Turtle Tours in Kosi Bay, iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Guided Kosi Bay Turtle Tours.
Kosi Bay Turtle Tour Breakdown:
Cost: R800 per person.
Duration: 5 hours
Meeting time: 16:30 – 17:00
Included: Community turtle guide, experienced turtle research guide, sunset coffee/tea and transportation.
What to bring: Water, comfortable clothing, raincoat, flip flops/sandals and happy turtle vibes.
Meeting point: Our guide will collect you from your lodge.
Not included: Dinner.
How do our Kosi Bay Turtle Tours work?
Our guide will collect you from your lodge from between 16:30 and 17:00. From here you will travel to Bhanga nek where we will meet up with the iSimangaliso Wetland Park appointed community Turtle Guides.
At 18:30 you will be given a welcoming and introduction briefing by the community guides.
We will then start a lovely relaxing evening beach stroll in search of turtles. Our guide personally have years of turtle research experience and will be by your side to answer all your questions.
We generally get off the beach at about 21:45 and will have you back at your lodge by 23:00.
What to expect on our Kosi Bay Turtle Nesting Tour?
(November to January)
Our Kosi bay turtle tour season start with the nesting period. Female turtles come out of the water to lay their eggs up at the vegetation line. Our walk is done with minimal lighting to avoid disturbing the females. They will start digging an egg chamber after which they will go into a trance like state when the laying process start. At this point only will we approach the female respectfully to observe the laying process. She will then cover her nest, dig a mock nest to draw the attention of scavengers and return to the water.
Photography is allowed, however we encourage you to try not to use a flash. If using a flash please angle your photos from behind the turtle in order for the carapace to cast a shadow over her eyes. On most Turtle tracking evenings we see at least one loggerhead turtle. Leatherback turtle numbers are low and a special encounter.
(January to March)
The second part of our turtle tracking season focus on turtle hatchlings.
After 55-65 days the eggs hatch and the babies start moving to the surface. As they reach the warmer sun-heated sand they will wait for the sand temperature to cool indicating nightfall with less bird predation. Generally at around 20:00 we start seeing the action. Each nest of about 80 hatchlings start emerging to take on their incredible journey out to sea..
Here again we pay respect and try our best not to get in their way or interfere. Photography with a flash is allowed only from the front. These babies are aiming for the white glow of the rolling waves and whitewater. If any light is shined from behind they will get disorientated and waste time and energy needed to escape predators like crabs.
January is the only month that offer the opportunity to see both females laying and hatchlings on the same evening.
The Kosi Bay beaches offer some of the highest success rates when it comes to viewing nesting turtles on our Kosi bay turtle tours.
In Kosi bay our turtle guides will take you on an environmentally friendly and ethical walk in search of turtles. Having the highest number of nesting females annually, you can almost be sure to see turtles on your turtle tracking tour. You will be hosted by some of the most experienced turtle tour guides in the field!
Both Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles come from 1000’s of km’s to nest on the mineral rich beaches of Kosi bay. These amazing reptiles can grow as old as 150 years for leatherback turtles and 100 years for loggerhead turtles.
The incredible conservation efforts of the old Natal Parks Board and Dr George Hughes started protecting the turtle population in 1963. A key strategy was to employ and involve local community turtle monitors every season, assisting with the safeguard of these turtles.
Today the beaches of the Kosi bay area offer visiting guests the best chance to witness the phenomenal experience of seeing turtles either nesting or turtle hatchlings starting their journey.