South Africa Outdoor ActivitiesTurtle Tours in South Africa
The quiet and docile turtle might not be at the top of everyone's 'to-do' list, but South African turtle tours are fast becoming a sought after and fascinating experience.
The magnificent Elephant Coast in South Africa stretching from St Lucia to Kosi Bay is known as 'turtle country'. Turtles are generally secretive animals and are therefore not regularly sighted. Turtle tours however, will provide you with this rare opportunity to gain a greater understanding of these fascinating creatures.
There are a number of different turtles that are found in the Zululand region of South Africa namely the Leatherback Turtle, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley, Green Turtle and the Hawkbill. However, only the loggerhead and leatherback turtles breed in these waters and lay their eggs on these shores.
The Leatherback is the largest sea turtle and is approximately 130 - 170 cm in length. This turtle has very long flippers and a rubbery shell and weighs approximately 400 kg. It also cannot withdraw its head and may dive up to 300m. The Loggerhead is a large brown turtle and its body is approximately 70 -100cm in length.
Female turtles nest at high tide on moonless nights in summer and lay 6 - 9 clutches of eggs. Each clutch contains approximately 100 -120 eggs. During January and February the baby turtles break out of their eggs and head back to the sea. To actually sight these gorgeous baby turtles is short of miraculous and absolutely awe-inspiring.
The epicentre of the nesting activity of South African turtles is at Bhanga Neck near Kosi Bay and the community guides take visitors on guided turtle tours.
South African turtle tours can be arranged during the day or night time which allow you the opportunity to witness the females nest. This promises to be a truly awe-inspiring and unforgettable time and should definitely not be missed.
The number one destination for South African turtle tours is St Lucia Wetland Park located on the north-eastern coast of KwaZulu Natal. St Lucia Wetland Park is one of the jewels of the South African coastline and was the first in South Africa to be declared a World Heritage Site. It boasts 328 000 hectares of pristine natural ecosystems including swamps, lake systems, beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, woodlands and coastal forests.
The park’s wide variety of ecosystems and natural habitats provides for an astounding diversity of species in the area including the Giant Leatherback turtles. Go on guided South African turtle tours and witness this giant creature in all its glory.
Turtle tours in South Africa promise awesome opportunities to witness these rare and endangered creatures. Viewing these magnificent creatures will be a once in a lifetime experience that will not be forgotten.
Popular Turtle Tracking Destinations
Turtle Tracking at Thonga Beach
Where? Lake Sibaya
Guests at Thonga Beach Lodge can view the turtles as they are laying and every precaution is taken to ensure the turtles are not disturbed. Turtle tracking is offered from November to end February in the evenings. These magnificent creatures...
More info and contact details: Turtle Tracking at Thonga Beach Lodge
Turtle Tracking in Kosi Bay
Where? Kosi Bay
Turtle tracking is offered every night from 15 November to 15 January at Kosi Forest Lodge in Kosi Bay. These excursions (including transfers to and from the beach) can last up to 3 to 4hrs and may return very late. Giant Leatherback and Loggerhead...
More info and contact details: Turtle Tracking in Kosi Bay
Turtle Tours at Amangwane
Where? Kosi Bay
Visit Amangwane Camp for an experience of a lifetime into the magical Kosi Bay at the tip of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park - World Heritage Site, South Africa. The heart of the turtle nesting area in South Africa. Leatherback and Loggerhead...
More info and contact details: Kosi Bay Turtle Tours at Amangwane