Turtle Spotting in Seychelles

Written by on 29th September 2022

Turtles in Seychelles

One of the most rewarding experiences you can have in Seychelles is witnessing a turtle hatch or laying its eggs.

While the populations of these animals have increased significantly since they were protected in the country’s waters almost 15 years ago, they are still considered endangered.  Although the number spotted in the wild has increased, the sightings are usually sporadic and down to pure luck.

Types of Turtles

The two types of sea turtles that live in Seychelles are the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle.  Both breeds of turtles come ashore at different times of the day.  The best time to spot the hawksbill turtle nesting is during the October to April period. The eggs need to be laid for around eight weeks before the hatchlings can emerge. They usually hatch at night, as they use the stars and the moon to navigate their way to the sea.

We were lucky to spot this turtle on the beach on the south of Mahe, click here to view the video

What to do when you see a Turtle on the beach

To ensure that a turtle can safely lay its eggs, it’s important that the animal is not scared away while it’s nesting.

This can be done by following the following steps:

  • Keep the animal still and at least 3 meters away from the water. Movement can scare the turtle, which can lead to it retreating back to the sea.
  • Follow these steps to avoid disturbing the delicate movement of sea turtles while they’re nesting.
  • They can navigate using natural light, and it’s not possible to shoot them with flash photography.
  • Avoid disturbing the delicate movement of sea turtles while they’re nesting, try to position yourself away from their shell. This will allow you to avoid frightening the animal.
  • You should gradually move away from the turtle so that it can’t see behind its shell. This will allow you to avoid frightening the animal.
  • Don’t try to block the turtle’s path as it returns to the ocean. Once it’s finished nesting, the animal will feel exhausted and will want to return to the sea as soon as possible.

The southern portion of Mahé has some of the best nesting grounds for sea turtles in Seychelles.  Sites such as Anse Forbans and Anse Intendance are known to attract these animals.

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