Turtle Watch Rekawa
Turtle Watch Rekawa
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Address
Rekawa Road, Tangalle 82200 Sri Lanka

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles16 reviews
Excellent
10
Very good
1
Average
0
Poor
2
Terrible
3

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Lawrence
New York City, NY19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
A truly unique experience. I was initially concerned about the low google star rating, but the experience paid off. After a short briefing, our throng was allowed to sit in the waiting area for the spotters to locate a nesting turtle. We only had to wait 5 minutes before one was located. Our large throng marched down the steps and onto the beach and the guide made us stand back. He approached the turtle with his red light and called each group, one at a time, for crowd control purposes. We were also instructed to move away once we were done. Each group got great views of the digging, laying of the eggs, covering of the eggs with the "dance", and the return to the ocean. It seems that your experience can vary based on the ability of the crowd of tourists to obey simple commands, which ours did. It's a shame some of the low ratings are due to bad behavior on the part of tourists. I myself had a terrific time. After the first turtle returned to sea, the guide offered to locate a green turtle (a different type) to see its own process. Some people decided to remain and wait for that -- it sounds like they are willing to stick around to enhance your experience as much as possible. Donations are highly recommended afterwards, 1500 LKR recommended for foreigners.
Written 11 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

petesaund
United Kingdom4,353 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
We were fortunate to stay at Buckingham Place which is a boutique hotel directly on the beach and during our daily walk we were able to see all the turtle tracks in the sand as they make their way well passed high tide zone to lay their eggs.We were fortunate to observe two different scenarios during daylight hours and this gave us an opportunity to engage with rekawa beach turtle watch team.Usually they lay their eggs during night time.However one late afternoon and this is a rare occasion we were present when the green back turtle was preparing the hole to lay the eggs and then laying them.This was probably a result of recent persistent wet weather and the hole was too challenging to create or collapsed.The turtle watch team are very dedicated and in addition to the night tours which remunerate them a small sum they are generally dedicated to protecting the turtles so in these circumstances they took on a voluntary role and contrary to some reviews they were able to enforce the distance the onlookers could view and as well over a hundred eggs could be laid they gave us the opportunity singularly to observe this.Surely whatever the number of onlookers this is a better scenario, supervised,than hordes of uncontrolled onlookers
The tours provide a vital source of income for the team to continue their work which is quite arduous and the watch would otherwise not exist and then you would have indiscriminate poaching and predators.As the team also relocates as many nest of eggs as possible during the night as a disguise to original tracked location to ward off .
The team keep a record of the time the eggs are laid and knowing the gestation period dig up the relocation before they escape naturally by burrowing through the sand and putting themselves at risk in this vulnerable phase.We had the opportunity to see this scenario with the team and a controlled environment as this was a ridley olive turtle which are very sluggish in surfacing and entering sea up to two hours.The need to be observed the whole time as they are a rare species due to this fact that many never make it
There are pros and cons to conservation and protection vs onlookers and disturbance but the project needs finance to support it and the cons are overcome by control and supervision wherever possible.That is the reality and hopefully most tourists will show a level of awareness and respect for the rules
Written 13 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
I had read some cynical reviews online about this tourist attraction, but in my experience those claims were completely unfounded.

On the day of my tour we were lucky enough to watch a green turtle as she carefully covered her nest (that took her over an hour) and then returned to the ocean.

We did not pay any money until one of the scouts had notified the main office that a turtle had been spotted.

Once we got close to the turtle smaller groups of 10-12 people approached to within 2 meters of the turtle and had our turn taking photos.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and his team have been helping to protect the turtle at Rekawa Beach since 1996.

