Visiting Turtle Sanctuaries in Oman

by Erin Coyle
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Turtle on the beach Ras Al Hadd turtle sanctuaries

It is turtle season in Oman, which means there are chances to watch turtles laying eggs, covering them, and watching them go back into the water. It is simply amazing to watch turtles lay around 100 eggs. This process can take several hours, so you can watch for as long as possible, depending on which place you visit. When the turtle finishes laying her eggs, she starts covering them. Eventually, she makes her way back into the water, usually just before the sun rises. Ras Al Jinz Turtle Sanctuary and Ras Al Hadd are two turtle sanctuaries in which to see the turtles. Both are about a forty-minute drive from Sur. Below are some details about both sites, including the pros and cons.

turtles turtle sanctuaries oman

A turtle covering her eggs (Photo by Erin Coyle)

Ras Al Jinz Turtle Sanctuary


They have a small museum so you can learn about the turtle process. Did you know that when the babies are grown, they return to the same place to lay their eggs? These are the kinds of things you can learn. It is open from 9:00 am to 8:30 pm.


The downside is that you are with a group and hardly have time to see the turtles. They move from group to group, and they have already laid their eggs by the time you visit the turtles in some cases. The tours cost 8 rials ($20) per person.

turtles, turtle sanctuaries, oman

Information about the turtles from Ras al Jinz (Photo by Erin Coyle)

Ras Al Hadd


You can go early in the morning to watch the turtles go back into the water and have the beach to yourself. The sun rises are worth the early morning visits. If the waves aren’t strong, you can swim. You can also hire a guide who can take you to watch the turtles lay their eggs at night.


You don’t need a guide, but you must look for the turtles yourself. If you go early in the morning, it is best to be there around 3:45 or 4:00 now that it is summer.

sunrise ras al hadd oman

The sunrise in Ras al Hadd in Oman (Photo by Erin Coyle)

Review of Both Turtle Sanctuaries

I have seen the turtles at Ras Al Jinz and Ras Al Hadd, and I prefer going to Ras Al Hadd. When I went to Ras Al Jinz, we were in a group of 15 people. We had to wait around 30-40 minutes outside, and finally, our group could watch the turtles. They had finished laying their eggs by the time we got to the turtles, so the guide just said the tour was over. The leader does not offer any information. But, the museum is decent for learning a lot of information.

turtles, turtle sanctuaries oman

Egg hold and turtle tracks (Photo by Erin Coyle)

If you go to Ras Al Hadd at night, I recommend hiring a guide because the turtle police are now on the beaches telling people they can’t stay to protect the turtles. If you go early in the morning, you should not have any problems.


Turtles laying eggs (Photo used with permission, copyright by Nasser Thabit

General Info About Visiting Oman’s Turtle Sanctuaries

Contact Nasser Thabit Sultan Alharbi at +968 9772 6888 or on Instagram @rasalhaddsandukan, and he will arrange something for you at Al Ras Al Hadd. He usually charges 5 rials ($13). He will keep looking for turtles until he finds one. If you go on your own, you can put Oman Surf School in Google Maps, which should lead you to the location. Go online for more information about the Turtle Reserve.

turtles turtle sanctuaries oman

A turtle going back into the water (Photo by Erin Coyle)

Extra Tips For Visiting Turtle Sanctuaries

 Do not use bright lights because the turtles will follow your light and move away from the water. Sometimes, baby turtles are caught in a net or away from the water. Please help them go to the water.

baby turtle oman

A baby turtle (Photo by Erin Coyle)

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