Turtle Walks

The Cape Verde islands are the third-largest rookery for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the world. Every summer, between June and October, thousands of females come to shore at nighttime to lay their nests on one of the sandy beaches of the archipelago. In Sal, this happens mostly in the south of the island, perfect to go out after sunset and try to observe these magnificent animals.

Sandra spent the summer season of 2010 volunteering as a ranger for the local turtle protection NGO on Sal and collecting data for her masters thesis on the hatching success of the loggerheads. She has acquired a wealth of knowledge about the ecology, life cycle, nesting and hatching process, the threats to this turtle species as well as the conservation activities here on Sal. She will tell you all there is to know so that your walk will be entertaining and worthwhile whether you spot a mama or not.

We will pick you up around 7 pm from your accommodationon and of course take you back afterwards. The group size is limited to a maximum of 8 people, the minimum number is 2 people. We will sit or walk on the beach for about 2 hours, so please bring suitable shoes and clothes as well as, if needed, drinking water. The price is 25 € per person.

It goes without saying that our presence on the beach should be as innocuous as possible. After all, the aim is to observe wild animals and their natural behaviour. To avoid disturbing the females there is a turtle walk etiquette in place which we follow:

  • Do not use white lights on the beach. This includes switching off camera flashes and wearing dark clothes.
  • Do not talk loudly or make other loud noises.
  • Do not smoke on the beach or wear heavy perfumes.
  • Do not approach a turtle before the actual egg-laying has started.
  • When watching a turtle nesting stay behind her and do not touch her or her eggs.
  • Follow your guide's instructions at all times. The well-being of the turtle has priority over the opportunity to observe the nesting process!

As this is nature we cannot give any guarantee that you will actually see a turtle. Having said that, we will only go out when there is a reasonable probability to spot one of the animals.

Of the proceeds from our turtle walks we will donate 10% to the local conservation NGO Project Biodiversity who we work closely with. This way, you as a tourist can directly participate in the protection of the endangered turtles on this island.

As a little keepsake of your experience or as a souvenir for the turtle lovers among your friends back home, you also have the opportunity to purchase one of our hand-made turtle babies. Here, too, 40% of the proceeds go to Project Biodiversity.

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Recreation, Conservation, Education
Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) Female laying her eggs Turtle track Loggerhead hatchlings on their way to the sea Hand-made turtle babies