Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve

Top choice ecotour in Ras Al Jinz
Image by Richard Packwood / Getty Images

Turtles don't approach the beach during the day, so for the best chance of seeing a turtle join a night tour (from 9pm each evening), bookable in advance online or by phone. The beach is a 900m, 15-minute walk from the visitors centre across soft sand (cars can't proceed beyond the parking lot). Flash photography is forbidden during the night visit.

If you turn up without a reservation you may miss out as maximum visitor numbers are adhered to. At peak holiday times large volumes of people flock to the reserve. Thankfully groups are limited to 25 people per guide, with no more than eight guides in each session. Despite the reserve's best efforts, there is something immensely intrusive about large, noisy groups gawping at such an intimate act as the laying of eggs, especially when flippers are lifted out of the way for better viewing and the frightened turtles are chased down the beach by mobile-phone-wielding individuals. As such, the experience may not be to everyone's taste.