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Can you tell me about turtle watching?

Auckland Central...
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Can you tell me about turtle watching?

We will be in Oman next April, and my husband is realy keen to try our luck with turtle watching - but I have some concerns and would be glad to get any information you can give me. I have read the reviews of various "turtle watching" hotels but they don't really tell me what I need to know.....

We like the sound of Ras Al Jinz - but I have arthritis in my knees and am concerned about the 15-20 minutes walk to the beach in sand.

- How much of the walk is in soft sand?

- Is it a flat walk, or up and down hills and slopes?

- Must we keep up with the guide or will it be ok for me to lag behind? (I cannot walk very fast)

- is there anywhere to sit down once we get to the beach, other than on the sand? Any seats, or even nearby rocks to sit on? (I would struggle to get up from sitting on the sand)

- how long are you usually at the beach for? Especially important for me, if there is nowhere to sit.

If we stay at one of the hotels at Sur or the Ras Al Hadd area and book for turtle-watching, do you get taken to Ras Al Jinz, or to different beach(es)? I am wondering if there would be an easier walk at another beach?

Thanks for any help, information or tips you can give me!!!!

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1. Re: Can you tell me about turtle watching?

I am sorry to say, but if you have trouble walking the turtle tour at the Raz al Jinz camp is not for you. The walk from the research center to the beach takes about 15 minutes in pitch darkness on a road which is partly gravel and partly sand. It is level though. But our guides walked really fast and an elderly man in the group had considerable difficulties keeping up. Luckily there was a young couple in the group who noticed the situation and gave him a hand, but the guides could not have cared less. Yes, during the dark you are supposed to stay with the group. Even if you manage the walk down to the beach, it is the beach which is really tricky. The turtles dig huge holes everywhere and the entire beach is a crater-packed area, with very uneven ground. Even a healthy person sometimes has problems keeping steady because it is so dark and you do not see where you are going, it is more like stumbling along the beach. There is absolutely nowhere to sit on the beach other than the sand. The evening tour lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours, constant standing and walking. Honestly, I would not recommend you to take this tour. The morning tour is somewhat better. Since there were very few of us we were taken down to the beach and back in a small bus, but from what I read in reviews this is not the rule. After about 1 hour the sun came up and we were allowed to stroll along the beach without the guides and the craters became visible, so that they could be avoided.

I do not know about other, private tours, to turtle beaches in the area, but the official tour does not cater to persons with walking impairements.

I have to add that we were there on a new moon night, thus it was really, really dark, the situation might be slightly better when there is full moon and the holes can be seen more easily.

Edited: 16 December 2013, 08:04
Destination Expert
for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
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2. Re: Can you tell me about turtle watching?

If you are staying at the Shangri La there is turtle watch,at the right season,and you can even get the Turtle Warden to call your room to tell you of a laying or hatching on their private beach.

3. Re: Can you tell me about turtle watching?

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