London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
On our 8th day in Oman with kids, we headed to Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve and broke the 4.5 hours roadtrip from Alila Jabal Akhdar in Sur. Turtles in Oman have been one of the highlights of this trip and if you like them as much as we do, glam camping at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve Oman should be part of your itinerary.
Luxury eco glamping Oman is the way to go in here and make sure you book a family tent well in advance as it’s just 3 of them.
Ras al jinz is a once in a lifetime experience seeing turtles laying eggs at moonlight, heading back to the sea plus babies just hatched finding their way at night or at sunrise. And what a difference between a 150kg mother turtle and the fragile tiny babies! Speed, size, confidence and vulnerability could not be more different!
The nature is exposed in here at its best, beautiful and its cruelest. At night we witnessed the huge turtles laying eggs at moonlight. They are into a trance and laborious work: digging holes, laying the eggs, burying them in the sand. It takes about 50 days to hatch and turtle mums and baby turtles will not meet again. There will be also baby turtles hatching and going back to the sea, a perilous journey between the beach filled with huge hungry crabs, birds, foxes. I came back at 4:30am in the morning to witness some more, at this hour the huge turtles are returning back to the sea after an exhausting laying eggs trip and babies who hatched slightly later or got lost are trying to find the sea and avoid the predators.It’s been so emotional to help 3 babies on their way to the water – fragile and tiny, cute and so exposed. Especially emotional as you’ll equally find lots of tiny shells on the beach that didn’t make it and have been eaten or injured deadly. A huge contrast to the huge green turtles of Oman heading back to the sea surreally slowly and beautifully in the sunrise colours.
Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve centre has some good educational content and I found the tours whilst busy, relatively well managed. They will be reinforcing advice and guidance from the beginning in terms of whispering at the beach and no loud talking, staying in groups keeping lights off the mother turtles and babies, never between their way to the see, not touching etc.
Turtles laying eggs and in need of privacy and whispering do not go well with our young easily overexcited unpredictable toddler. The 5 years old joined me in the evening and luckily Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve guests have priority and start earlier. Tears in his eyes just like me, he soaked up the privileged experience and was beyond wise around the mother turtles and the babies! We wrapped up the tour about 11pm and on our way back to our glamping base we staired at the huge full moon and stars – an unforgettable evening!
To wake up in less than 5 hours proved too much of a challenge for him, so I embarked on the 4:30am journey by myself, leaving all 3 boys sleeping and meeting them again at early breakfast.
Temperatures get incredibly high quickly in the morning, by 10:30 our car thermometer already showed 30 degrees (and that’s late October!). By 11am we were fully packed and ready for our next adventures, Kempinski Muscat with a Wadi Shab stop. So if you or the kiddies like to enjoy longer camping Ras Al Jinz, we suggest you arrive 4pm rather than 7pm as we’ve done.
A shorter stop in Sur would have been probably better, especially that the walk in the beach and kids playground left us a bitter taste seeing so much garbage spread around. Whilst infrastructure in Oman is in a good state and Sur pedestrian sides feature marble, surely there’s more education to be done, proper waste management and recycling on day to day basis.
In our past travels we came across other turtles, but never in such meaningful context. We’ve been very lucky to see them Praia do Forte reserve in Brazil, 30min drive from Salvador; Seychelles diving and on land; Maui Hawaii by the beach and the shallow shores even when swimming; Nevis by Four Seasons lovely beach; Egypt and Maldives whilst diving.
But the green turtles in Oman and the encounters in here truly spoilt us, first the sailing daytrip at the beautiful Al Kieran bay : bare mountains and crystal turquoise waters, filled with dolphins, snorkelling huge green turtles and colourful fish. And then Ras Al Jinz Centre, left us feeling enriched and blessed – one memorable dusk, evening and sunrise, unforgettable setting, company and circumstances.
Happy World #Turtle day, article wrapped up just in time on May 23rd ! For more wildlife adventures and best places to see turtles ,check our articles on our 10 favourite places worldwide. For our Oman self driven roadrip/ itinerary, head here; for Shangri La Muscat head here; and for Alila Al Hajar head here and for Kempinski Muscat and daytrips here.
What a moving and unforgettable experience, and so good that your five year-old could join in for some of it. I would absolutely live to do this one day. #CULTUREDKIDS
Truly amazing indeed, hope you get to see it soon!
so nice to see some baby turtles too:) #culturedkids
The cutest indeed 😉
This sounds like an incredibly moving experience, I hope too I can one day witness it for myself. I don’t think my kids would be able to contain their excitement though, so perhaps one for when they’re older! #CulturedKids
With some of the kids you’d be surprised how quickly they understand mummy turtle needs peace when laying eggs and baby turtles may need a hand towards the sea!
How amazing, I’ve seen turtles in Turkey but never the Gulf #CulturedKids
Aren’t they amazing Catherine? They never cease to cheer and delight me -diving or snorkelling with them is so special!
What an incredible experience and to see baby turtles. #culturedkids
Very, indeed Usha!
What an incredible experience, I’d love to see the turtles. Oman is somewhere I need to see more of having only been to the Musuman peninsula #culturedkids
Warmly recommending Oman Phoebe!
Wow, it looks fab there. I love the eco glamping and the turtles are just wonderful. #CulturedKids
What a wonderful experience and such a privilege to see it. At the same time, such a shame that waste management is a bit of an issue. #culturedkids
Fascinating. I am surprised that visitors are allowed to get so close to the turtles during this fragile, vulnerable time, but what an unforgettable experience it must be!
You mentioned that there were only three glamping tents, but – roughly – how many other people were on the beach with you, and how tightly controlled were they?
Some great questions, I should make clearer in the article that the glamping is about 20/30mn walk from the Turtle beach and in the hills! And the reserve centre about 10/15min walk, so the hatching beach is completely pristine ! The tours in the evening have been very strict, no one allowed to go outside the guides indicated area, talk or use lights. The morning one once there’s light, it was more relaxed in terms of watching by yourself but the guides were still observing everyone. It’s quite well done overalland – a fantastic project and experience. My only sadness is related to neighbouring Sur (pretty city 30min drive), which could do so much better recycling wise and beach cleaning !
Ah – that sounds better! Thanks for the clarifications – this is something that my kids would surely love to experience.
And yes, sad that Sur can have marble pavements yet poor trash management. I hope they sort out their priorities!
Greetings from Luxembourg #CulturedKids
What an incredible experience! I can imagine the heart break and seeing the shells of the ones that didn’t make it #culturedkids
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