Turtle Islands National Park Malaysia is also called as Pulau Penyu National Park. Covering three islands; Pulau Bakungan Kecil, Pulau Selingan, and Pulau Gulisan, the national park features the hawksbill and green turtles that periodically put their eggs on the islands’ beaches. The marine parks of Malaysia and Philippine borders protect the islands. You can see the turtles nesting all year round, but more common when the seas are calm in July to October.
How to Reach Turtle Islands National Park
Most people get to the Turtle Islands National Park from Sandakan Town to Pulau Selingan by boat. However, there is no public boat operating on the island. The visitors should join a tour or via the Park’s office.
The national park headquarters, basic facilities for the tourists, visitor center, and the turtle hatchery and conservation have been available on the Selingan Island, the largest island of the Turtle Island National Park Malaysia. Sandakan is the closest mainland where most visitors start sailing to the national park island.
It was Sabah’s capital and was a great timber industry in the middle of 1970s. Nowadays, it is well-known for the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center that is situated on the outskirts.By taking a speedboat, visitors can reach the Turtle Island National Park in one hour from Sandakan. During the short trip, Irrawaddy Dolphins often show up greeting the tourists.
Best Time to Visit Turtle Island National Park
All months throughout the year can be your time to visit the national park. However, most turtles land to the islands on July-October when the sea waves and the Turtle Island National park weather are calmer. The turtles land to lay their eggs. So you can see the mother turtles, join the eggs collecting observation, and also release the baby turtles to the sea.
Because of the landing time of the turtles is at night, you certainly should stay overnight in order to see the mother turtles laying the eggs. But make sure you can keep quiet and don’t take pictures flashed camera because it can make the turtles stressful.
Plan your trip to the Turtle Island National Park Sabah in advance so that you can prepare all transports and accommodation needs completely. Start by preparing the flights to Sabah, check Airpaz to find the best deals and departure time. From Sabah, take a boat from the Sabah Parks jetty on Jalan Buli Buli Sim. The boat leaves at 9.30 am and will take you to Selingan Island in about one hour.