If you love marine wildlife, this story is for you. Tenikwa (near Plettenberg Bay) and the Two Oceans Aquarium (in Cape Town) are teaming up in a collaborative effort to save turtles. Every year, thousands of loggerhead and leatherback turtles hatch on the beaches of northern KwaZulu-Natal.
They head to sea and are carried southward along the coast by the warm Agulhas Current. Facing high levels of predation and strong currents, many hatchlings find themselves off the Cape's south coast - stunned by the cold, weak and often injured. Many inevitably wash up and are stranded on our beaches. Without help, these stranded hatchlings have no chance of survival.
Tenikwa has already put the theory to practice after receiving a loggerhead hatchling turtle that was found on Robberg beach. After giving the turtle the initial care it needed at Tenikwa, it was transported to the Two Oceans Aquairium by Cemair, before being rehabilitated and reintroduced to the wild (so yes, this turtle FLEW from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay!). This was the 11th turtle transported by Cemair from Tenikwa to the Two Oceans Aquarium.
If you come across a turtle on the beach (except of course if its hatching or laying eggs!) the advice is to keep it warm and dry and place it in a container with air holes and a towel. There's even a Turtle Hotline that has been established and can be contacted to find the nearest drop off point (021 418 3823).
At Where It All Began, we've built our Ethical Marine Journey both to witness the hatching of turtles at the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park near the border with Mozambique and then to follow them along their journey along the South African coastline. You'll spend time not only with turtles but bottlenose dolphins, at least three species of whale, penguins and marine wildlife experts. The trip ends off in Cape Town with a visit to SANCCOB, the marine bird sanctuary. Contact us for more details!