Turtle Island Borneo

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image_pdf Turtle Island Borneo

Turtle Island Borneo

Turtle Island is a “once in a lifetime” experience and it is almost unnecessary to write that it is a fantastic experience for children to attend.

 Turtle Island Borneo

Once you touchdown at the Sandakan Airport, the adventure is about to begin. You are welcomed by a guide at the airport and driven down to a small harbor area at Sandakan where you will board a speedboat out to a small group of islands about an hour away. We are about to visit the largest of the small islands called Selingan.

On the way we pass a big residential area in the water. Hundreds of wooden houses on stilts form an entire suburb. We also pass a few very small exotic islands with sandy beaches all around. We are now close to the turtle island.

A small island of 1 km² will host us for most of a day. There is a first class paradise beach all the way around the island. You can swim and snorkel in about one third of the beach, which is fenced in the water. It is not recommended to swim elsewhere on the island, as there are quite a few poisonous sea snakes.

The accessible part of the beach is nevertheless as good as perfect. Turtle Island is the dream of the perfect beach.

Overnight stays are simple and neat. Everything necessary is in the wooden houses. Air conditioning, fans and clean linens. What else do you need in surroundings like these! Maybe a good lunch buffet and a cold Carlsberg, the only beer sold on the island.

It is almost an advantage that the turtles only come ashore at night, when the temperature is lower. Then you have the whole day at the beach to swim, snorkel, sunbathe and wonder what is hidden on the islands a few kilometers away. The islands form the geographical start of the huge archipelago the Philippines.

After the daily activity on the beach, it is time for a well deserved buffet. Enjoy freshly caught mackerel or tasty chicken with different variations of vegetables.

Some have been waiting anxiously for what they really came here for; the fantastic natural phenomenon when the giant marine turtles come ashore to lay eggs. They do this most successfully on three small islands in this part of Asia, where conditions are optimal.

The phenomenon takes place from dusk to dawn and by 7.20 pm, we can watch the turtles go ashore and prepare to lay eggs. Only when they are starting to lay eggs, we are allowed to witness. If the turtles are being disturbed while walking ashore, there is a risk that they will turn around.

During spawning, they are in a trance-like state and therefore it is possible for us to witness this spectacular happening. We watch the mighty amphibians lay 26 eggs and then it is over and we are being led away from the beach so the turtles can be left in peace. We can accompany the eggs as they are picked up and taken to a safe area where they are buried again. After 7-8 weeks, the shell is broken and the baby turtles can start their tough beginning in life. This evening we experience 42 turtle offspring be set free in the shallows, of which 0.01% survive the first year. From this litter two baby turtles are having difficulties navigating to the water. They do not have good odds of survival.

Turtle Island is a “once in a lifetime” experience and it is almost unnecessary to write, that it is a fantastic experience for children to attend.

The experience ends perfectly the next morning, as we leave the island by speedboat. After a few minutes, the engine is stopped. 30 meters in the distance, we see two giant sea turtles mate in the water, a rare sight to experience. We have just about an hour by speedboat to store all the impressions from Selingan, before the trip continues to the Borneo Jungle.

If you wish to know more about prices and the different types of cruises, please contact us here

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