Many people are surprised to find out that world-famous Komodo National Park is comprised of more than just Komodo Island. In fact, Rinca Island, the second largest island in the park, actually has more dragons than Komodo Island. However, visitors to Rinca Island can also see other wild animals, such as water buffalo, wild boar, horses, Timor deer and macaques. There is also great diversity of birds.

There are also three highly venomous snakes to watch out for: the green pit viper, Russel’s viper, and a species of spitting cobra.

The 6 kilometer-long trek usually takes about four hours and you will travel through dry savanna, with a few scattered trees and great numbers of Lontar palms.
On the trek, you will arrive at a natural spring which is a watering hole for animals. You will also pass the area where wild horses frequently graze, as well as herds of Timor deer. After about 3 kilometers you will climb the little hill of Golo Konde or Monkey Mountain where you can enjoy fantastic views of the scenery and animals in the distance.

Don’t forget to bring your binoculars. The way back will lead through a valley with waist-high grass and to a river where water buffalo bathe and cool themselves. As this trail comes closer to the popular tourist trails, there’s a good chance you will see more Komodo dragons.

All in all, this trek offers some memorable experiences, beautiful scenery and sights of the unique wild life of Rinca Island.

Article & images by Meret Signer