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Turtle Hatching Mafia Island

Watch the baby turtles emerge from their sandy burrow, scramble out of their nest and race to the water flapping their fins vivaciously.

Important details

  • Duration: 4 hrs
  • Price: On request
  • High chance period: mid June - mid August
  • NO guarantee for hatching
  • NOT suitable for people who have mobility issues as the trip involves a walk across the island
  • Only possible on the high tide
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Additional information

Sea turtles have been nesting on Tanzanian beaches for over 150 million years.
Between June and September hundreds of baby turtles make their instinctive scramble from the white sandy beaches to the warm Indian Ocean waters. Here in Mafia you are fortunate enough to be able to witness this natural spectacle from the Eastern beach of Juani, an island bursting with nature from the tiniest of butterflies to giant cascading trees.
This experience is made possible by an NGO called Sea Sense. Set up in 2001, they have been working in partnership with the local communities to promote the importance and protection of marine turtles and their habitats through various projects.
The adventure starts with a lovely dhow trip across Chole Bay, landing on the shielded Western side of Juani Island. On arrival, a 45 minute walk across the island reveals the islands true beauty in the form of towering trees and acres and acres of green foliage up until the very last minute before your attention is turned to the turtle nest hidden amongst white grains of sand.
The little hatchlings emerge from their sandy burrow, scrambling out of their nest, flapping their fins
vivaciously, racing to reach the surf and start the next step of their incredible journey. It is a truly heart wrenching experince to watch these ancient reptiles fight for survival in their first moments among the living.
After experiencing one of nature’s most harrowing hurdles, you make our way back to the dhow, settle back with a cup of tea and daydream of what these little turtles will be up against next.

Turtle hatching

Mafia Island