Nature & Wildlife Tours . Selingan Turtle Island . Sandakan

Escape to Selingan Turtle Island in Sandakan


Tour Code: AOSBKI-SST-001
Since the introduction of a conservative program in Selingan Island in 1967, a large number of turtles are now returning to lay their eggs and the chance to see the sea creature is almost certain every night.

What You Will See

  • Selingan Turtle Island
  • Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre

Itinerary Day 1: Sandakan – Selingan Turtle Island

  • Pick-up from Sandakan airport (08:00hrs) or hotel (08:30hrs) and transfer to the Sandakan seafront jetty.
  • At 09:30hrs, speed boat departs for Selingan Island, the main nesting area for green turtle, which lies 40km north of Sanadakan in the Sulu Sea off Sabah’s east coast. Boat journey is approximately 1 hour.
  • Check into simple accommodation facility and relax by the beach or take up snorkel at the nearby reefs.
  • After dinner, Park Ranger will signal the appropriate time to view huge Green turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. Witness the eggs being transferred to hatchery from the nesting site. Offer help to release baby turtles onto the shore and be overwhelmed by the emotion of seeing the turtles scrambling to the open sea by some natural instinct.
  • Overnight at the Island Chalet.

Itinerary Day 2: Sepilok – Orang Utan Rehab Centre

  • After breakfast, depart at 07:00hrs to return to Sandakan.
  • Transfer to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (30 mins journey) situated in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve for video show. Visit the Nature Education Centre and watch the video documentary show to learn about the rehabilitation of orphaned orang utan before taking a boardwalk through the lowland rainforest to view the feeding platform.
  • Trek ten minutes through the rainforest on wooden plank walks to witness the feeding of the orang utans at 10am.
  • After tour, transfer to airport or to your respective hotel. Tour ends at 13:00hrs.

  • Only cameras of unaided flash are allowed to photograph the turtles. This is because shining a light on them or using camera flashes can be stressful on the creatures.
  • Video/Digital Video Cameras are not allowed.
  • Visitors are forbidden from going around the island on their own from 6:00pm – 6:00am
Selingan Turtle Island_ExodusBorneo

Selingan Turtle Island – turtle laying eggs ashore

Orangutan at Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre

Orangutan at Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre


Prices start from
Adult MYR 950 per pax
Child MYR 475 per pax

Tour Code: AOSBKI-SST-001

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Category: Nature & Wildlife
City/Region: Sandakan
Tour Code: AOSBKI-SST-001
Pricing: Adults from MYR 950; Child from MYR 475


Duration: 2D1N
Min Pax: 2 pax

Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Includes: Meals as Stated, All Entrance Fees, Land Transportation (Seat-In-Coach), Return Boat Transfer, English Speaking Guide, 01 Night Accommodation, Turtle Island Conservancy Fee.
Accomodation: 1 Night Turtle Island Chalet

Excludes: Domestic Airfares (BKI>SDK>BKI), Camera and Video Fees, Personal Expenses, Alcoholic & Carbonated Drinks, Any Items Not Mentioned

Things to bring:
Insect repellent, raincoat, water bottle, sun hat, hiking boots, clothing, camera, binoculars, toiletries, sun-block, personal medication.

Things You Should Know:
Please ensure you are holding air ticket to Sandakan.
Island Chalet accommodation is basic but clean and comfortable with attached bathroom.
Departure time varies from different hotels, please reconfirm with our staff.
If you are arriving at Sandakan Airport on the day of your tour, our friendly guide will greet and pick you up from the airport with a placard bearing your good name.
We do not guarantee wildlife sightings.
We reserve the right to alter routes, timetables, itineraries and accommodation reserved should conditions beyond our control render it necessary.

Itinerary is subject to change based on weather condition and traffic issue.

Tour Validity: 01 Apr 2017 – 31 Mar 2018


Min. 2 PAXFrom MYR 950
Single SupplementFrom MYR 475
Single TravelerAdditional 100% Surcharge

Child Policy For Turtle Island Accommodation
Infant Below 2 Years Old: FOC
Child 2 – 10 Years Old:
– 75% Of Adult Rates When Sharing Room With 2 Paying Adults
– Maximum of 1 Child Sharing A Room With 2 Adults
– An Extra Mattress will be provided for the Child
– Above 10 Years Old Are Considered As Adult
All rates are quoted in Ringgit Malaysia (MYR).
All rates are subject to 6% GST for accommodation & tours departing from 1st April 2015 onwards.

