The endangered green sea turtles at Ras Al Jinz

Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve is one of the most important tourist destinations in the Sultanate. It is frequently visited by people from inside and outside the country across different nationalities. The Ras Al Hadd district of Wilayat Sur situated in South Al Sharqiyah governorate has a lot of natural elements, including tranquil beaches and moderate weather through the whole year.

The turtle reserve of Ras Al Jinz was a major tourist attraction last year. The reserve has huge tourism potential for the whole year, as it is very attractive; a large number of turtles nest on the beach of the reserve. There were a number of programmes and attractive offers designed for tourists last year, including special packages for schoolchildren to watch the turtles at sunrise and in the evenings, for watching dolphins, touring on bicycles and visiting Omani houses to learn about the culture of Omani families.

Visitors can also enjoy other activities during their stay in the reserve, including an interactive museum which informs them about the turtle life cycle, their development and types, as well as a wide range of facilities for visitors to learn about the wonders of ancient turtles. The number of nesting green turtles in the Ras Al Jinz reserve is between 6,000 and 13,000. They come from the coasts of the Sultanate and neighbouring countries such as the coast of the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, in addition to the closest shores of Somalia.

Watching turtles is one of the activities organised by the guides for tourists in the reserve. There are five rare varieties of turtles: the Green Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle, the Hawksbill Turtle, the Olive Ridley Turtle, and the Leatherback Turtle. They cross the territorial waters to the shores of the Sultanate.

Ras Al Hadd has moderate weather and in the summer, temperatures range from 25°C to 36°C, which are suitable for turtle breeding and nesting. The Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve also has archaeological sites, which are around 6,000 years old. They showcase fishing and trade activity, which Omanis practiced in ancient times, as well as green turtle nesting areas that are about 12 km long and overlook a 45km-long coast.

“Thousands of sea turtles migrate yearly to the shores of Oman to lay their eggs,” said Oman’s Ministry of Tourism. “Ras Al Jinz is a nature reserve famous for the opportunity to witness the endangered green sea turtle in its natural habitat during nesting and hatching season. Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is a unique natural landscape, unspoiled shorelines, golden deserts, luxuriant green oases and rugged mountains.

“Ras Al Jinz is world renowned for the nesting of the endangered green turtle, probably the most important nesting concentration on the Indian Ocean,” added the Ministry. “This is the only place where public can watch the nesting process of these amazing sea-giants — a once in a lifetime opportunity!