1 Mahoora Camps at Rekawa BeachWatch sea turtles lay eggs at Rekawa Beach

Watch mama sea turtles nesting in the moonlight on the beautiful beaches of southern Sri Lanka

 SLDT/1910/Ex

Why should you book this trip?

  • Witness the marvel of ocean life coming ashore, as sea turtles begin to nest in the Rekawa coastline. Turtle watching at Rekawa lets you observe them responsibly, but closely enough to see them dig their nest, lay their eggs, and return to the ocean.
  • This is the only ethical and sustainable turtle watching programme in Sri Lanka where turtles can be observed in their natural habitat, completely undisturbed.
  • We strongly oppose Commercial Turtle Hatcheries as they would do more harm than good for turtle conservation.
  • Nothing compares to the excitement and front row seat experience of watching turtles make a sandy nest and lay eggs under the stars.
  • We work with the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP), a community which aims to safeguard the turtles’ nesting sites and make sure that the eggs hatch safely.
  • Five out of seven of the world’s sea turtle species are found at the Rekawa, Tangalle seashore.
  • This experience has been named as one of the top 5 things to do in Tangalle. 
  • Logistically situated on your way to the famous Yala National Park, or to the Deep South.

 

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HOTLINE

(+94) 70 222 8 222

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  Quick Facts

  • Availability: All year round
  • - High season (April – July)
  • - Low season (October – January)
  • Starting time: 8:30pm
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • We provide pick up and drop off at any hotel in Tangalle / Kalametiya / Ranna / Rekwa areas.

 

You will meet

Thushantha

With over 15 years in the transport industry, Thushantha knows his way around Sri Lanka’s back roads and the island’s most scenic parts. A handyman when it comes to electrical wiring and home fixes, he loves playing Bob the Builder and tinkering with electronic devices in his free time. When he isn’t on the road, he enjoys quality time with his wife and two daughters at home.

 



 

 

Included in the price

  • Permit fees
  • Transport to the site and back to your hotel in Tangalle / Kalametiya / Ranna / Rekwa areas.
  • Red beam torches
  • Water and refreshments
  • All government taxes

Exclusions

  • Voluntary staff tips
  • Voluntary donations towards the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP)
  • Anything else not mentioned as ‘included’

Tour in brief

Our immersive experience of turtle watching in Sri Lanka happens all year round. Volunteers from the Turtle Conservation Project and your chauffeur-guide will show you to the turtle site at nightfall. See with your own eyes the mature nesting sea turtle emerge from the water and start looking for the right sand to lay her eggs. Watch as, using her hind flippers, she digs a circular hole and starts filling the nest with her clutch of soft-shelled eggs. Depending on the species, a typical clutch may contain 50 – 200 eggs! After laying, she re-fills the nest with sand, re-sculpting and smoothing the surface, and then camouflages the nest with vegetation. Afterwards she leaves the eggs untended, and returns to the sea.

 

Important

  • Disturbing the turtles and other visitors are strictly prohibited
  • Usage of flash photography and white or yellow beam torches is strictly prohibited
  • If there are no turtles to be seen on arrival, you are invited to wait in at the TCP Centre until one appears.
  • In the event that no turtles appear, the full cost of the ticket can be refunded.

Rekawa Beach

Rekawa is a small fishing village and vital eco-tourism venue located about 10km east of the south coast town of Tangalle, Sri Lanka. Rekawa beach has been identified as a habitat to various types of aquatic life, but most notably as a nesting hub for turtles. Rare species like the Hawksbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley, and Green Turtle choose shores scattered along this beach strip – the low population makes human interruption minimal.

What are the five species of marine turtles found in Sri Lanka?

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

These turtles are migratory and can be found in all tropical and subtropical oceans such as the Indian, Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific. Young Green Turtles are more carnivorous, while adults are herbivorous and feed exclusively on marine vegetation such as sea grass and marine algae. Green Turtles are an endangered species.

Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

Quite the runt of the turtle family, the Olive Ridley Turtle is the smallest of the marine turtles. They live in the tropical Indian, South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and are omnivorous, eating crustaceans, fish and a range of marine vegetation. These turtles have been recorded nesting on the same beach over a period of a few weeks, and depend on the security of a small number of important beaches to lay their eggs. Olive Ridley Turtles are an endangered species.

Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

The Leatherback Turtle is the largest of the marine turtle family. Leatherbacks are picky eaters and feed exclusively on jellyfish – they’ll even travel long distances in search of them! Found mainly in the waters of the Arctic Circle, Leatherbacks can survive extreme cold as, unlike their cousins, they can regulate their own body temperature thanks to layers of fatty tissue which insulate their bodies. Leatherback Turtles are an endangered species.

Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Hawksbills are also relatively small turtles, though larger than Olive Ridleys. Their diet includes jellyfish, sponges and crustaceans. The Hawksbill Turtle gets its name from its narrow bird-like beak, which it uses to catch prey hiding in small crevices. Hawksbill Turtles are a critically endangered species.

Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta)

This turtle nests on tropical beaches, as well as beaches in the Mediterranean and south-east coast of America. Although Loggerheads are common throughout the rest of the world, it is the rarest nesting species in Sri Lanka. Only Loggerheads from the Indian subcontinent nest in Sri Lanka. Research shows a particular colouration from these species specifically, which suggests a unique population with rare genes! Loggerhead Turtles are an endangered species.

 

 

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