Turtle Watching in Sri Lanka

Bringing in the catch

Five species of Sea turtles Swim and breed around Sri Lanka. Green turtle, hawks bill turtle, Oliver twist turtle, leather back turtle, kemp's ridly, and flat back. These species are presenting in Sri Lanka. Specially Kalpitiya and southern sandy beaches using as a nest. The marine turtles clearly play an important role in Sri Lanka ecosystem. They are top on the endangered list all around the world.

Adult female turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs. They lay between 80 and 120 eggs. The shape of the eggs is like a table tennis ball which is same in size. During a season a female turtle will nest up to five times. Turtles prefer to lay their eggs in a calm, quiet and dark environment.

Sea turtles are wandering the ocean for about 190 million years. Today eight species of these ancient reptiles remaining. Five out of seven species of marine turtles come ashore to nest in Sri Lanka. Each sea turtle species uniquely affects the diversity, habitat and functionality of its environment. Weather by grazing on sea grass, controlling sponge distribution, feasting on jellyfish, transporting nutrients or supporting other marine life, sea turtles play vital roles in maintaining the health of the Gulf of Mexico and the shoreline of Anna Maria Island.

Sea turtle eggs directly and indirectly affect the vegetation, species distribution and stability of sandy shorelines. By supplying a concentrated source of high-quality nutrients, sea turtles improve their own nesting beaches. Limited nutrients in dune ecosystems, such a nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are partially provided to the ecosystem by unhatched sea turtle eggs. These vital nutrients allow for the continued growth of vegetation and subsequent stabilization of beach dunes. Plant growth not only helps to stabilize the shoreline, but also provides food for a variety of plant eating animals and therefore can influence species distribution. Dune stabilization also helps secure our beach front homes from storm damage.

Through the world, marine turtles are hunted and butchered for their flesh and shells. Nest are killed and stolen their eggs.

In Sri Lanka all sea turtles and their products are fully protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance. Many hatcheries can be seen in the southern cost.
• Induruwa – Green Turtle, Leatherback Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle
• Kosgoda – Loger head Turtle, Hawlesbill Turtle and the three species found in Induruwa
• Akurala – Green Turtle
• Mavela – Green Turtle and Leatherback Turtle
• Usangoda – Leatherback Turtle
• Ambalantota – Green Turtle and Leatherback Turtle
• Bundala – Green Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, Leatherback Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle
• Yala - Green Turtle, Leatherback Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle

Whenever you travel, be sure learning about the specific regulations in that location and you can help them.

• Take turtle conservation tour or volunteer with turtle conservation project
• Do not kill turtles or eat turtle flesh
• Keep clearly beaches and water of plastic, sea turtle often confuse plastic food
• Females like their nesting beaches dark and quiet; avoid flash pictures, strong flashlights, fires, loud noises, vehicles and even light-coloured clothing.
• Donate to save hatchlings through Billion Baby Turtles.
• Assist in law enforcement by notifying the Department of Wildlife Conservation of any of enrichment the law.

You can see marine turtles


Kosgoda is one of the small coastal village in the south west in Sri Lanka. Is located in approximately 76 kilometres south of Colombo. Sandy beaches and small turtles attempt to make sure your holiday. Kosgoda is famous for its sea turtle conservation project operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka. Witness how the newborn turtles are being cared for until they are ready to be released back to the ocean. The wide sandy beaches that exist round the island of Sri Lanka are utilized by several of the marine turtles for laying their eggs. The commonest of these are the Loggerheads and the Leathery turtle while the green turtle is a less common visitor. It was established in 1988 to protect Sri Lanka’s turtles from extinction. Since then it has released about 3.5 million baby turtles into the wild. The hatchery pays fishermen for eggs that they collect at night along the long sandy beach. Although October to April is the main laying season, some eggs (mostly green turtles) can be found at Kosgoda throughout the year. The hatchery buries the eggs in the sand, and when they hatch around 50 days later the baby turtles are released into the sea at night. Only about one in 1,000 turtles survive to maturity.

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In the full moon day, when they come ashore to lay their eggs. Turtle-watching demands patience, silence and stillness. Disturbing the animals in any way or collecting their eggs is strictly prohibited.


Rakawa beach is an important marine turtle nesting site in Sri Lanka. The beach at Rakawa village situated approximately 10 km east of Tangalla bay beach. Rakawa sandy beach where turtles come to lay their eggs and it has been protected by the turtle conservation Project (TCP).They looking after the tiny turtles and protects the actual nesting sites without any intervention apart from discouraging predators.

The best time to see turtles is between January & April; periods when there's a full moon. Full moon too is good throughout the year, because there are both more turtles & more light to see them by. Rekawa has recorded 23 turtles in one night. Of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, five nest at Rekawa, with over 97% being green turtles. A visit it highly recommended.

From April to September, green, hawksbill and occasionally even leatherback turtles struggle ashore at night to lay their eggs on Rekawa Beach. Tours are run by volunteers from the non-profit Turtle Conservation Project and locals. The emphasis is on protecting the turtles, so camera flashes and other lights aren't allowed.

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