Remarkable Selingan Turtle Island Adventure
Get up close and personal with turtles. Approximately 40 km north of Sandakan, lies the largest turtle conservation project in Sabah. The whole protected area of turtle conservation is around 1740 hectares wide, which consist of Selingan island, Bakungan Kecil island and Gulisan island. It is a significant nesting location for the endangered turtle species, particularly the green turtles [ Chelonia Mydas ] and the hawksbill turtles [Eretmochelys Imbricata]. However, only Selingan island is open to the public for a chance to experience the remarkable beginning of the turtle’s life cycle. Selingan Turtle Island can be reach by 1 hour speedboat from Sandakan and it has attracts travellers from all across the globe. Nevertheless, only 50 visitors per day are allow to be in this turtle sanctuary, for the purpose to protect and retain the natural habitat and other conservation routine.
The pristine Selingan Turtle island is a perfect environment for your children to witness one of the nature’s greatest phenomenons. In fact, it is one of the few destination in the world where turtles arrive 365 days of the year. The peak nesting season for green turtles is from July to October, while as for the hawksbill turtles is from February to April. And it takes 50-60 days for the hatchlings to emerge and later release to the sea. Most nesting turtles will begin to come up on the beaches around the high tide of a night time, while some turtle may be still on the beaches finishing the nesting process when the sun rises in the morning. To minimise disturbance to these magnificent marine creatures, there are strict guidelines in place for the viewing of nesting and hatching turtles. Please remember to follow these guidelines when you are on the beaches of Selingan Turtle island.
- Do not use lights or flash photography anywhere near the beaches.
- If you see a turtle on the beach, remain low and still. Turtles are very sensitive to movement.
- Remain 10 meters away from the turtle.
- Remain behind her line of sight.
- Avoid walking in the high dune area as there are many nest below the sand.
An overnight stay is highly recommended, as turtle landings normally occur after dusk. Beside the turtle landings, visitors also get to observe park rangers collecting the eggs and tag the baby turtles before releasing them to the big blue.
The chalets at the Selingan Turtle island is basic and comfortable. There are 25 twin-sharing guest rooms, complete with air-conditioner, ceiling fans and clean attached bathrooms. Other facilities such as restaurant and small shops are also available in the island, plus there is an exhibition hall as well showcasing about the turtle conservation, for those seeking to learn more.
Selingan Turtle island is completely relax. Visitors come to Selingan Turtle island not only for the turtles, but also to chill out along the shores, go bare foot on the hot soft sand, splash in turquoise waters and picnic under the bright blue sky. On the other hand, snorkelling and diving at Selingan Turtle island is unforgettable. You’ll be delighted by schools of tropical fish, nudibranchs, amazing sea creatures and beautiful coral reefs. Sea turtle are everywhere, even in the shallow water which is perfect for your underwater shots. And most of the time, you can easily spot hawksbill turtles eating sea sponges along the reef.
Therefore, if you’re up for the Selingan Turtle island adventure, plan your best dates and booked your trip in advance. For the lucky visitors, the Selingan Turtle Island tour, is 2 days 1 night which include the transportation, meals and accommodation.