The Indonesian government has announced since early last year that the Komodo island is closing down for their wildlife maintenance – for a whole year! Oh but wait, the statement had been retracted in the months following the announcement; is the closure cancelled? We really aren’t sure, but at the time of this writing Komodo tour is still ongoing and the island is not on an effective closedown yet. However, there aren’t any guarantee that it won’t be closed in the future. The government is worried about the smuggling of Komodo dragons that were allegedly sold abroad and they don’t want that to happen again. The closure is really for the good of the wildlife. But what should you do if Komodo island tour is listed on your bucket list?
Komodo tour closing in 2020
Is it worth the wait? What if the island maintenance takes more than an entire year? The Komodo dragons are native to the island and Komodo National Park is really the only place in this earth where you can see them in the wild. Komodo that aren’t in their natural habitat existed of course, but the experience of seeing them being free in the wild versus behind a bar in some zoo is worlds away.
Seeing the these beautiful ancient dragons in its natural habitat is not an experience you could trade for anything. And I’d say the Komodo island closing for a period of time would do the destination good. It’s definitely worth the wait. So rather than settling for any Komodo experience in Indonesia, invest on a quality Komodo island tour in the right time.
Where can you see the Komodo outside Komodo Island?
If you’re keen to go to Indonesia and have a peek at the Komodo dragons despite the fact that the island is closed, then you have a few alternatives. Like what we’ve mentioned, don’t expect these alternatives to ever compare to seeing free, roaming Komodo dragons in the wild. But if you’d like to see them anyway, some zoos in Bali display them. Very small ones though (we only saw one baby-sized Komodo during our trip in Bali and they’re nothing like a gigantic lizard we saw at the Komodo National Park). A few established zoos in Java also display them. Though as always with zoos; remember that they’re created for humans first and foremost rather than for the animals. That’s why we won’t mention any zoos here; be wise when choosing to visit such establishments.
What’s the best way to go explore Komodo National Park?
Go on a liveaboard of course! At least, that’s our preferred way of exploring the absolute wonders that is Komodo National Park. We could already hear the budget travelers out there shouting that not everyone could afford a liveaboard. Here’s what we think; Komodo island and its surrounding Flores seas are not a budget destination and a Komodo tour on a budget is just not practical. The Indonesian government had made this clear with the fees and everything else that you need to prepare for just to visit the island.
Flores is a remote island even within Indonesia as a country; it’s certainly much less developed than Bali and Java, and say, compared to other islands like Sumatra and Kalimantan. This is part of the reason why the marine life in Flores is so pristine – it’s largely untouched by humans. You won’t be able to reach many diving and snorkeling destinations as well as some islands without the means of a boat.
Similar stories: Ultimate Guide to Be Good Guest in Komodo Diving Liveaboard
So rather than going on a half-hearted Komodo island trip and settle for a less than stellar experience, take your time to save up and invest on a liveaboard experience. Some of the best Komodo island tours from Labuan Bajo are indeed best experienced with ultimate leisure on a boat.