Rinca or Komodo Island?
If you have one day only to visit these islands which one should you pick?
I personally would pick Komodo, that even though take four hours to get to, for the simple reason that you will be telling people that you went to the Komodo Islands but you didn’t go to Komodo Island. Another reason for me is that I found the guide in Komodo Island were much more knowledgeable and had so many information. Although I didn’t particularly like the way they poked a Komodo to pose for tourist picture, at least the tourist get to take pictures with them.
I do like Rinca island though. Rinca visit was my second boat journey, it is only 2 hours away from Labuan Bajo. I love the way you arrive in the corner of a steep rocky hill and they take you around this rocky surrounding and you have to cross this barren red soiled land until you reach the offices. It might be that I went there during the not too busy period, but it does bring out the feeling of you are in Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory. I am not sure why but that is how I felt.
At Rinca we were also given a choice of three routes, whuch everyone once again chose medium, the guide gave a similar speil for health and safety but the knowledge they impart is a bit scarce.
At Rinca I also got to see the proper Komodo lair/ nest, which apparently they share with this cousin of Maleo bird, Dusky Megapode (megapodius ) or the people of the islands calls it Burung Gosong (burnt bird). After the Komodo is finished with their nest, this bird uses their nest to put in their egg. More interestingly the Komodo doesn’t seem to mind and don’t eat the bird.
You can see why they are called burnt bird, their dark brown almost black colour makes them look burnt. Below is one coming out of an old komodo nest.
Because of the Komodo eating habit, there are also other wildlife that is protected in the island, as in human are not allowed to kill such as Water Buffalo and the deers.
The walk here is also still interesting, would highly recommend you still to go if have longer time in the area. The boat ride will also take you to some snorkelling places, although slightly busier places than the first boat ride, it still pleasant.
If you have been to this part of Indonesia tell me where you would prefer to go?