About Turtle Island Marine Park
Infomation provided by SabahParks


Selingan Turtle Island
The Turtle Island Park which lies 40km north of Sandakan in the Sulu Sea, comprises of thee small islands of which Selingan, is the main island of visit for tourists. It is a safe haven for the endangered green and hawksbill turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs almost every night. Hatcheries and conservation are done on all three islands. Hence,you can learn about the conservation activities of the local turtles, witness them coming ashore to lay their eggs, observe the collection of eggs, tagging of mother turtles and releasing of baby turtles back into the sea.

Sea Turtles are not the only attraction of the islands. The clear turquoise coloured sea and coral reefs are ideal for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. When the fruit trees are in season, the islands have another interesting visitor – the Island Flying Fox. The islands was gazetted as a marine park in 1977 and currently, staff are residing on all three islands to safeguard the park and to carry out the conservation works.

About Selingan Island
Selingan Island (Pulau Selingan in malay) is the second largest of the three islands with an area of 8 hectares and is also the first turtle hatchery in Malaysia. Many mother turtles return to this island to lay their eggs and you can be certain to witness them every night of the year. The number of visitors who can stay overnight on Selingan Island is restricted to 38 persons per night to protect the turtles. Selingan Turtle Island houses the park’s headquarters, a turtle hatchery, tourist accommodation with basic facilities and a visitor and interpretative centre.

Best Season to Visit
The driest months and the calmest seas are between March and July. The peak season for turtles laying eggs is July to October. The seas can get rough between October and February but nonetheless, visitors still continue to come from all over the world to Selingan Turtle Island to witness this magical moment of joy throughout the year.

Nesting Season
Both Green and Hawksbill Turtles come to shore throughout the year to lay their eggs. However, the peak season for the Greens turtles is between July to October while the peak season for the Hawksbill turtles is between February to April. Turtles lay eggs during the night time and a bright light on or near their nesting beach will deter them from coming ashore entirely.

Nesting Process
The female turtle drags herself up the beach to a site above the high water mark. Using her rear flippers, she excavates an egg chamber after which she proceeds to lay her eggs. Salt glands behind the eyes allow them to eliminate salt taken in while they are at sea.

The salty mucus gives the impression of tears as the turtle lays her eggs. The clutch size varies between 40 – 200 eggs but batches of 50 – 80 are most common. When all eggs have been laid, she covers them with sand and laboriously fills the body pit to conceal the site of the nest.

All new turtles that come to shore at the Park are tagged by the rangers, the tag reading “ Return to Turtles Island Park, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.” Tagging and measuring turtles enable the Park to keep a data base to gain a clearer picture of the turtle’s growth, distribution and population. The exhausted turtle struggles back to the sea leaving behind the tracks in the sand. The egg laying process can take about 1-2 hours to complete.

Hatchery Practices
Hatcheries exist on all three islands. They protect the eggs from natural predators such as monitor lizards, birds and snakes. They also protect nests from being dug up by other nesting turtles and from soil erosion. Freshly laid eggs are excavated and transported promptly to the hatchery. The eggs are placed by hand into 75 cm deep pits, covered in sand and surrounded by plastic wire mesh. Each nest has an information plate displaying a nest serial number, date of collection and number of eggs transplanted.

Environmental factors determine the sex of the turtles. The temperature of the sand in which the eggs are incubated plays a critical role. The temperature is influenced by the depth of the nest, the characteristics of the sand, and the weather. Higher sand temperatures result in more females. A difference of only 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit can make the difference between a nest that is wholly female or one that is all male. To ensure certain nests are cooler than others, some areas of the hatcheries are shaded.

After 50-60 days the hatchlings will emerge, mainly at night, which they deduce by the cooler temperatures of the sand. The hatchlings are released at various points on the island immediately after they hatch. More than 2.6 million hatchlings were released between 1977 and 1988. The hatchlings are most vulnerable and only a few will survive to adulthood.

Hatchling Release Programme
The main attraction of the Turtle Islands Park is the turtle, watching turtle egg laying and hatchling release programme is the highlight of the visit; this, however, only occurs during the night. Thus, only overnight visitors to the islands have opportunity to experience the occasion. At the same time, visitors could learn and understood how the conservation process executed by parks employees.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Among the main recreation activities in Turtle Islands Park is scuba diving and snorkeling. Areas which this activities were allowed were divided into zones. Please refer to park manager/officer in-charge.

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