Wildlife Tour: Sandakan Turtle Island Park, the Turtle Paradise of Sabah

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Wildlife Tour:


Sandakan Turtle Island Park, the Turtle Paradise of Sabah


By e-borneo.com


Description: For a memorable Wildlife Tour in Borneo, you can't miss out on the Turtle Island Park at Selingan Island in Sandakan, an East Coast town in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo. No doubt, the Orang Utan at Sepilok, also in Sandakan, may be top in most visitors' list, but since Selingan island is not too far away from Sepilok, your tour itinerary should also include a visit to the Turtle Park, or your wildlife tour in Sabah may not be complete. The following article explains why you should contemplate visiting the Turtle Island Park.

The Turtle Islands Park in Sandakan, Which comprise several uninhabited islands lying within the Sulu Seas, offers a unique wildlife experience cum beach holiday not found any where in Borneo. The marine park is essentially gazetted way back in the 1960s for turtle conservation and is the best destination for observing nesting sea turtles, mostly the Green Turtles.

For tourists, the best known island is Selingan or sometimes referred to as Turtle Island. Selingan is the largest island in the marine park and has been developed to house the park’s visitor centre, basic tourist facilities and a turtle hatchery.

There is also a privately-run chalet accommodation at Selingan. Turtles nest all year round but the best times to visit the island are between July and October when the seas are calmer, although it is not as predictable as it used to be.

The other islands are usually off bounds to the casual visitors except for the nearby Libaran Island, where there is also a privately–run chalet accommodation. To get to Selingan, you will need to take boat trip from a jetty downtown Sandakan town. It takes about an hour by speed boat to reach Selingan.

Upon arrival, you will notice that the island appears to be deserted and inhabited. Don’t worry, Selingan has been carefully developed and most facilities are neatly tucked away in the centre of the island, keeping the beach vegetation intact.

As turtle landings usually occur at night after dinner (or sometimes early morning), you can simply enjoy an island-beach relaxation during the day. Snorkeling is a perfect activity and the most ideal location is on the western part of Selingan.

For educational purposes, you can visit a small Visitor’s Center, which opens daily from 5.00pm to 9.00pm. This is a good place to learn about the sea turtles as well as other wildlife and nature in Sabah.

At night, once there is landing, you will be notified by the park ranger immediately. You will be escorted tot he nestling turtle to witness the unique egg-laying activities.

Some rules like not making too much loud noise or shining your torchlight directly on the nesting mother will be conveyed to you by the Park Ranger or a guide. The ‘show’ will end with the mother turtle covering sands on her nest and proceed gingerly back to the sea.

You may also visit the protected turtle hatchery to witness young turtles being released into the sea after a period of incubation (normally 50-60 days).

For more Selingan Island wildlife tour info, please visit the URL below:



About the Author:  e-borneo.com is one of the leading Borneo-based Borneo Travel and Trip Advisor web sites, which also serves as a Borneo travel gateway and tour intermediary for the best and cost-effective custom/full-package vacation deals to Malaysia Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak) and Brunei Darussalam. Check out some of Sabah Tourism packages or visit our sister site Borneo Tropical Vacation for more information on Sabah. Copyright © 2007


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