Turtle Nesting on Kanuhura
July 23 2018
July 23 2018
Nature is a wondrous thing and there are very few experiences as incredible as watching something take its first steps in the world. One of the most amazing things about a trip to the tropical paradise of Kanuhura, apart from its sublime, picture-perfect island surrounds and world-class luxury offerings imbued with a unique gypset flair, is the chance to witness turtles nesting on the island or, perhaps even more exciting, to see the eggs hatch and the absolutely perfect, tiny turtles emerging in order to make their brave dash for the supposed protection of the water.
Here’s what you need to know about sea turtles, their nesting habits, hatching and the incredible turtle experiences you can have at Kanuhura:
Kanuhura’s location in the Maldives is perfect for turtle lovers
Not only is Kanuhura surrounded by breathtaking tropical surrounds, it’s also perfectly located near some exceptional dive sites were avid diving enthusiasts have a good chance of spotting a myriad of exciting sea life, including peaceful sea turtles. The Maldives, in general, is a great place for sea turtle enthusiasts, with five of the world’s seven species—Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Green, and Olive-Ridley Turtles—calling this exotic paradise home. Keep an eye out for these beauties, specifically the Green Turtles which are the most common around Kanuhura, when you are snorkelling or diving, or maybe, if you are really lucky, you’ll see them nesting or the eggs hatching.
The incubation period for turtles is approximately two months
Sea turtles lay eggs all year round, but the most active nesting months are typically May and June with the most common hatching season falling between July and August, allowing for the typical incubation period for sea turtles of around two months. While we can’t guarantee sightings, if you are a turtle lover, these are the best months for you to try your luck at witnessing nesting or hatching turtles.
Turtle hatching season at Kanuhura kicked off on the 5th of July
Excitement permeated throughout the idyllic luxury holiday islands of Kanuhura on Thursday the 5th of July—an auspicious day which marked the beginning of the much-anticipated turtle hatching season. At around 21:30 on the Thursday evening (the perfect time to enjoy this natural spectacle), fortunate guests were able to witness an absolutely unparalleled experience; hoards of tiny turtles took their first steps of life away from the safety of their nest and propelled by instinct towards the glistening ocean. Kanuhura Beach, on the eastern side of the island, became more than a sublime, pristine beach; it set the stage for a truly unique island experience.
While this magical moment was enjoyed by all of our guests, it was our little guests that were the most thrilled about being able to witness such a stunning spectacle. One of our guests commented, “It was the first time for me to witness a turtle hatching and it is a true natural wonder. My son enjoyed it so much, I’m fairly confident he won’t be talking about anything else for the next couple of days”.
But this once-in-a-lifetime experience moved some of our bigger guests in profound ways too as tears welled up in their eyes as they watched the tiny turtles fighting their way to the sea. One of our other guests said “It was a truly unique moment when we saw all these little turtle babies making their way to the ocean, it was like the whole beach was moving. They are so little but so strong and determined even though they just hatched”—a beautiful commentary on the resilience of these little creatures, something we could all probably learn from.
There are currently nine known turtle nests across Kanuhura’s three islands
Unbeknownst to many, Kanuhura is actually made up of three islands; the main island of Kanuhura where the hotel is built and its two neighbouring deserted islands— Masleggihura and Jehunuhura Islands. Across these three spectacular islands, there are currently nine known turtle nests, many of which belong to Green Turtles, and have eggs that are still waiting to hatch! Each of these nests has clear signs near them so that these precious patches of eggs are not disturbed and are kept safe.
Kanuhura is, in fact, an excellent island for turtles to lay their eggs thanks to the large expanses of undisturbed beaches bordered by a huge lagoon. Approximately a third of Kanuhura’s main beaches are not enclosed by villas, which leave sea turtles an incredible amount of space to lay their eggs successfully and safely, but it’s really Jehunuhura and Masleggihura that are absolutely ideal for egg laying, as no one is typically there in the times that they lay.
Turtles typically hatch at night
Turtles tend to hatch when there are very few people or predators (such as birds) around—at night (which also helps them not to get too distracted by other light that can make them go in the wrong direction). Each nest can hold between 50 and 200 eggs and the tiny turtle tots have to make it out of their shells and to the sea by themselves. They often hatch during full moon as the glistening reflection of the moon helps to guide them into the sea. Once they make it into the sea safely, they typically swim a few kilometres offshore and into the currents, which they then learn to ride for much of their lives.
Sadly, sea turtles are endangered but we are committed to helping them in any way we can
Over the last few years, marine biologists have noted the sad decline in sea turtle population numbers (including our wonderful Green Turtles). Far too many turtles die needlessly at the hands of humans by getting caught in large fishing nets, caught for ‘exotic’ food or simply die by eating the ever-growing amount of rubbish and plastic waste in our seas. Which is why we are committed to protecting our sea turtles, their nests and their offspring as best we can by minimising our involvement and letting nature play out as it should (in the hatching and nesting process). Our aim is to make sure that our guests and associates are properly educated around these natural experiences in order to pay the turtles the utmost respect and act around the nests in the most appropriate ways.
But our commitment to helping the sea turtles doesn’t end there; we are also constantly striving to find better ways to minimise our impact on our natural surrounds as well as limit our use of plastic straws, plastic bags and all other single-use plastic items, much of which tends to end up in the ocean. It’s up to each of us to ensure that future generations can also marvel at the magic of seeing sea turtles in their natural habitat, and our precious prehistoric return guests are as important to us as our human ones.
If you would like to be part of these incredible experiences with us, then book your stay at Kanuhura today; it’s the ultimate island destination for nature enthusiasts. We seamlessly blend immersive outdoor experiences, where guests are able to consciously embrace the wonder of our endemic flora and fauna in exciting ways, with utter gypset luxury to create holidays that are bound to linger in your memory for the rest of time.