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“Mistical experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch

Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Rekawa
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Owner description: 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!
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Mistical experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2014

We had arrived at 21 p.m. It was hard to find the place (we had our own car) but locals helped to find a way. It was early April and we saw three turtles laying their eggs on the beach. Seeing these creatures emerging from the see, slowly but consistently doing their work and then dissappearing in the ocean was one of the best experience in Sri Lanka. I advice you to take a red light torch if you have one in home. An organisation's employee should have it, but when we appeared at the place he hadn't have any and was using normal one, which aggarvated wathing the turtles (they are light sensitive, but barely see the red one).

Visited April 2014
2 Thank Łukasz W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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288 reviews from our community

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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Not sure this is the way ”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2014 via mobile

We arrived at 8.30pm and were greeted by a very nice volunteer, and were taken down to the beach where 20 other people were waiting. Within the group, people were very conscious not to disturb the turtles, there was no flash, no flashlight or phone. We were fortunate enough to see two turtles. One of them was lost about 40 meters away from the beach and quite distressed. I am pretty sure having all of us around her and hearing all our voices made it worse. After an hour it started pouring down and things got a bit chaotic with the locals running straight back to the center and volunteers and tourists running like chickens on the beach (no one could find the way back to the info center). I kept thinking that with a bigger crowd and in hatchling season, people would have caused enormous damage. There was a bit of an uneasy feeling between the local guides and volunteers, and we found it hard to see where the money actually goes. I guess the whole observation activity, when turned into a tourist attraction, becomes a danger for the wildlife. We both left with the same uncomfortable feeling (and that's before I actually read the shocking reviews on this page). If you really love the animals, maybe give this a pass.

4 Thank biggie8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andre P, Manager at Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch, responded to this review, May 14, 2014
Thank you for your review. We would like to stress that we take the utmost care regarding potential disturbance of the sea turtles. We will only take visitors to turtles when we are sure we can do so without impacting them. We are sorry you did not discuss your doubts and uncomfortable feeling with us during your visit – both our local experts as well as our volunteers are always very happy to answer questions regarding sea turtle behaviour and/or our activities. We are managing what is a delicate balance between conservation, tourism and alternative income for the local community. All of the fees are spent on maintaining this balance (wages, conservation, renovations, community projects).
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“a beautiful experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2014

We got to Rekawa Turtle sanctuary at 8:30pm and we were met by a naturalist which our driver/guide had arranged for us. The naturalist was very knowledgeable and made the experience more interesting by explaining about Turtles and the conservation work being done at the sanctuary. We were taken down to the beach area, and there was a Greenback turtle already digging out an area to lay her eggs. You are not allowed to use torches, they have a red light which they use to watch the turtles so that they are not disturbed. The turle was flicking out sand, which flicked on us a bit, it was great. We then waited patiently on the sand banks and watched the clear night sky and gazed at the stars, it was really beautiful. We then went back to see the Turtle actually laying her eggs, it was really nice natural spectacle and any nature lover would love to see it. The experience ended after we watched the Turtle close up the nest and then head back out to the Ocean, definately worth a visit! You are best wearing flip flops for this experience, we wore trek boots, they got soaked when the tide came in over our feet!

Visited March 2014
2 Thank Shenzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Turtle Watch :)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2014

Great experience of watching turtles lying eggs!!!! a little bit hard to find when you walk along the beach since there is noone to ask for directions, but after that well group organised and cheap (£4pp)

Visited January 2014
Thank joasia_25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Truro, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Nice conservation centre, worth a visit”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2014

My boyfriend and I went along late at night and waited in the conservation area for about 3 hours before being taken down onto the beach. No-one spoke to us when we came in, and then we were only allowed on the beach about 20 minutes before being asked to come up again. We felt we didn't get a chance to lookout for turtles for very long. On the way back up from the beach the guide started asking us for money so he could afford to eat. We said he would put it in the donation box because that is what we always said we would do, and he started getting a bit funny with us. It's an awesome marine centre with lots of information and still worth a visit - whether you see a turtle or not.

Visited October 2013
Thank Jenkaroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andre P, Manager at Turtle Conservation Project Turtle Watch, responded to this review, March 25, 2014
Thank you for your kind review and your visit. Our guided Turtlewatch starts daily at 8pm. Most of our Turtlewatch evenings finish before midnight, supervised by an English speaking local guide and often by volunteers. We then close our Visitor Center and our Nest Protectors will go to monitor the beach. Therefore we can't guarantee that we can welcome and host late visitors, which will not benefit your experience. We regret the fact that one apparently asked for money - all Nest Protectors are well paid for their efforts (partly through tourists' kind donations).
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