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Turtle Watching in Sri Lanka

There are at least seven species of sea turtles that hang out on the shores of Sri Lanka to nest

Turtle Watching
Turtle Watching
Turtle Watching
Turtle Watching
Turtle Watching

Kalpitiya and Rekawa are the shores where the turtles tend to nest. You need to keep in mind that you can approach turtles only during their nesting period. Only at that time they are in a trance-like state and are not getting nervous when seeing people. You should be really careful with them, since they are considered to be endangered species that need special care and protection.

Practical info

When is the ideal nesting season for the sea turtles that can be found in Sri Lanka? Where can they be observed?

The nesting season for sea turtles in Sri Lanka takes place between January and April, and during this time, several of these creatures come out of the seawater to nest in the sand. Observers can witness the fascinating sight of turtles that come to the shore to lay eggs, and, on some occasions, the eggs hatch and the tiny turtles move towards the sea. The serenity of Kalpitiya and Rekawa, both less crowded than typical tourist resorts, make them stand out as some of the greatest nesting sites in Sri Lanka. Show more

What are some of the more prominent places where turtles can be seen nesting in Sri Lanka, and what is special about those sites?

In Sri Lanka, Kalpitiya and Rekawa are two of the finest nesting places for sea turtles. Unlike crowded tourist resorts, the solitude of these beaches helps ensure that the nesting sites remain unperturbed and serene for the turtles. Rekawa beach is a special location, as it bears witness to five distinct kinds of turtles nesting. Usually, turtles prefer tranquil locations. However, many small, isolated beaches around Sri Lanka offer turtle sighting opportunities. Show more

How should I approach a nesting turtle, and why?

It is essential to handle sea turtles with utmost care to protect them as they are already an endangered species. To approach a nesting turtle, visitors should aim to be still, silent, and avoid any sudden movements. An artificial light source or flash photography can distract the turtle, and they may fail to complete their nesting process. It's best to steer clear of eggs and not touch them under any circumstances. Observers should maintain a safe distance and avoid shining bright lights on nesting sea turtles. Show more

How many species of sea turtles are available in Sri Lanka, and which ones are the most visible?

Sri Lanka is home to at least seven breeds of sea turtles. Among them, the Green turtle is commonly sighted and the only species present in significant numbers. Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley, and Flatback turtles also nest on the Sri Lankan coast, with maximum nesting recorded at Rekawa. The Hawksbill turtle is the country's most vulnerable turtle species as only a handful of nests can be found worldwide. Show more

Are there any projects going on in Sri Lanka to safeguard sea turtles and their environment?

Numerous initiatives aimed at preserving endangered species are underway in Sri Lanka. The government has established laws to protect nesting beaches and manage the surrounding coasts. On the other hand, groups such as The Turtle Conservation Project, Rekawa Turtle Conservation Project, and Marine Turtle Research Group engage in investigative work, protect breeding sites, and provide education, awareness, and training on the conservation of sea turtles for tourists, locals, and fishermen alike. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin