You could quite happily visit Sri Lanka and never leave your fancy five-star resort. You could sit on your sun lounger every day overlooking the ocean and the beautiful beach, waving your flag in the air every time you required liquid refreshment or a bite to eat. You could, and that’s what some people do, but you’d be missing out. Over then next few weeks I’ll share with you some of the day trips we took. First up…
Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery, Habaraduwa
A short walk along the beach from our hotel, the foreboding gated entrance to the sanctuary had us feeling a little nervous. The large step into the premises didn’t help dispel that feeling. Fortunately our worries were soon eased as our knowledgeable and passionate guide showed us around the small centre explaining the work they carry out to protect and rehabilitate sea turtles. This centre is small (and probably not worth travelling to if you’re not in the Koggala area) but it’s a true eco-centre with visitors requested not to touch or hold the turtles. Guides are happy to answer your questions and keen to chat about the various species of turtles and the issues they face.
The eggs are rescued from the beach and buried until they hatch.
The baby turtles are then put into a tank and looked after until their belly buttons fall off! Then they’re ready to be released back into the wild.
There are also a few turtles who have been given to the centre by fishermen who have found the creatures tangled in their nets, including one turtle who has sadly lost one of his flippers. The turtles stay at the centre until they are ready to be returned to the wild.
Cost: 500 Sri Lankan Rupees
Top tip: If you plan to walk along the beach, make sure you have plenty of water. There’s very little shade and it gets very, very hot!