Turtle Island – Join a 2 Day Trip to Turtle Island Park, Sabah, Borneo
Enjoy an overnight trip to Selingan Island, more commonly referred to as Turtle Island, to see Turtles laying eggs. Turtle Island Park is positioned 40km north of Sandakan in the Sulu Sea. The park is a safe sanctuary for the scarce Green and hawksbill turtles. Experience the opportunity to observe turtle landings. The headquarters, turtle hatchery, tourist accommodation and basic facilities are based in Selingan – the largest island amongst the other 3 islands on Turtle Island Park, Sabah, Borneo.
On the first day of this trip, you will be transferred to Turtle Island. You’ll have the afternoon free to relax on the beach or go snorkelling along the coral reefs fringing Turtle Island. In the evening, you will learn more about Turtle conservation efforts at Turtle Island, watch Turtle hatchlings being released and watch a mature Turtle laying eggs – an amazing experience!
Visit Turtle Island And Learn About Turtle Conservation In Sabah, Borneo
During this Turtle Island trip, you will also visit on Day 2 a morning feeding session at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is world-famous for its efforts to help orphaned or rescued Orangutans return to the wild. Last but not least, enjoy lunch before being transferred to your drop-off location in Sandakan.
A visit to Turtle Island also works really well when combined with a visit to the Kinabatangan River to watch wildlife. Check out our 3D2N and 4D3N Turtle Island & Kinabatangan River Trip as other options, which include visiting Turtle Island.
Trip Itinerary – 2D1N Turtle Island Trip, Sabah, Malaysia
Day 1 (Meals: L & D)
~08:00hrs – 09:15hrs: You will be collected from your hotel within Sandakan or at Sandakan Airport or your hotel near Sepilok. If you are flying to Sandakan Airport to join the tour, you need to arrive at SDK by 08:00hrs. You will be transferred by minibus/coach to Sandakan Yacht Club for your boat ride to Selingan Turtle Island Park. 10:00hrs: Your boat departs for Turtle Island.
The boat transfer to Turtle Island will take approximately 45 minutes (depending upon the sea state). Upon arrival, you will register at the Parks HQ and check into your chalet.
12:00hrs: Enjoy lunch at the cafeteria. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the island, chill out on the beach or go snorkelling in the sea (snorkel gear is available to rent at Turtle Island).
Early evening: You will have dinner at the cafeteria. After dinner, Rangers will call you to observe turtles laying eggs. Watch the Ranger transfer the eggs to the hatchery and enjoy the opportunity to observe the release of baby turtles to the open sea. You will also be called by the Ranger when there is an opportunity to watch a Turtle nesting (laying eggs).
Overnight on Turtle Island in a twin share room (with ensuite shower room and aircon). Click here to see photos of Turtle Island Resort and the accommodation.
Day 2 (Meals: B & L)
07:00hrs: Depart Turtle Island on your boat and transfer back to Sandakan. After breakfast, proceed to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center.
10:00hrs: Join the morning feeding session at Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. At this world-renowned centre, come face to face with human’s closest relatives, the Orangutans. Orangutans share 97% of the same DNA as humans. The Orangutans’ feeding time is at 1000 hrs. While Orangutans rehabilitation is still the primary goal at Sepilok, present aims include public education on conservation, research and assistance to other endangered species (such as captive breeding of the rare and endangered Bornean Rhinoceros).
~11:30hrs: You will be transferred to your lunch location. You’ll enjoy a tasty lunch at a restaurant in a Lodge located near Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
12:30hrs: After lunch, you will be transferred to either your hotel or to Sandakan Airport (it is recommended you book a flight departing from 14:00hrs onwards).
Trip Pre-requisites – 2D1N Turtle Island Trip, Sabah, Malaysia
This 2D1N trip is open to all.
- Return road transfer from Sandakan or Sepilok area to the jetty (Sandakan Yacht Club).
- Return scheduled boat transfers to Turtle Island.
- Meals (1 Breakfast, 2 x Lunch, 1 Dinner).
- Visits (and entrance fees) to Turtle Island, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre feeding session.
