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The Nature of the Wild

Bird watching fans will find many opportunities in Oman for bird watching. The 45-kilometers of coast between the capes of Ras al Hadd, the easternmost point of Arabia, and Ras al Ruwais is an area where thousands of green turtles come to lay their eggs. A significant part of the beach in this area is a reserve, and access to it is controlled. The total number of visitors is limited to 100 per day. Tourists are accompanied by professional guides and rangers. The egg-laying season is from June till November, but the turtles lay eggs mainly from July till August. It is possible to see hatched baby turtles in October. Watching is possible between 22.00 and 24.00, between these times turtles finish laying eggs and return to the ocean.

Before visiting, it is a requirement to dress only in dark clothes, only talk in a whisper and not to touch or carry anything away from the beach. It is important while taking photos not to use a flash, because turtles are very susceptible to light, so if they see something suspicious, they will not come out of the water. If they are frightened, they will leave their eggs in the sea water, which will kill them.

Turtles appear late at night. Like huge moving stones they creep out of the ocean leaving a deep furrow in the sand. With powerful forepaws they dig a wide hole and then inside the hole they dig a special cavity for their eggs. One turtle can lay up to 120 eggs in one period, which takes about 20 minutes. During one season turtles will lay eggs every 2-3 weeks. In two months the baby turtles will begin to emerge from their eggs and start their precarious life in the world. They have many enemies to protect themselves from on their journey from nest to the ocean: foxes, wolves, wild dogs, crabs and seagulls. Once they reach the sea that is not the end of the story as other aquatic predators take over.

Another especially interesting experience is the ‘Dawn with the Dolphins’ boat trip. The close up sighting of the dolphins and sometimes whales is outstanding. It is hard to believe that it is possible to observe these mammals so close by.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the Jiddat Al Harassis offers a life-time chance to encounter the Arabian Oryx and gazelles roaming in the wild in their original habitat marked by flatlands where simr trees and shrubs flourish. The experience leaves one enriched in the understanding and appreciation of nature's magnificence.



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