Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch

Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch, Rekawa: Address, Phone Number, Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch Reviews: 3/5

Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch

Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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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583 reviews
Very good

137 contributions
Not worth it and tourist trap
Mar 2020 • Friends
We thought we'd give it a go despite the bad reviews. This is like most tourist traps where they take loads of tourists from Tangalle and put more than 100 at a time to see one turtle. There are plenty of places in the world to see turtles in the daylight with a proper conservation project. I don't recommend going as locals like to blame the tourists ( because they can't control them) but it's more about the amount of people let in. For us it was a waste of time and money.
Written April 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

10 contributions
Turtle observation
Mar 2020 • Couples
Wonderful experience and conservation work. Being able to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat was a true wonderment. Our guide was very passionate about his work, it was a delight and I highly recommend it.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Niall H
Cork, Ireland46 contributions
Amazing Experience
Feb 2020
What an amazing experience and so brilliantly explained by expert conservationists. Well worthwhile.
Written March 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sipke vink
Cairns, Australia201 contributions
A must when you are in the area
Mar 2020 • Couples
We where very lucky that evening we saw 6 green turtles entering the beach in the cover of the night ready to laying the eggs , also we say hatchlings coming out there eggs and running to the sea , the entry price is only 500 r a person
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Colombo, Sri Lanka73 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
Great job done by the team! Keep up the good work. The experience we had was very calm and unique...
Written February 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

1 contribution
Feb 2020 • Couples
We visited this evening and had high hopes. When we arrived the information centre was pretty good with some interesting facts etc., there were a small handful of people there which we thought was a good sized group. But then many more tourists arrived totally around 50 odd people and we had no briefing from the guide (in his defence he did not speak much English). After waiting for the call that a turtle was digging on the beach to lay her eggs, everyone was rushed into the centre to pay 1000 rupees each (fairly reasonable price) and then everyone was marched into the darkness along a track and onto the beach by the guide (quite rough terrain in some areas). We then walked/power walked up the beach and spotted two hatchlings trying to make it down to the water, the guide didn't seem that concerned that 50 pairs of human feet were stampeding through the sand in total darkness, potentially crushing other hatchlings trying to make it alive (nobody was provided with infrared torches, only the guide had one and he was marching on way ahead of the group - you're not allowed to use your phone light to ensure the turtles are not disturbed but in this way nobody knew whether they were crushing baby turtles in the sand!!). After about a 1km walk we reached the area of the large female, we waited for approx 1 hr to ensure she had made her chamber (this was fine to wait), but during this time everyone was talking loud and flashing their phones everywhere potentially disturbing the female). Once she started egg laying everyone was hoarding round her and it felt very instrusive - the guide said 10 people at a time but as there was only one guide to 50 people crowd control was tough, so what you get is too many people getting far too close and disturbing the turtle too much, people's flash going off causing more disturbance... At this point we decided to leave early as we didn't want to play a part any more.

Also an elderly gentlemen was left behind at the start because the guide was marching off up the beach, he was pretty upset at being left in the darkness on his own - understandably!!

This project has good intentions put really poor organisation which results in poor regard for animal welfare... An English speaking guide and smaller group size is desperately needed to ensure welfare and minimise disturbance. I could not recommend this to anyone who loves wildlife, the project needs great improvement and whilst it was amazing to see a turtle, we couldn't enjoy it due to rowdy tourists who care more about snapping a picture than minimising disturbance. Avoid!!!
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Natalie W
7 contributions
Saw a turtle but needs better organisation
Feb 2020 • Couples
Was amazing to see a turtle but there was about 50 of us down on the beach. There needed to be more than just one guide with this huge group as we also didn't know what was going on.
When we did spot a turtle, the infra red light was shown on it for 15 seconds and that was it. There was so many people, the turtle moved away from everyone to nest. Then just wait for another turtle to come onto the beach. We left after 90 mins when we realised we would only see the turtle for a few seconds and the overcrowding wasn't really good for the turtles. Bit of a shame.
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

The Hague, The Netherlands9 contributions
Don't do this if you love animals, your money and your time
Feb 2020 • Couples
Horrible experience. We saw 2 turtles. But the group of people was way to big. At least 50 people: al surrounding the animal to be in front and make pictures with their phone (a lot of times with flash). If you have some love for animals do not support this! We are ashamed that we took part in this.

Also: soms information on posters but almost no explenation/information from the guide. This is also impossible because you are standing on a beach with really loud waves and 50 people with one guide.
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Shrewsbury, UK29 contributions
Up close to these magnificent creatures
Feb 2020
We saw 4 in total in about 2 hours. 1 re -entering the sea, so much exertion we wanted to help her, then all of a sudden she was gone back into the ocean, 2 emerging to lay and one actually digging right next to the entrance.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Swords, Ireland14 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
I just want to write about my experience here two nights ago: Jan 30th. I feel so guilty,disgusted and ashamed that I was there. My guide who does safaris suggested we go last minute as he had not seen it before and was curious as he is really into animals, nature and wildlife. There was only a couple of people there at the start which I thought was fine. You are given a briefing at the start about staying behind the turtle and no flash photography etc. They have someone down at the beach watching for a turtle and then they alert you. Gradually more and more people showed up and there was a crowd of at least 30 people. The guide reminded everyone to change their camera settings and that he did not want to here sorry after a flash went off as the damage would be done. Then we walked about 1km up the beach. Then everyone gathered right up around the turtle in the sand with no gap forming a circle around her while she panted laying her eggs. I stood far back as I thought we were to be at least 2 metres away and it seemed horrible on the turtle to be so close. Then out of nowhere a n extremely rude tourist couple arrived with children from a shortcut maybe as they were too mean to pay the costs to get in. The parents were really loud and the mother walked over with her 2 kids right bedside the turtle and immediately used her camera with flash to photograph the turtleneck . Even if I had not been told not to do this I would have known it was wrong. The kids were being very noisy too again not their fault they were probably over tired given the time of night. Very selfish of anyone to bring their children their at this time as it is the parents who do not want to miss out on this touristic experience. The children I saw were too young to appreciate it even if this was an okay thing to do. Then I witnessed the guide physically touching the turtle mother by patting her with his hands while she tried to lay the eggs and dig the sandpit,that was a complete disgrace. I said to my guide I wanted to go then as I was very upset and the whole thing was disgusting so we left . Apparently the group stays on for much longer while eggs are layed etc. I had enough. It really is a shocking thing to be happening especially with the world as it is today. We are destroying everything and nothing with nature is sacred anymore not even a mama turtle laying her hatchlings. Do not support this terrible organisation and I don't care if local people are making a living out of it, it's wrong. The sri lankan government needs to stop this immediately and anyone who goes after reading this should seriously question their judgement.
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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