There are a multitude of activities in Komodo National Park including trekking, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. By far, our favorite activity consisted of walking with komodo dragons on Rinca Island. Within minutes of walking onto the island, the world’s largest lizards were displayed out on the ground, waiting to greet us. We met our guides for the morning, two lovely men from the island of Flores, who walked with wooden sticks to protect us from the dragons. As two people who have been on safari where the guides protect visitors with guns, it seemed wild to think that our lives could be protected from the world’s deadliest lizard with these remedial sticks. We trekked around the island, stopping to see dragons, deer, and guinea foul. From the moment we stepped onto Rinca Island, we were transported to a heightened state of awareness, cognizant that at any moment, a Komodo Dragon could attack. These are the travel moments we live for – the travel moments that make us feel truly alive.
On our Rascal Voyages yacht, we were supposed to be able to customize our own itinerary based on the activities that we wished to partake in. Prior to boarding the vessel, we requested to visit two iconic locations: Padar Island and the Pink Beach. While we’re sure that the cruise director had good intentions with his route, he refused to listen to our wishes and instead he customized the route that he wanted to go on. While only two out of six people were scuba divers, the cruise director, an avid scuba diver, insisted that we go out of the way to two different dive sites on two different days (despite one of those scuba divers saying that they’d prefer other activities).
When we spoke with the cruise director about our wishes to go to these two specific spots, it seemed as though we were seriously inconveniencing him. The director detailed that these spots were out of the way (…yet we wondered, were the dive sites on the way?) and that he’d think about it, yet he continued to schedule our days around the scuba dives. With windy conditions and little other activity options, the four remaining non-scuba diving guests were left on the boat with little activity options. For adventurers who boarded the boat expecting constant activities, it seemed like a dreadful waste of time considering that we flew around the world for these specific experiences.
There are dozens of live aboard boats in Komodo National Park, but none offer the (potentially) customizable luxury that Rascal does. Before booking your trip, be firm with what you’d like to see and don’t let the team dissuade you, despite how touristic a certain destination may be.