Turtles are no doubt the national animals of Oman. Those mysterious creatures are in fact air breathing reptiles and so they need to surface every couple of hours, depending on activity. A resting or sleeping turtle can remain underwater for 4-7 hours.
The green turtles - subject of our discovery, spend their whole life in the water. Only at the age of 37-40 yo, and only female turtles, crawl up the sand beaches to lay the eggs. This is an enormous effort to the animal which is not used to tis environment. You can probably only understand how difficult it is for them, when you see the female crawling back, without any energy left, back to the ocean, after only few hours spent on shore.
Adult green turtles are as big as 1.5 metres and weight upto 190 kg. Baby turtles are not bigger than 10cms and start their lives with the most dangerous journey - from the sands they were born at - to the sea. Most of them will do it at night, trying to avoid hungry foxes, crabs or birds.
There are plenty of other interesting aspects - for example sex of baby turtle depends on the sand temperature in which eggs are hatching. If sand temperature is less than 28C, those will be males, above 28C - females. Now just imagine, how global warming can reduce their population.
We are absolutely astonished by those mysterious creatures and so we have decided to design a weekend dedicated in large part to them. With the high season started, we will observe them popping up the water for breathing (if we re lucky they will pop up like a popcorn) snorkel with them, see them hatching and cheer the babies crawling to the sea. But thats not everything!
We will have enough time to explore two of the most beautiful nature wonders nearby - Wadi Shabb and Bimah Sinkhole. Great for exploration in the spring/summer, with year round chill water, those two have been serving as a natural water park and inspiration for Wild Wadi alikes.
Since the distance from Dubai is quite substantial, we will firstly fly to Muscat on Thursday night, sleep over and move to the destinations in rented cars. All you need to do is pack your bag and enjoy the trip.
Here is how we will go about it:
Thursday - Meeting at T2 at 6pm for a flight to Muscat at 8.00, overnight in Muscat, 4 star hotel.
Friday - start early morning, quick breakfast and drive in rented 4WDs to Wadi Shab. After 45 minutes, with breaks to cool down in pools, we will reach the secluded waterfall and enjoy the uniqueness of this place. After 2 hours in the water we will head back to cars and take off to Sur.
By this time we should all be quite hungry so lets jump on the boat and head to secluded turtle hideaway to enjoy our lunch while they pop around us.
In the evening we will head to Turtle Reserve for a close encounter and cheer the hatching females.
Approximately 20,000 turtles or more lay an estimated 30,000 nests each year on the beaches around.
Saturday - if you re keen on early start, you can check the hatching females going back to the sea in the daylight. This is actually good opportunity for some great shots if you are a photographer. Dont wake us up :) (optional).
After breakfast we will grab our snorkels and say hi to the turtles hanging around the shore. There are usually in a big number here, however nature is never predictable 100%. We will discover nearby idyllic shores of this little known part of Oman.
On the wy back we will pass by Bimah sinkhole, when we will take a last dip before heading to airport.
Back home at 1900hrs (Terminal 2)
Here are the galleries from our previous trips, Wet & Wild version with accent on Wadis, rather than turtles:
Level of difficulty: easy, available for kids and beginners
Activities: Turtles encounter, swimming, snorkelling, boating, short hiking. You should be a swimmer or at least feel comfortable in the water to join this trip. Life jackets available for rent.
Accommodation & meals: included. 2x breakfasts, 2 x lunches, 1 dinner. No meal on Thursday.
Requirements: daypack, trekking shoes, sunblock, hat, snorkelling gears, bikini.
Approx. cost: 2000 AED all incl. flights.
Specifically excluded: All expenses related to visas. It is participant sole responsibility to assure admission to country of destination. Details available.
We will need drivers for our rentals (asphalt).
This trip includes international flight. We will be buying the tickets fairly quickly and so need your commitment max 3 weeks before the date to sustain the budget.
See yah with turtles!! x
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