Turtle Watching in Kemaman, Terengganu
While you are in Cherating, remember to make a trip to Kemaman for Turtle watching. Kemaman is just a short drive north from Chearting (about 20 minutes)
Turtles watching is usually available daily during the period of Feb to August, where Green Turtle return to Cherating long coastline to lay her egg. Check with your resort if they can arrange this once a life time experience. Otherwise, you can contact Dylan Wang (a Ranger) at 012-9599983. You will be informed when a turtle is spotted landing and you then make your way toward the beach at Pantai Telok Mak Nik, Kamaman, usually between 2030 to 2100. Each participant cost about RM40. Remember NOT to wear white coloured shirt and do not use camera flash as it will distract and distress the turtle. You will normally not be charged if the Turtle suddenly decided not to lay her eggs and return to sea, mainly due to the disturbance or fright during the observance.
The whole process takes about 3 hours, starting from the turtles digging, where she may abruptly stopped if she feel unsecured. This could be because of the noise level, flashing of camera, movement etc or the spot was not suitable. While waiting for the turtle to finish digging, those Rangers will provide basic information, such as the turtles spices, how the female turtle decide if she wants to have male or female babies by her selection of location. Egg laid closer to the beach (cooler) or higher up ground (hotter) will determine the batch of baby turtle to be male or female. (sorry, I don’t remember each is each now :))
While waiting for the female to lay her egg, which take more then 1-2 hours, you will be shown baby turtles, which just hatched hours ago, and you can participate in the release of these baby turtles to the sea.
When the turtle start laying her eggs, then you will be allowed to gather close to her to witness this special moment. Photo-taking is allowed but without the flash. There will be a dim light, just sufficient for capture this special moment. You will get to touch the eggs but must be returned after, as every eggs will be counted, recorded and sent to the sanctuary as Turtle is a protected species in Malaysia.
After the turtle finish laying her eggs, you will see her tiredly working to cover up the big hole before making her way back to the sea and by then, it will be usually past mid-night.