Oman is known for its pristine beaches, panoramic mountain views and endless deserts. When you’re travelling to a country, you want to experience everything that the destination has. This was my experience with a truly unique local experience in Oman – the turtle watching experience at the Ras Al Jinz Reserve.
Throughout the year, giant turtles flock to the country’s shores to lay almost 60,000 eggs. And soon after, the beaches are flooded with baby turtles. Watching these turtles slowly walking towards the beach, emerging from dark waters to dig a hole for the nesting process is such a majestic experience.
All About The Turtles
These sea turtles usually lay eggs in the dark when they are less likely to find any threat. Experiencing the nesting process of these pretty marine giants closely is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This experience in Oman has gained popularity amongst the neighbouring countries too. You’ll also find many tourists from Europe coming to experience this. This has now become a significant eco-tourism spot in Oman.
You can make a connection with Oman’s sensational beaches, but this is one experience you should definitely NOT miss! Oman houses several nesting sites for four different species of turtles: the endangered Green Turtle, the Olive Ridley Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle, and Hawksbill Turtle.
Visiting Ras Al Jinz
Known for its white-sand, virgin beaches with crystal-clear waters – Ras Al Jinz, offers an ultimate experience at night with Turtle Watching. The experience of observing green sea turtles laying their eggs is a moment to remember.
The tour begins in pitch darkness (where you’ll be sent in batches) to see turtles hatching. The beach is a 900m, a 15-minute walk from the visitor’s centre across the soft sand. The best time to see the turtle hatching is during summers between May and September. This destination enjoys comfortable weather throughout the year. The tours take place from 9 PM onwards and from 5 AM onwards. If you are lucky, you can also swim or snorkel during the day; and hey, you may also just spot a couple of baby turtles!
There’s also a turtle sanctuary at Ras Al Jinz that offers an interactive museum with research laboratories and a wide range of amenities for you to learn about!
Important tips for the turtle experience in Oman
- Flash photography is prohibited. Instead, tour guides use red lights to point out turtles
- When the turtles are moving, you must move out of their path
- Avoid scaring them away
- You are not allowed to visit the beach by yourself
- Only a limited number of tourists are allowed each day, so booking is a must
- The viewing excursion takes about three to five hours
Ras Al Jinz is a fishing village and is home to the Turtle Reserve since 1996. The reserve is about three hours drive from Muscat city and the drive is beautiful. You can stay at the Turtle Reserve or the Turtle Beach Resort which includes the viewing experience too. If not, the reserve fees are OMR 7 for adults, OMR 1 for children and complimentary for children below the age of four.
To make a booking, you can visit their website here.