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Visiting Komodo and Rinca

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The best way to reach Komodo and Rinca is by organizing a trip from Labuanbajo on Flores, although there are also cruises to Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores from Lombok. A host of agencies compete for tourists, so it’s worth shopping around or asking for recommendations. Most people are content with a day-trip to Rinca. A multi-day trip that includes both Komodo and Rinca is worth it if only to see for yourself just how different, scenically, the two islands are. It’s also possible to visit both islands independently by chartering a boat from Labuanbajo, though rough waters can make small fishing boats a bit risky.

The PHPA charges for entry to the park (both islands); in addition there are guide fees. These fees are rarely included in the price negotiated with the boat owner/travel agent, so be sure to bring enough money and plenty of small change. On all excursions around the islands a guide is necessary: they have sharp eyes and excellent knowledge of the area. Treks around the national park should reward you with sightings of wild horses, deer, wild pigs and, on Rinca, macaques, but trekking on both islands can be hot and tiring, so make sure you wear decent footwear and take plenty of water.

There is accommodation on Komodo and Rinca, comprising a handful of simple rooms on Rinca and a fairly nice hotel on Komodo. Some people bring their own food (which the cafés will cook for you) but the island’s cafés serve noodles, omelettes and pancakes.

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