Welcome to the Komodo Cruise Port Guide. If Komodo island is on your itinerary consider yourself lucky. It is not that often that a cruise ship will visit this port of call. It is a unique destination because this is where you’ll find the wild Komodo dragon. Today there are only 5 spots in the world that are inhabited by wild Komodo dragons of which the most important spot is Komodo island. There are different numbers going around of how many Komodo dragon still exist here today. Most say there are about 3000 Komodos left in the world of which only 350 females. Supposedly 2000 of these dragons live on Komodo island. The whole island of Komodo is a national park established in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon. Out of the 5 places where we find the Komodo dragon 4 spots are protected national park. The Komodo dragon is the largest and oldest living lizard in the world. They are descendants from a larger lizard which existed 30.000 years ago in Australia or Java. It is a fascinating creature with its movements and all its senses. Its average length is 2,5 meter for females and the males tend to size up to 3,5 meter. They weight up to 150 pound and their life expectancy is about 30-40 years. They can move fast up to 20 miles per hour. Their hearing is not very good and their eyesight is ok. They can see up to a few 100 meters and are not able to spot still standing objects. Their sense of smell is phenomenal. They don’t smell with their nose, but with their tongue. They have what we call the Jacobson organ and a split tongue to smell stereo. This combination ensures they can smell up to 8 km / 3,5 miles away. The Komodo dragon is officially a wild animal and therefore not fed. Since 1994 this is officially forbidden and the dragon therefore has to hunt wild animals. There are especially a lot of chicken that you’ll find on the island and also deer are to be found on a regular basis. You will find that if you take a guided walk around Komodo island all trails will go the watering hole, which is an artificial waterhole were they often lay around.
Cruise Port Guide Komodo – Indonesia: tender
When you visit Komodo your cruise ship will be at anchor in the bay and will have to tender you to shore. There is a long cruise tender pier here that lead’s to the Komodo ranger station and this is where all excursions start. Keep in mind that most cruise lines will not let you go ashore unless you are on a shore excursion. This could be an organised trip arranged through the ship or it could be a prepaid excursion through another organisation. Some cruise lines will not let you go ashore unless you can show a voucher that you have a ranger/guide waiting for you shore side. The main reason is safety. Keep in mind that the Komodo dragons venom will kill you. A bite rarely happens, but it does. Therefore nobody is allowed off the ship unless you have a certified guide waiting for you. Check with your cruise line what their policy is for Komodo. If you don’t want to be stuck on the ships excursion google for “Komodo island cruising excursion” or anything like that to give suggestions on sites that will offer similar shore excursions. Make sure to consider wether or not you would like to go to Kampung Komodo or Pink Beach as well. These are pretty nice places to go to and these trips will ensure you you will make the most out of your day.
FAQ about Komodo cruise destination
What is there to do around the pier? Not much. There is a ranger centre that will give you some information about Komodo dragons. There is a market you are free to roam though. Typical souvenirs are the wooden Komodo dragon and t-shirts.
Are the Komodo dragons wild? Yes, they are considered to be wild animals. On Komodo island they are under the protection of the national park.
Is the pink beach really pink? Yes, it is. Reflection of the sun is influential though.
Why do the rangers guide the guests? To ensure their safety. Each ranger will be carrying a long stick and this is not for nothing.
Do the rangers live on the island? No, they do not. They stay on the island for about 20 days. Then they go home for about a week before they go back to work on Komodo.
Are there any permanent residents on the island? Yes, there are. In 1926 the village of Kampung Komodo was “discovered”. This is one of the 4 villages on the island. All these villages existed prior to 1980 before this area was declared a national park.
Is there wi-fi on Komodo island? No