Previously, I have discussed about how to get into Kelimutu National Park. This time, I am going to share my experience about how to get into Komodo National Park. Just like the previous one, this article is suitable for you who are planning a vacation to see Komodo and its friends in their native habitat with assuming that you will depart from Jakarta without travel/tour services.
Well, if you want to visit Komodo National Park, the first destination you have to go is Labuan Bajo, a small city in the western of Flores Island. Labuan Bajo is a gate for those who want to explore Komodo National Park.
So firstly, we will discuss about how to get into Labuan Bajo
How to reach National Komodo Park luxuriously
This means are suitable for you who have no worry with something that can buy everything except love, i.e. money. By this way, you can reach Labuan Bajo earlier, but that shortened travel time must be paid.
- Jakarta – Labuan Bajo via Airlines
There are two flight options to get into Labuan Bajo from Jakarta; with transit flight in Denpasar, Bali or by direct flight. Start from 21st of October 2016, Garuda Indonesia Airlines has provided this direct flight route with departure at 10.05 WIB and will arrive at Komodo Labuan Bajo Airport at 13.35 WITA. For you who want to flight comfortably to Labuan Bajo with Garuda Indonesia Airlines, the cost starts from IDR 1,449,500.-. That’s a bit pricey, right?
For you who want to save more, you can take the transit flight, but note that it will take way longer time. Refer to Skyscanner, the most inexpensive Jakarta – Labuan Bajo flight with transit at Bali costs at IDR 1,160,134.- with flight combination of Sriwijaya Air and Nam Air, departure time at 06.15 WIB from Jakarta, and estimation arrival time at Labuan Bajo at 14.55 WITA.
- Komodo Labuan Bajo Airport – Kampung Ujung
Arriving at Komodo Airport, the trip will be continued to Kampung Ujung which is about 3 kilometers away. To reach Kampung Ujung, you can ride a taxi bike that costs within 5,000 to 10,000 rupiahs; the price depends to the driver. Once, I got a taxi bike driver that asked for only IDR 5,000.-, but on my way back, the driver I found asked me for 10,000 rupiahs. If you come in a group, you can use cab services that costs only 25,000 to 30,000 rupiahs, due to the destination location that is really close.
Or if you are such a though person, you can just walk for 30 minutes from the airport to Kampung Ujung. Kind of tiring, but just take it as a warming up before going to snorkeling on the next day.
- Kampung Ujung
After arrival at Kampung Ujung, the first thing you have to look for is an inn for one night. There are so many housings with various price ranges. From the dirt cheap one to the luxurious one, depend on the provided amenities.
Done with lodging, now you have to seek for a Travel/Tour services that over package of exploration of Komodo Island and the surroundings. You can have the 2 days one night package with an open deck boat for IDR 850,000.-. Through this package, you can visit Kenawa Island, Manta Point, Turtle Point, Komodo Island, and Rinca Island. The price already includes meals and beverages but the entrance ticket to Komodo National Park is excluded.
Noted that, make sure what kind of boat used by the travel package service you chose. If it is an open deck, it means you will sleep at Kampung Komodo, while closed deck means you will sleep in the boat, and at the afternoon, the boat will throw the anchor around Kelelawar Island.
How to reach National Komodo Semi Bacpacker
This one suits for those who have traveler typical souls and not demanding for a luxurious and comfortable life, and able to adjust between the flight schedule and the boat departure schedule.
- Jakarta – Makassar through airlines
From Jakarta to Makassar by flight, the ticket costs at approximately 600,000 rupiahs.
- Makassar – Labuan Bajo via Pelni Boat.
There are some Pelni boats that provide Makassar – Labuan Bajo trip; e.g. KM. Sirimau, KM. Egon, KM. Binaiyta, and KM.Tilongkabila. To save more, I suggest you to choose KM. Tilongkabila because this ship is sailing directly to Labuan Bajo without transit in other place, and also its ticket price is the most inexpensive, which is at 170,000 rupiahs. The boat sails the seas for about 18 hours.
- Arriving at Labuan Bajo, the trip will be continued as what have been explained above.
Getting into National Komodo Park a la frugal, strong, and tough Backpacker
Why I call it as frugal, strong, and though? Because only people with backpacker mental and saving-more orientation can take this way, also they have to detail each schedule of transportation that they will ride. They also have to be though because it will take way longer travel time. If you admit yourself as frugal, strong, and though backpacker, you can try these steps.
- Jakarta – Labuan Bajo by Train and Pelni Boat
- First, you have to travel by train from Jakarta to Surabaya using Kertajaya train that departs from Pasar Senen Station at 14.00 WIB every day, and arrive at Pasar Turi Station at 01.30 WIB. The ticket is 165,000 rupiahs at the moment.
- Arrive at Pasar Turi Station, Surabay, you can take a rest in around the station, and take a walk to visit the Monument of Patriot (Tugu Pahlawan) or Sampoerna House.
- Next, you will continue your trip to Labuan Bajo by Pelni Boat. This will be a little troublesome, but you just have to be smart at adjusting your schedule with the boat schedule. But don’t worry; the schedule can be checked trough Pelni Boat website.
- Pelni boat that provides a trip from Surabaya to Labuan Bajo is only KM. Egon, that costs at IDR 276,000.- for economy class. The boat departs at 17.00 WIB, and it is estimated to arrive at the next 35 hours, at 04.00 WITA.
- Arrive at Labuan Bajo, try to found the cheapest lodging. The lodging cost starts from 75,000 rupiahs per night.
- If you come in a small group, you better join the komodo tour package that is offered by most of tour services at Soekarno Hatta Street.
- If you come in a big group, you can head directly to the dock at Kampung Ujung. There, you will find lots of boats that will take you to Komodo Island and around. You can get lower price because you can bargain directly from the boat owner without tour agency. You can have 2D/1N tour with only 500,000 rupiahs per person. Much cheaper if compared to package tour offered by travel agency.
- Jakarta – Labuan Bajo by Bus and ferry boat
- From Jakarta, use a Bus that lead to Bima. Buses that provide this route are Rasa Sayang Bus and Safari Dharma Raya Bus. The ticket price for executive class is at Rp 810,000.-, include five times meal services.
Travel time from Jakarta to Bima is about 60 hours. Be ready to get a flat butt!
- From Dara Bima bus station, continue your trip by taking elf or minibus towards Sape Harbour. The trip will take about 2 hours.
- Make sure that you arrive before 09.00 am. You will continue your journey by ferry boat to cross Alas Strait to reach Labuan Bajo. The trip will be in 8 hours, depends on the sea condition like waves and stream. Ticket for ferry boat from Sape Harbour to Labuan Bajo costs at Rp 55,000.-.
- After your arrival at Labuan Bajo, just follow the same steps that I have explained above.
What do you think? It’s clear enough, isn’t it? So, which travel style would you choose? It depends on you and the budget you spared.
- Recheck Pelni boat departure schedule on the website, because the departure time could change anytime.
- For those who want to use tour boat service without travel agent, you can try to contact Mr. Taher at 081353847796. His boat is an open deck boat that could carry 10 passengers. If you use his tour service, you can stay overnight at his house in Kampung Komodo.