Part of the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve that was set up in the Sharqiyah Governorate to promote conservation of turtles that are indigenous to Oman, the Turtle Museum offers visitors an insight into the behaviour of these amazing reptiles, as well as scientific programmes aimed towards their research, care and conservation.
This museum contains several state-of-the-art laboratories where experiments on optimal turtle care are conducted, and visiting it is part of the turtle-watching trips that many people who both live in and visit Oman regularly embark on. That these expeditions often begin early in the morning, before the sun has risen, which is peak egg-laying time for the turtles, shows the curiosity, interest and passion people have in learning more about this amphibian.
“Turtle nesting tours at Ras Al Jinz allow visitors to witness the spectacle in an intimate fashion without fear of interrupting the creatures themselves,” said the reserve’s management team. “The turtle sanctuary at Ras Al Jinz combines an interactive museum with research laboratories and a wide range of amenities for visitors to learn all about the wonders of these ancient creatures in a family-friendly environment.”
The Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is owned by Omran, the Sultanate of Oman’s tourism investment arm, with a view to developing the country’s tourism sector, and in addition to this reserve in Ras Al Jinz, has similar centres on Masirah Island, which is home to the loggerhead turtle.
Close to the reserve is Ras Al Hadd, where around 13,000 sea turtles come ashore every year to lay their eggs. It is among the largest nesting sites in the Indian Ocean and the only one in the world where Green Turtles come ashore every night all year round. The area is also home to an ancient fishing village which dates back to about 3,000 BC, proof that man and animal had been sharing the beach for close to 5,000 years.
“One of the most popular eco-tourism activities in Oman is turtle viewing,” added the reserve. “Oman is home to several important nesting sites for four different species of turtle: the endangered Green Turtle, the Olive Ridley Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle, and the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle.