How to Navigate Komodo National Park Safely

Seeing the Komodo dragons on National Geographic is one thing. They are on a screen and cannot get within growling distance. Having a face to face encounter on their turf is a whole different ball game. The adrenalin rush is amazing.

These giant lizards inspire awe and terror almost in equal measure. Whether you are traveling solo or you have your friends or family with you, surviving the National Park is crucial. If you are solo, you may want to join a tour. It will not only save you money but also give you some company for your stay on the island.

There is no shortage of companies that offer overnight trips or day tours in town. If you do not have one booked, you can saunter into one in town and make arrangements.

The Ride to the Island

You can opt for a modern boat which takes roughly one hour and a half to get to Rinca Island. If you go for the traditional wooden boats, you will take double that time. However, you will get to enjoy the landscape longer and maybe swim alongside the boat sometimes. You will then get to Komodo and the beginning of your adventure.

Get a Guide

Visitors should not venture anywhere close to the dragons without an experienced guide. You do not know how the dragons will react to your presence or how far you should stay from them. The guides know where the giant lizards are to be found and can avoid them.

If you have read or watched documentaries about the Komodo dragons, you know there is nothing friendly about them. You do not want to bump into one unexpectedly. It is unlikely that you will survive the encounter. A guide is a necessity.

The guide carries a weird Y-shaped stick as a weapon to use on the dragon should you run into one by chance. How does one fight off a ferocious giant lizard with a stick? Well, the guide uses the Y-end of the stick to pin the dragon’s neck long enough for you and the rest of the party to run away.

It is definitely worth the Komodo cruise to experience the Komodo dragons but you had better be on the lookout for them.

No Warning

If a dragon wants to attack, it gives no warning. Don’t be fooled by its size. These lizards are fast. You cannot outrun it. You will find them lazing around in the sun on rocks barely acknowledging your presence but once they decide that you represent a menace, they will charge towards you without so much as a growl.

You need to know that they are venomous and can also gulp you up as they can eat as much as 80% of their body weight. You must, therefore, be very careful not only about the guide you pick but also as you are out there watching them.

In the Komodo Waters

Everyone who goes to Komodo Island wants to get some water experience. You either want to go snorkeling, swimming or diving. All these are amazing activities that will create great memories for you and also get you very beautiful photos.

However, you still need to be safe. Apart from some dragons which may still be hanging around contemplating turning you into lunch, there are the strong currents to contend with…especially if you want to go diving.

The currents at Komodo are strong enough to get out into the open sea where there are sharks. Without a good guide, you may make mistakes when choosing a good diving spot. You will need to ensure that your enjoyment does not turn into tragedy.

That said, Komodo offers some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in the world. Visitors cannot resist the beautiful marine life and the Manta rays are favorites. Everyone wants to swim with the Mantas.


The idea is to have a grand old time in Komodo Island especially in the Komodo National Park. You want to experience the dragons and the beauty of the park and the surrounding islands. However, you also want to live to tell the tale and show the pictures. Get a good guide to show you how to maneuver your way around the park.