Travelers who are planning to visit Philippines’ last of the last frontier often hesitate when they hear that there are saltwater crocodiles in Balabac. We have written about it in passing on our previous posts “Is Balabac Safe? and Balabac Safety.” This one is a dedicated post about Balabac crocodiles hoping to provide light and peace of mind to those who will visit in the future.
The purpose of this post is not to scare you more, but to educate you so that you can be more careful. If you’re one of our future guests, this post is for you to have more peace of mind.
Areas with Saltwater Crocodile Sightings
So where can you find these saltwater crocodiles? Mostly in the mainland Balabac, but there are also sightings in island close to the mainland such as Ramos Island, Sicsican Island and Candaraman Island. Check the map below to see the proximity, and some posts that confirm the sightings or attacks.
However, confirmed sightings are not really everyday, every week or every month. It’s rare. In fact, in our four years of bringing guests to Balabac, we were unfortunate (or fortunate?) to see a single one. But that’s maybe because we don’t really bring our guests to the areas where there were confirmed sightings like the list below.
Most of the sightings and attacks that you can see in the internet / that are in the news happened in the marshes and rivers of Mainland Balabac. Check this signage near the port. We don’t visit or bring guests in Mainland Balabac as part of the itinerary.
Ramos Island / Timbayan Rock Formation
Close to mainland Balabac is Ramos Island where crocodiles were also spotted. In my first visit to Balabac, we went here with my group. The boatmen kept saying be careful. In fact, they didn’t even get down from the boat. Since these are saltwater crocodiles, they are also sighted in Sicsican Island which is close by. So if you’re visiting here, be careful! We don’t also bring our guests to these areas.
We have no photo or written proof that there is a sighting here except for the word of the owner and caretakers. Candaraman Sandbar aka Starfish Island which is just on the other side of this island is one of the destinations of our tour. Being a highlight of Balabac, you can’t miss this the starfishes! Our boatmen are always on the lookout here while our guests are enjoying.
One of the big islands of Balabac, Bancalaan has also sightings of crocodiles. Check the link below for the video of an actual sighting! We don’t also bring our guests here.
Don’t let these sightings stop you from visiting Balabac now. As we confidently tell our guests, you’ll be actually really lucky to see one while doing the tour. It’s part of the “adventure!” Just be careful to stay away, much more camp, from the islands near the Mainland. Balabac is still safe to visit.
And again, resorts are already being built in the islands of Balabac. Probably in two years time, tourism will boom like in El Nido. So right now is really a good time to visit if you still wanna catch it in its raw nature state. Take care!