Leatherback turtles at night

The first time I visited Africa, my expectations were not very high. The descriptions about watching the animals in the parks always seemed a bit exaggerated to me. But just 10 minutes after we passed the Krugernational Park entrance gate, everything changed. A huge elephant crossed the street. Only a few minutes later we saw the first giraffes. By the time we got to our overnight camp, we had seen a lot of animals and were absolutely thrilled.

Our second trip to Africa therefore began with very high expectations, which were not disappointed. This time we also wanted to spend a few days on the beach and booked an accommodation on a coastal strip south of the Mozambique border in Maputaland. The accommodation was not accessible with our rental car. So there was a meeting point where we were picked up.

Extract from my travel diary:

The meeting point at a cashew nut farm was agreed at 2:00 p.m. After stocking up with 1 kg of cashew nuts, our pick up service arrived relatively on time. With a jeep it went about 1 hour over sand paths to the lodge. We really like it here. We live in a tree house in the middle of the trees, a wooden path leads to the beach. There are some activities that are offered.

The first evening we started at 10:00 p.m. - looking for turtles. With a large, converted Land Rover, driver, two students working on a turtle project and two other tourists, we drove off the beach to look for sea turtles. Everything was documented. Fresh traces leading to a nest are marked with GPS.

After an hour we saw the first turtle, a leatherback turtle. It was huge. When we arrived she was digging a hole in the sand. When she started laying eggs, we were allowed to go slowly. The eggs were counted, the animal measured, marked and when the hole was dug again, it went on. It was a moonlit night and thunderstorms could be seen on the horizon. We were back at 2:00 am.

We spent the rest of the stay snorkeling and walking on the beach. On the second evening, the students gave a lecture on their work. Then we knew everything about the leatherback turtles that you need to know. The trip was an unforgettable experience.

Type | Technique | Theme
Country
Picture 1: Traces of a leatherback turtle

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Picture 2: Leatherback turtle on Maputaland beach

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Picture 3: Red light so as not to disturb egg laying

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Picture 4: Leatherback turtle on Maputaland beach

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Picture 5: Leatherback turtle on Maputaland beach

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Picture 6: The leatherback turtle is measured

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Picture 7: Leatherback turtle on Maputaland beach

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Picture 8: Leatherback turtle on Maputaland beach

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