The pristine islands of the Seychelles with their expansive beaches and shimmering waters serve as feeding grounds for five species of marine turtles. Of these five species, the Green and Hawksbill Turtles choose the remote Islands of the Outer Islands as their nesting grounds.
These beautiful creatures return to the same beaches to make their way ashore to dig their nests and lay their eggs. Hawksbill Turtles have been known to return to the same beach every two to four years and normally nest during the day, in the months of September through to March.
Green Turtles on the other hand tend to nest at night from January to September and their return journeys can be quite a few years apart. The eggs take around two months to hatch after which the little hatchlings make their way across the beach to the ocean.
Once fully grown, the females will return to the same beach to lay their own eggs.
Turtles will lay between 150 to 200 eggs in a nest and have been known to best 4 to 5 times per nesting season.
During your stay, guests can join the Island Conservation Society (ICS) Team as they head on their daily surveys to track and monitor turtle tracks, mark new and hatched nests as well as occasionally guide hatchlings on their way to the ocean.
Viewing these creatures as they go about their day, is a wonderful experience that the whole family will treasure for many years to come.
Welcome to a magical experience in the pristine islands of the Seychelles. We’ve selected specific destinations to do our turtle tracking to ensure guests get to view and engage with these ancient creatures in their natural habitats.
Alphonse Island holds a healthy population of both Green and Hawksbill Turtles with the added chance of seeing nesting females and hatchlings. Turtles often spotted on scuba diving excursions.Discover Alphonse Island
The islands of Astove Atoll have the highest density of nesting Green Turtles in the Seychelles. There is a good chance of spotting these creatures on night walks and on the reef.Discover Astove Atoll
High numbers of nesting Green Turtles are seen on Cosmeldo as guests make their way from the Eco Lodge. There’s also a chance of seeing nesting females and hatchlings making their way to the ocean.Discover Cosmoledo Atoll
The islands of Poivre Atoll host large numbers of both Green and Hawksbill Turtles and there is a good chance of seeing the nesting females as well as hatchlings.Discover Poivre Atoll
Green Turtles, also known as Green Sea Turtles and some Pacific Green Turtle are called Black Sea Turtle, are found in tropical and subtropical waters.
This species is in fact named after the colour of their cartilage and fat, and not the colour of their shells. They are known to migrate long distances between their feeding and nesting grounds; sometimes up to thousands of kilometres.
The young Green Turtles feed on small crustaceans, worms, aquatic insects, grasses and algae. Once they reach roughly 8 - 10 inches in length, they only eat algae and seagrass - the only adult turtle to be strictly herbivorous.
Green Turtles nest roughly every 2 years on the same beaches they were hatched on. 50 - 70 Days after being laid, the eggs hatch and the young ones head instinctively to the ocean.
The Green Turtle is one of the largest sea turtles and have been known to reach the age of 80 in the wild. Green (Sea) Turtles are endangered, but have been protected in the Seychelles since 2001.
The Hawksbill (Sea) Turtle is found in the tropical waters of the world and tend to keep close to coral reefs.
Named after their short, pointed beak, the Hawksbill uses its sharp mouth to feed on sea sponges nudged into the cracks and crevices of the reefs where they are found.
The overlapping or imbricate scales of their carapace is what gives them the scientific name of Imbricata. Hawksbills are omnivorous however and will also feed on small crustaceans, algae, fish and jellyfish.
This species is quite resilient as more often than not the sponges they feed on are toxic to most sea creatures.
Hawksbill Turtles mate biannually in shallow lagoons and then head to the beaches of the most remote islands to lay their eggs. After hatching, the young turtles make their way to the ocean in the dead of night.
Some believe they might follow the light of the moon to the water, which is why we use coloured outside lights at all of our destinations so as not to distract them from their journey.
Once they reach around 14 inches in length, they move onto reef habitat. After this it will take another 25 to 35 years before they breed.
However, little is still known about how long it takes the species to reach 14 inches as various factors play a role and as such the age of sexual maturity is unknown. The lifespan of the Hawksbill Turtle is estimated at about 30 to 50 years.
As with Green Turtles, their shells are very valuable to traders and their nests are often ransacked. Hawksbill Turtles are critically endangered, but have been protected in the Seychelles since 2001.
Experience all that the Outer Islands of the Seychelles have to offer - immerse yourself in an untouched paradise with a rich biodiversity of fauna and flora.