Five species of sea turtle frequent our coastal waters and can often be seen on the surface close to the reefs or during dives on the Sodwana reefs.
Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle and Leatherback Turtle are often encountered. However, only two species nest on our shores, the Leatherback Turtle and the Loggerhead Turtle. There have been sightings of Hawksbill Turtle coming to shore during the 2014 – 2015 season.
Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
The Leatherback Turtle is the biggest of our nesting turtles and can weigh up to 1000kg. They feed mainly on jellyfish and can dive up to 1300m deep to feed. These turtles lay up to 1200 eggs in a season. They come ashore nine to ten times in a season to dig their nests and lay their eggs. The Leatherback Turtle can live up to a hundred years or more and the females return to the same beaches they hatched on. They have an amazing ability to navigate their way back to their natal area after roaming the oceans for 12 to 15 years. These turtles can be seen nesting on our beaches from October to March each year. The hatchlings emerge after 60 - 70 days in incubation.
Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta)
The Loggerhead Turtle is smaller than the Leatherback and can weigh up to 350kg. The Loggerhead is a much shyer breeding turtle and is easily disturbed by noise or light. They lay their eggs in shallower nesting holes, but usually move higher up on the dunes to nest. The Loggerhead Turtle has an amazing ability to store sperm of different males that can last for several seasons. The females are capable of releasing the sperm when required to fertilise the batch of ova.
Come and join Ufudu Turtle Tours for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our experienced turtle guides will try their utmost to make your experience unforgettable. Guests are transported on the beach during low tide. Ufudu Tours has access to 18 miles of beach. We encourage responsible beach driving and will often request our guests to walk where the beach is too narrow or too sloped.