- One night accommodation on Turtle Island in a twin sharing room (with air-con) with an ensuite shower room.
- Guiding throughout your trip by an English-speaking licensed Nature Guide.
- Limited free drinking water is provided at Turtle Island Resort (1 small bottle per person at lunch and dinner). We suggest you take large bottles of water with you for your overnight stay at Turtle Island.
- 0% Sales & Service Tax on the tour price as applicable from 6th May 2019.
Camera/video conservation fee at Turtle Island (RM10 per item) and Sepilok Sanctuary (RM10 per item), extra bottled water, soft drinks or alcoholic drinks. Snorkel gear is available to rent at Turtle Island.
Upgrades are available for this tour – see add-on options above. Tour price is based on joining a shared trip – surcharges are applicable if you add on a private boat for transfer to Turtle Island, private Guide or private minibus transfers.
Recommended Packing List For The Trip
To get the most from this trip, please bring with you a raincoat, cap/hat, insect repellent, sun cream, comfortable walking shoes, comfortable cotton T-shirt, long sleeve top, long or short trousers, binoculars, torch, camera and personal medications (if needed). Please take your passport with you on this trip – your passports will be checked at Turtle Island. We recommend you take a large bottle of drinking water per person as limited free drinking water is provided by Turtle Island Resort.
Notes – 2D1N Turtle Island Trip, Sabah, Malaysia
Turtle Island Park is located some 40km from Sandakan city. The boat ride from the jetty to the island takes 45 mins – 1 hour. If you suffer from seasickness, it is recommended you take seasickness tablets. For boat transfers to/from Turtle Island Resort, the Sandakan Marine Department, on a daily basis, based on weather/tide updates, will make a safety decision if boat transfers are allowed. In the case of a choppy sea state, parents may find the boat crossing to Turtle Island not suitable for infants. Persons with back problems or pregnant may find the boat transfer to Turtle Island unsuitable when there are rough seas.
Triple sharing is only allowed for children below the age of 12 years old with parents. 3rd adult will need to have his/her own room at an extra surcharge for a single supplement. All tours are subject to weather conditions.
Sabah Parks (who manage Turtle Island conservation activities) endorse the following conservation, and safety, practices at Turtle Island. This is to minimise any negative impact on the Turtles who come to lay eggs on the island:-
- Sabah Parks allow the only camera of unaided flash to take photographs of the turtle (Video/Digital Video Camera are not allowed).
- Visitors are not allowed to go around the island on their own from 6:00 pm – 6:00 am.
- Only one (1) turtle sighting per night is allowed for visitors to Turtle Island.
The Turtle Island trip price is valid for trips taken up to the 30th June 2023.
Iona and Ed –
We had a lovely time on Turtle Island and at Sepilok! Even though it was raining a lot and the tide was too high to see a mother turtle, we still got to rescue hundreds of baby turtles and take them out to sea. We had a great time! Our guide (Aljun) was lovely and made sure we got to see as much as possible. His knowledge was brilliant, and we were in good hands.
Rebecca Esteve –
I had a great experience at Turtle Island, Sepilok, Sun Bears, Probiscus Monkeys and war memorial. My guide for the day today, Aljua, was excellent. He was friendly, respectful, has great English and gave me lots of great information about each of the animal experiences.
Andrea Fung –
We had the most amazing time ever!
It was better than we expected!
It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Our guide; Jack was the best ever!
We had such a good briefing before everything started. So everyone knew what to do when the turtles were birthing etc.
Jack also really made sure that we got the most out of this experience, and looked after us for making sure we had the best spot for pictures, up and close with the turtles.
We were fortunate to be part of a small group of only 16 people so we could fully experience everything.
Will definitely tell all our family and friends about your company and that they should request Jack as their guide to have the same wonderful experience we had.
Thank you so much for giving us this nice experience.
Bethan Comley –
What a trip!! It really was amazing and it was such a privilege to see a turtle nesting, the hatchlings being released and then a large male orangutan coming to check out the tourists the following day, I couldn’t have asked for more.