This was one of the highlights of Sri Lanka trip.
Written 23 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

flynettie
Munich, Germany41 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
DO NOT GO THERE - DO NOT PAY THEM! Hordes of tourists plague defenseless sea turtles with their smart-phone cameras on the beach, whilst local ‚turtle-activist‘ want to make you believe that this is normal and doesn‘t harm the animals at all. Idiotic tourism spectacle - nothing more!
Written 12 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eoin B
Dubai, United Arab Emirates9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Couples
We arrived at about 8.30 on to the centre. Tickets are about 5 euro per person. It will depend on the day how lucky you are. But we got very lucky. We witnessed a green turtle laying her eggs. But also turtle eggs hatching and the baby turtles entering the sea for the first time. The only negative is lots of tourists and some are really annoying with their cameras. I think our group had maybe 30 people. Total time was about 3 hours. Amazing experience. Guides are very nice. You will find yourself standing around in the beginning not knowing what is going on, whilst guides are finding the turtles and getting the torches set up. Such a great experience.
Written 16 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrea S.
Chemnitz, Germany1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
We had a wonderful experience. After several attempts, this time we were actually able to watch turtles laying eggs. It was unique and fascinating for us. We are very grateful for that.

What was very negative for us were the local ranchers. We have never experienced anything like it before and we are certainly not the kind of people who complain.

We have had many animal encounters and know how to behave.

However, these ranchers thought they had to constantly bully and patronize us.

There were several of them and someone else kept telling us to go further away, etc. We were not allowed to use our red headlamps, which we had brought with us especially for this purpose, because it doesn't bother the turtles. We stood there very quietly, 2 meters away, didn't move, just watched.

The ranchers, on the other hand, had their red headlamps and were constantly removing branches and sand from the turtle, so that it had no peace at all. The animals help themselves and should be left alone, as we were constantly told, even though we were as quiet as a mouse.

When the turtle then looked for the way into the sea, we cleared a large passage. However, we were supposed to go to the other side. We did that. Then another rancher came and said we were standing too close to the sea, that it was too dangerous, that we should go away. That was really the icing on the cake.

To be honest, it felt a little like harassment. We are adults, independent thinkers and this kind of behavior ruins such a unique nature experience.
Google
Written 16 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christoph G
2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
If you want to watch turtles, then you should definitely go to Rekawa, as they take great care to protect the animals. Watching the turtles on the beach at night is beautiful and impressive.
Google
Written 24 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jean Pierre G
Monte-Carlo, Monaco147 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
On February 16, 2024, we went from our hotel to AHUNGALLA, to see the GIANT TURTLES in POLHENA BEACH, opposite the HOTEL SAYURA BEACH, 5 km from MATARA, by Tuck-Tuck.
We left early in the morning and arrived around 11 a.m.
Very beautiful beach, but then what a crowd. A crazy world.
But the spectacle is magnificent, as the site is immense and the giant green turtles are there in 80 cm of water over hundreds of meters. In the sand and rocks.
We stayed for more than an hour living with them, and dozens of children petting them.
We give them lichen which we buy from sellers on the beach. Around 1 euro, the package. Forbidden to give anything else. The happiness of the children who tend this lichen and whose turtle eats delicately.
They are between two waters, impressive. You can take very beautiful photos and magnificent videos with your iPhone.
The show is worth going to.
In Tuck-Tuck it's ideal, it goes everywhere. and we see the landscape in another way.
In addition, they are helpful, and accompany you to unique or different places that tourist agencies offer.
For 25 dollars, it is at your service all day.
We were lucky enough to have a young driver, who liked to show us wild places far from the tour operators.
They are at the HOTEL for your service, day and night..
Take advantage if you are in the SOUTH. You will have no regrets.
I made beautiful videos and photos of the various sites visited in the country, for my conferences with the elderly people I visit in retirement homes, and
who have never had the pleasure of seeing these places.
I am also an elderly person and am fortunate to still be in good health to travel far.
They are passionate, rather friendly and family-oriented.
Google
Written 10 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

martinbaar38
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
We were able to watch baby turtles hatch and accompany them on their way to the sea. The organization made a good impression on us. People who turn on the flash or light simply tell them to turn it off. (It was also done) We thought it was great.
Google
Written 24 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Turtle Watch Rekawa - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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