Although there are multiple islands within Komodo National Park, the two major islands housing the majority of the dragons are Rinca Island and the larger, Komodo Island.
Each island holds approximately 2,400 dragons. I heard many stories about people who traveled to both islands and saw no dragons. Fortunately, I saw dragons everywhere.
In order to the tour the island, one must be accompanied by a ranger. Each ranger carries a wooden stick about 2 metres in length for protection. Although these sticks appear lacking, the dragons respect the sticks and the rangers who use them.
On each island you are given the option of a short, a medium or a long trek taking approximately 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 2 hours respectively. The trekking is moderately straightforward with hills, rocks and sandy trails. While hiking boots would have been best, hiking with sandals wasn’t a problem.
The dragons are reptiles, cold blooded, and their bodies are warmed by the sun.
During the morning trek, I saw many Komodo Dragons sunning their bodies in the morning sun, while on the afternoon trek the few dragons I saw appeared to be sleeping or waiting for prey to walk towards them. The dragons are also amazingly well camouflaged. Their dark sandy brown skin blends extremely well with the loose sand and the dirt of each island, and many times the ranger would point out dragons I would have otherwise missed.
All the ranger huts and lodges are built on stilts; however, even though they are high, dragons can still climb the stairs or find ways into the cabins.
My ranger told a story on how a dragon entered a ranger hut and attacked a ranger who was standing on a table. A second ranger heard the screams coming from inside the hut and ran inside. Grabbing the dragon by the tail, he rescued the first ranger only to be bitten himself. Both rangers wound up in the hospital for 3 weeks, and fortunately both fully recovered.
On each island, multiple dragons were found surrounding the ranger kitchen hut attracted by the smell. All the rangers assured me they did not feed the dragons. At the Rinca Island ranger kitchen, there was one dragon whose two front arms were both broken. This dragon had been injured during a fight for the right to mate many years ago, but amazingly had found a way to survive.