I want to say a massive thank you to the guide, Abdul too. I had a message whilst I was on turtle island to say that my flights back the UK on the Saturday had been changed and he was very sweet and kind in helping me to come up with alternative arrangements and contacted the office to make sure that I was still able to experience the sanctuary on day 2 and still make it to the airport in time. His kindness and pro active attitude completely took the stress away from this frustrating situation so I was still able to completely enjoy the experience.
I honestly can’t say which was my favourite part but I think the peace and tranquillity of the island was amazing. I came on the tour directly from quite an intense course and it was just what I needed before I came home.
There is nothing that I would change about this trip – it was truly fantastic.
Stephanie Hung –
I had a great time on Turtle Island!! It has been one of the highlights of my trip so far and probably from my past travel experiences as well!
Our guide was amazing, very knowledgeable and was very very helpful with everything needed on the trip. He was always cautious of the timing of where everyone needed to be and made sure we were on schedule. He certainly made the trip worthwhile! He had the answers to all the questions asked and made us laugh which made the tour even more so enjoyable. He was willing to help and gave great advice where needed.
Tour was very professional and guide was 10/10. I felt looked after and got the most out of the two days.
WouldLikeaBeer Liverpool, United Kingdom (TripAdvisor) –
Turtle Island Trip – The online customer service provided by Borneo Dream was second to none. It is the best service I have received, in fact. I had a few queries before booking my 2-day 1-night trip and always received very detailed and helpful advice within 24 hours.
I also received reminder emails and a very kind follow-up email after my trip. The service was truly exceptional.
The trip itself was very easy to book. I had looked at other companies offering similar trips but found Borneo Dream to be better priced and much easier to navigate around their site. They have the great option of adding on other trips too, such as the sun bears or the probosci’s monkeys.
My trip began with a private van collecting me from my resort and transferring me to the jetty in Sandakan. I was then taken by speedboat to turtle island where I had the most wonderful experience. It was a once in a lifetime trip that I would definitely recommend.
The next morning I returned to the jetty and was collected by another private van and very knowledgeable guide. I was then taken to the orangutan centre, the English tea house for lunch and lastly to the proboscis monkey sanctuary.
My guide was friendly, patient, kind and happy to help. I travelled alone and felt completely safe and comfortable the whole time. I was dropped off at my resort at the end of the day and I couldn’t have asked for a better trip.
I compared the price of the trip with other companies and hotels offering tours in the area and found Borneo Dream to be the best price for a solo traveller as many other establishments require a minimum of two travellers and so double the price for solos.
I would happily book a tour with Borneo Dream again and can comfortably recommend it.
Lesley Tsourdalakis –
We absolutely loved our trip while in Borneo. Very special moments spent at both Turtle Island and the Kinabitangan. Saw so much wildlife exactly where it’s meant to be. Alas, the Orangutans remained elusive but we’ll be back to do it again and hopefully next time we may see them.
Mandy Lewis –
We took the 2D1N trip to Turtle Island and it was amazing. The service was prompt from being picked up from our hotel, the guide was very knowledgeable and kept us informed of the programme at all times. The accommodation on the Island was basic but very clean and insect free!! Turtle Island was paradise and we saw a huge green turtle, another coming in to land and released baby turtles! We had our own bathroom and the food was plentiful varied and of a good standard. Luckily we got a smooth crossing to the Island and it only took an hour. It was great the programme was flexible as we wanted to see the Sun Bears. I would definitely recommend this trip.
Gelder Family, UK –
Hi Joanne, Thanks for the link and the photos they are fabulous. I have now downloaded the photos so you can delete the link. We had a great time in Sabah with quite a variety of experiences. You organized everything wonderfully which meant we could just enjoy the activities. Our few days in Singapore were different again. We mostly just took in the ambience of the place by hitting the shopping Malls and then back to the hotel pool for the afternoon. I even managed to find a hotel with a waterslide just near to Clarke Quay. On our last day we took in the water park on Sentosa, no surprise there I suppose before getting the night flight back to the UK. Thank you once again and you never know we may return to Sabah. Alan, Helen, Matthew and Elizabeth