What to Bring on Your Komodo Nat'l Park Tour

Indonesia     Destinations
A group boat tour to the Komodo National Park is fun and easy! FYI that ladder to the left is the only way to get to the main living area.
A group boat tour to the Komodo National Park is fun and easy! FYI that ladder to the left is the only way to get to the main living area.
You don't need much, just some basics for swimming in turquoise waters, walking in the heat, taking memorable photos, and trying to avoid turning into a lobster. But more important, here's what to wear!
What to wear / bring on the Komodo National Park 2-day tour is one of the things I looked up online before my tour and could not find adequate information. Most places all said the same thing; that you should bring your bathing suit, sunscreen, bug spray, and hiking shoes. Well here's a bit more detail on what I experienced on my 2-day tour and here's a spoiler: you don't need hiking shoes.

The good news is that you need very little. If you came to Flores with a small bag, just bring it all on the boat. Otherwise, make a daypack with just a few things for your tour and store the rest at your hotel.

Bring: snorkel gear (you can rent it), camera (underwater), sunscreen, bathing suit, money, easy hangout clothes (sundress, shorts, tanks), rugged flip flops, toothbrush, hairbrush, phone/camera charger.
 
Optional:, sweat towel, rashguard, something to cover from the sun, insect repellent (just in case), a book or something to do for hours.

Living on the Boat

The covered deck is basically your living space so your luggage lives on the deck next to the beanbags and sleeping mats in "your" spot. This is where you sleep, hang out, and change your clothes. You're on you own to figure out where to put your stuff including your wet clothes and snorkel gear.
Many hours are spent hanging out on the main deck. Bring comfy clothes and a book.
Many hours are spent hanging out on the main deck. Bring comfy clothes and a book.
The deck is just dirty wood with some beanbags so wear something you'll be comfortable in sitting around on the ground and getting a bit dirty. Most girls were in shorts and their bathing suit and guys were in shorts and t-shirts. Not having the perfect 20-something body, I covered up a bit more but still kept it comfy and casual. Running shorts and t-shirt, sundress, capris, etc.

There's only one small wet toilet on the boat for changing your clothes so count on changing your clothes surfer-style on the deck. There is a fresh water spigot in the toilet, but don't plan on showering.

Unless you paid for a private cabin, you will be sleeping on the deck with everyone else and will just crash out in whatever you're wearing. A sheet and a real pillow are provided. It was comfortable but a bit chilly. I was glad for the flannel sheet. If you get very cold, you might wear something warmer or bring an extra sheet.

There are electrical outlets throughout the boat for charging your devices.
Sleeping is pretty casual and communal. Have some comfy clothes that you can sleep in.
Sleeping is pretty casual and communal. Have some comfy clothes that you can sleep in.

What You Need for the Tour

There are usually a few hours in between sights so you are hanging out on the boat a lot reading, napping, taking in the scenery, or face buried in your cell phone.

The only things you need money for are park entry fees (Rp 470,000 total), crappy souvenirs on Komodo island, large Bintang beers for sale by clever entrepreneurs who paddle up in their boats (Rp 50,000), and possibly snorkel gear rental before you board the boat (Rp 50,000). That's it.

I didn't see any mosquitoes my entire trip so I didn't need any mosquito repellent.
Just one small bag is plenty. I stored my larger bag in Bali and just brought this small bag to Flores.
Just one small bag is plenty. I stored my larger bag in Bali and just brought this small bag to Flores.
You'll want a bit of money for the large Bintangs (50,000 rp each).
You'll want a bit of money for the large Bintangs (50,000 rp each).

Tour Stops

For visiting the parks, you can get buy with rubber flip flops but they're not ideal for the hike up Padar since they get so slippery from sweat. But for Rinca and Komodo, they'd be fine. I suggest a rugged flip flop or better for the entire tour. I would have been 100% fine if I had only brought my Reef Fannings.

Our first day was Rinca Island, Komodo Island, and Pink Beach so we were in walking clothes most of the day. Rinca was hot but mostly shaded. Komodo is all flat, nothing rugged.
Walking through Rinca and Komodo was very hot, but the paths were flat and easy.
Walking through Rinca and Komodo was very hot, but the paths were flat and easy.
This is probably the roughest part of the path.
This is probably the roughest part of the path.
Rinca was mostly shaded.
Rinca was mostly shaded.
The second day was Padar and then swimming all day. We spent most of that day in our swimsuits.

For hiking to the view point at Padar, it doesn't matter what you wear other than maybe some sun protection. I just threw a sundress over my swimsuit. Padar is mostly stairs (some wood, then rock, then dirt and rock) and at the tree it turns to more of a regular trail.

Our guide went in bare feet (!) and I went in rubber flip flops and wished I had my Fannings. It's hot hot hot. Bring a sweat towel. No matter what shape you are in, you'll be dripping with sweat and have that extra glow for your postcard perfect photos at the top with the view.
I hiked Padar in rubber flip flops! You do not need hiking shoes.
I hiked Padar in rubber flip flops! You do not need hiking shoes.
The hike up to Padar starts with wooden stairs then wide stone steps.
The hike up to Padar starts with wooden stairs then wide stone steps.
The Padar hike eventually turns to a dirt and rock path just up past this part (by the tree).
The Padar hike eventually turns to a dirt and rock path just up past this part (by the tree).
If you have any debate at all for renting snorkel gear, do it. You'll be in the water a lot and there is some very good snorkeling. I was very happy to have my rashguard for all the swimming we did. You'll really want an underwater camera for Manta Point!
The swimming, although a bit cool and with rough currents in places, is something you'll be doing a lot of. I was happy to have my rash guard.
The swimming, although a bit cool and with rough currents in places, is something you'll be doing a lot of. I was happy to have my rash guard.
Snorkeling is good, you'll definitely want some snorkel gear.
Snorkeling is good, you'll definitely want some snorkel gear.

More Details About the Tour

Booking a Komodo National Park Tour - What You Need to Know
What to Bring on Your Komodo Nat'l Park Tour
Visiting Komodo Dragons in Indonesia
Pink Beach, and Pinker Beaches
Padar - THE Komodo View Point
Manta Rays - Majestic Giants in Komodo

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