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Koggala Turtle Hatchery In Sri Lanka – A Complete Guide

Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka is a sanctuary that works on increasing the rate of survival of baby turtles on the island. Here’s a guide to visiting.

How To Get To Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka

Koggala Turtle Hatchery is located in Koggala, a small coastal town situated on the south coast of Sri Lanka.

The easiest way to reach Koggala is from the nearby tourist town of Unawatuna, just 8km away.

We recommend renting a scooter and exploring the South coast of Sri Lanka. They cost around 1,000 LKR per day and can be rented from most accommodations.

The journey from Unawatuna by scooter or tuk tuk takes around 10 minutes, and the main road (the A2) along the South Coast in well tarmacked.

Otherwise, you can jump on the bus from Unawatuna, heading towards Matara, and get off at the Habaraduwa Bus Station.

From the Habaraduwa Bus Station the walk to Koggala Turtle Hatchery is just 5 minutes.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

 

Koggala Turtle Hatchery Entrance Fee

Entrance Fee: 500 Rupees per person.

Koggala Turtle Hatchery Opening Times

Daily: 8:00am – 6:00pm

Best Time To Visit + Tips

We recommend visiting Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka early in the morning to avoid the crowds. 

Turtle hatching season in Sri Lanka is known to be from November – May. With their peak seasons between January – March.

It’s also good to know that Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons, a North East monsoon (between October and January) as well as a South West monsoon, (between May and July).

The best times to visit for calmer oceans and stable weather is between January to April and Mid July to September, this applies for the whole country.

However, February to September is calm and dry too, but only in the North and East.

WHAT TO PACK

DSLR Camera: Canon EOS 90D

Underwater Camera: GoPro HERO7

Waterproof Phone Case: LifeProof Fre Waterproof Phone Case

Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle

Sunscreen: Banana Boat Sunscreen SPF-50

Microfibre Towel: Microfibre Quick Dry Towel

Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka Turtle Sanctuary Sri Lanka
Watching the little hatchlings make their way to the ocean

What To Expect At Koggala Turtle Hatchery

Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka is a sanctuary that works on increasing the rate of survival of baby turtles in Sri Lanka.

Now with so many pros and cons of the ‘turtle sanctuary’ scene to be found online, we’re not writing this guide to sway you either way.

We are simply informing you of our un-biased experience, and exactly what to expect at Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka.

Upon entry the local guide will give you a tour of the complex and educate you on the work they are doing there. As well as talk you through the size, weight and teach you a little bit about the difference species of turtles they look after.

We learned a lot about the turtles, and the young guide was extremely informative and enthusiastic about what he does.

After the short tour you are free to look around the sanctuary, which includes a huge enclosed hatching area, where the turtle eggs are protected and monitored from above the sand.

There are newly born hatchlings just days old, as well as injured and disabled turtles. Some have missing fins that sadly will never return to the wild.

If you enquire at the front desk, they will be able to tell you when they are expecting to do their next release of baby turtles into the ocean.

If you like, you can visit at these times and release your own baby turtle to begin it’s life in the wild.

Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka Turtle Sanctuary Sri Lanka
Lauren excited to arrive at Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka
Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka Turtle Sanctuary Sri Lanka
Transfering the hatchlings to a bucket to take out to the beach.

Good or Bad?

We will never know whether what Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka is doing is ethically correct or not.

Some say they are doing a great job at saving the baby turtles from potential poachers in the area, as well as caring for the ones that need rehabilitating.

Others say that they are in some kind of deal with the poachers. Where the poachers bring them eggs in exchange for money, and the hatchery can make more money from tourists.

One thing that we were certain of though, is that the basic concrete tanks the turtles were living in seemed to be very small for some of the larger species.

Overall, the staff seemed extremely pleasant, as well as knowledgable about the turtles, and were happy to answer any questions we had.

So we’ll leave it up to you whether you decide to visit Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka.

Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka Turtle Sanctuary Sri Lanka
Lauren admiring the babies at Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka
Koggala Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka Turtle Sanctuary Sri Lanka
About to let her little friend go out into the big wide world.

Where To Stay In Unawatuna

Luxury – Cocobay Unawatuna

Cocobay Unawatuna is a boutique-style beachfront resort that features a beachfront restaurant, and an outdoor pool.

Offering access to 200 yards of sandy beach with views of Galle Fort, the resort is located in a fishing village. 

Cocobay Unawatuna is just a 5-minute walk to Unawatuna Bus Station. 

Furnished with artworks and wood flooring, each air-conditioned room and suite comes with a flat-screen satellite TV, minibar and safe. Private bathroom has a spa bath, rain shower, bathrobes and slippers.

Guests can expect a fruit basket upon arrival, pillow menu and free Wi-Fi.

Mid-Budget – Beach Grove Villas

A 10-minute walk from the beautiful Unawatuna Beach, Beach Grove Villas is a 4-star property with an outdoor pool, private barbecue pits and massage treatments.

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Airport transfers are available at a charge, while parking is free. 

The air-conditioned rooms all come with a living room and a TV. The en suite bathroom has either a bathtub or shower.

Budget – Unawatuna Hostel Honey Packers

Set in Unawatuna, 1.8 miles from Japanese Peace Pagoda, Unawatuna Hostel Honey Packers offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a shared lounge.

Offering a garden, the property is located within 1.6 miles of Yatagala Temple.

The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen and currency exchange for guests. At the hostel all rooms come with a private bathroom with a shower. 

Guests at Unawatuna Hostel Honey Packers can enjoy a vegan breakfast.

For more places to stay in Unawatuna, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

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Koggala Turtle Hatchery In Sri Lanka Guide