Talking about Gulf is not always talking about deserts, dunes, oil and camel! There is lot more to Gulf, especially country like Oman. Did you know that thousands of sea turtles migrate annually from the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and Somalia to lay their eggs on Oman’s shores? The best time in fact to witness this beautiful phenomenon is now. July – October is the peak time for turtle watching in Oman as approximately 30,000 turtles or more lay estimated 50,000 – 60,000 eggs each year in Oman.
Oman has five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles: The Green Turtle, found on most Omani beaches & plentiful in Ras al Hadd, Ras al Jinz, Masirah Island & Daymaniyat Islands; the Loggerhead Turtle that nests on Masirah Island, the shores of Dhofar & Daymaniyat Islands; the Hawksbill Turtle that nests on the shores of Muscat and Daymaniyat Islands; the Olive Ridley Turtle that nests on Masirah Island; & the Leatherback Turtle which is found in Omani waters but does not nest in the Sultanate.
The Ras AI Jinz Turtle Centre is an ecotourism project established in 2008 to help conserve the fascinating and amazing nesting processes of the turtles. Spread over 120 sq kms with a 45-km coastline, extending for one km into territorial waters, it is probably the most important turtle nesting concentration on the Indian Ocean. An average of 30,000 turtles nest on the beaches of Ras al Jinz. This is the only place where you can see turtles laying eggs and baby turtles taking their first tentative steps into the water.
Best Time to Visit:
July – October
Where to Stay:
There are carapace rooms & eco-tents available – a total of 31 rooms, 17 air-conditioned twin/double en-suite rooms, 2 Air-conditioned bunk bedded en-suite for families / small groups, all equipped with toilets, mini refrigerator, tea-coffee maker & LCD TV. Luxury Eco-Tents on a hillock close by are equipped with attached toilets, mini refrigerator, tea-coffee makers and LCD TV. Turtle Visitor Center (Museum) is dedicated to the sea turtle’s life cycle & the archaeological findings at Ras Al Jinz.
Sambuk, a 60-cover eatery, offers coffee shop-style ala carte menu and a set three-course dinner menu. Lunch/dinner at the restaurant is usually a set menu. Gift shop has a number of local handicraft items, pictures, postcards, books and Ras Al Jinz branded items