kalong Island as the sun sets to watch the orange sky fill with hundreds of giant fruit bats flying from the island’s shores. It is an incredible spectacle to see so many dark wings contrasting with the sunset colours in the sky. Dinner in a local restaurant. Accommodation at a hotel at Labuan Bajo.
Day 6: After breakfast, we visit Rinca and Padar Islands for another opportunity to see dragons, bird life, and possibly wild water buffalo, native deer, boar and macaques. Cockatoos are often seen around Rinca Island. A highly recommended one hour walk inland across Padar takes us to the summit of the island to view one of the most spectacular views in Asia (Padar’s several curved bays set amongst mountainous scenery). For those that so wish, there are excellent snorkelling locations around Rinca Island,and dolphins are often seen. Dinner in a local restaurant. Accommodation at a hotel at Labuan Bajo.
Day 7: After breakfast, we transfer to Labuan Bajo airport and say goodbye to our guides, before flying back to Jakarta in time for onward flights to transport us home before Christmas.
CHRISTMAS ISLAND CRAB MIGRATION: we have specifically designed this Komodo Dragon Adventure to run immediately after our Christmas Island Adventure (see our catalogue under Australia). Those that wish to undertake the Christmas Island trip will fly to Jakarta at the end of that expedition to join the participants of the Komodo Dragon Adventure group. We will all then fly from Jakarta to Maumere to begin our journey across Flores and Komodo. Join us for just the Komodo Dragon Adventure, OR both the Christmas Island Adventure and the Komodo Dragon Adventure to see two of Asia’s most incredible natural wonders!
Flights are available to Jakarta from major airports across the world. Alternatively you can fly to Bali (for a luxurious beach holiday) before or after this adventure, and from there fly to/from Jakarta.
Adventure Rating: Moderate
For those interested in scuba diving, we can arrange dive trip extensions, including live-aboard trips in luxury sailing vessels to sail around the Komodo National Park to reach the very best dive locations! Please contact us for details. CHRISTMAS ISLAND CRAB MIGRATION: we have specifically designed this Komodo Dragon Adventure to run immediately after our Christmas Island Adventure (see our catalogue under Australia). Those that wish to undertake the Christmas Island trip will fly to Jakarta at the end of that expedition to join the participants of the Komodo Dragon Adventure group. We will all then fly from Jakarta to Maumere to begin our journey across Flores and Komodo. Join us for just the Komodo Dragon Adventure, OR both the Christmas Island Adventure and the Komodo Dragon Adventure to see two of Asia’s most incredible natural wonders!