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Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch

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Address: Rekawa Beach | Visitor Centre, Rekawa, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
+94 76 685 7380
Website
Description:

Our Turtle Watch was founded by the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP), a...

Our Turtle Watch was founded by the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP), a NGO that started the nature tourism program in Rekawa. It involves ex turtle egg poachers working as turtle nest protectors and tour guides has won several global awards in the appreciation of services provided to the community, environment, economy, culture and tourism. For more information, visit their (old) website.

Since 2010, TCP stopped its activities and handed the conservation & eco-tourism program over to the local community. Our Turtle Watch is nowadays a small scale community-run project by NFR (Nature Friends of Rekawa) and is dedicated to providing a safe and secure nesting environment on one of Sri Lanka's most important turtle beaches.

The project employs previous turtle egg-poachers as 'nest protectors' who monitor the beach 24-hours a day to ensure all nests are safe from both natural and human predators.

Providing "in situ" nest protection is the most effective form of turtle nest conservation, and will help ensure these wonderful creatures are protected for future generations.

What to expect during a Turtle Watch?

We will be waiting at our visitor centre (or on the beach) until a turtle is spotted by one of our nest protectors, who are patrolling the beach. They will sign our guide & volunteers. For all information, please visit our website

Our project asks a donation of 1000 Rs. per person (500 Rs. for children). 100% of the proceeds goes to our conservation activities and and the local community. We will ask you to pay the fee before we enter the beach. A reservation is not required.

Please kindly note that our Turtle watch is run by locals, of which many do not speak English. Please refer to the multilingual information in the Visitor Centre or proactively approach one of our guides or volunteers with your questions.

They'll be happy to answer them!

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 32
    Very good
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    Terrible
Very nice once the people who have no respect leave

Loved this, really beautiful to watch when done with respect. We were shocked with the lack of respect some tourists had concerning the turtles. Flashes, noise, kids running... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Matilde G
via mobile
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312 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 189: English reviews
2 reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

They have great rules to bad they are not followed by themselves! Very disturbing and worrying!! We felt VERY SORRY we went there! 30 people practically standing in the turtles nest while she was laying her eggs!! They hardly left her alone...They even took a baby from an other nest who was not ready yet, to show how it went... More 

Helpful?
Thank Annelie K
Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is an experience that we have wanted to see for many years, and what a humbling experience, to see how hard the female turtles have to work to lay their eggs. We were in a group of about 80 people, which probably was too big, and may have been better to stagger smaller groups with more infra red torches.... More 

Helpful?
Thank karen18w
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Loved this, really beautiful to watch when done with respect. We were shocked with the lack of respect some tourists had concerning the turtles. Flashes, noise, kids running around without parents to call them out. We were of the opinion that they should be more strict: if someone uses their flash on a turtle laying her eggs, he must leave.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Matilde G
Carrollton, Georgia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We get to the location and there is a massive crowd absolutely no order to anything. We are taken out to a beach with no explanation with everyone pushing for no reason. The guide makes us all wait while he goes ahead and walks to a turtle he obviously spotted before we got there. For no reason we stand for... More 

Helpful?
Thank Wayne S
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This was quite a nice experience, however be prepared to wait a while surrounded by lots of other tourists.

Helpful?
Thank millyc266
Totnes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is an enormous privilege and you must go but leave your torches behind. Infra red only. Go at 20:30, it's cheap and the guides are passionate about their work. It's rather hot and wear mosquito protection.

Helpful?
Thank lindseyriley1
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

What an horrible night! First, of all, the guide didn't speak English. Couldn't understand a word. On top of this, we had zero explanation. We had to pay 2000 rp instead of 1000 each (why?). We were hundreds of people trying to get a glance of the turtle, the guide was rude, pushing us on the sides shouting at us.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Laura M
Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

There's lots of reviews here that describe the experience quite well. Some people are horrified, some seem to be thankful that there is a conversation effort at all. Personally, I fall into the horrified camp. Not even so much by turtle watch itself, but more by the behavior of the human beings in attendance. Yes, the guide says no flash... More 

Helpful?
Thank Chad A
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This so called turtle conservation/spotting program felt like a complete hoax. We we're really (in our hearts) hoping for a good experience... but we left feeling sorry for ourselfs and wished we didn't join this tour. Yes, we saw a turtle! And I wished we hadn't! Hundreds of people (they pretend to take small 10 person groups... yeah right) cramming... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank TravelAndTrying
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I was very sceptical given the reviews as I didn't want to support a programme where the turtles are handled and harassed by tourists. However, this wasn't the case at all and the guide was very strict about flash photography / white light and nobody was allowed too near to the turtle or to touch her. The experience itself was... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jonathan E

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