Of course, there's one major reason people visit Komodo National Park: to see the "dragons." The dragons are a species of monitor lizard - the largest living species of lizard in the world. They can grow to a length of up to 3 meters (10 feet) and weigh up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds). They are only found on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and a few smaller islands. There are around 1,500 dragons on Komodo, and 1,000 on Rinca. Flores may host as many as 2,000.
The Komodo National Park, encompassing Komodo, Rinca and the surrounding islands, was established in 1980 to protect the species, which is listed as vulnerable.
Photos of the Komodo dragon and the island. Click on any of the thumbnails to see the full size image.
There are two stations - one on Komodo and one on Rinca - where you can see the big lizards in the wild. The station on Rinca is generally less touristy than the one on Komodo. In either case, you will get a guide who will take you on a walk through the brush, where you'll most likely see more than one dragon, as well as other wildlife such as monkeys, deer, water buffalo and wild pigs.
The islands, as well as the waters around them, are part of a national park. Entry to the park requires the payment of an admission fee. The fee depends on your length of stay.