Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond

Animal Sanctuary in Nungwi
© JfJacobsz / Getty Images
© JfJacobsz / Getty Images

In 1993 the villagers of Nungwi opened this turtle sanctuary in a large natural tidal pool near the lighthouse and since then these sea creatures have enjoyed a degree of protection from being hunted and eaten. You can see turtles of various species and sizes, and proceeds from entrance fees fund an education project for local children, hopefully demonstrating the benefits of turtle conservation.

If fishermen accidentally catch a turtle in their net, they bring it to the aquarium. Likewise, turtle eggs discovered on the beach are brought here to hatch.

On a single day every February, a highlight of the year is when local people, tourists, hotels and dive centres cooperate with conservationists to assist hundreds of hatchlings survive their perilous journey across the beach and out to the open sea.

This centre should not be confused with the nearby Baraka Natural Aquarium, which unfortunately allows guests to swim to turtles (an activity that conservationists believe is harmful for the animals).