Turtle Nesting at Rangat Island
Rangat: A General Overview
The second largest town and an eco-tourism island in the Andaman, Rangat, is home to about 75 small villages. The destination offers a wide range of scenic views, picturesque waterfalls, volcanic rocks, and pristine beaches, and is best for turtle nesting from December to January.
Located in the Middle and South Andaman Islands, the area of this island is about 1070 sq.km. and is about 180 km away from Port Blair by road and 50 nautical miles by sea. It takes about 5 hours to reach Rangat from Port Blair by car in light traffic. However, government-operated buses that run in the route, leave Port Blair at 4.30 am, and it takes up to 8 hours to reach Yeratta Jetty at Rangat from where one will have to board a government-operated boat to reach Long Island.
A decent population residing on the island are from Bengal, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Though the population comprises various linguistic groups, the main occupation of the residents is fishing and cultivation.
Rangat is known for its unique eco-friendly tourist attractions, which include awareness centers and mangrove sanctuaries. The Mangrove Nature Walkaway, which leads to the long beach of Dhaninallah, is the longest walking trail among Mangrove forests in India. The Yerrata Mangrove Interpretation Centre in Rangat islands is another famous tourist attraction founded by the Department of Environment and Forests, which works in creating awareness about the importance of mangrove forests among travelers.
Rangat island offers a wide range of adventure activities, including scuba diving, trekking, snorkeling, and the one it is most famous for, turtle nesting grounds.
What is Turtle Nesting?
Turtle nesting is considered to be the most awaited activity all over the year by tourists. The nesting season begins in December and lasts till March. Female turtles can be found to move to the sandy beaches from the sea and dig holes to lay their eggs during this time. Each female turtle can lay around 100 eggs in one particular hole and make 3 to 7 nests in a season. Majorly influenced by the weather, each egg usually takes 45-90 days on an average to hatch. The beauty of this phenomenon is mainly witnessed during the night and best experienced by hiring a local guide.
Why try out Turtle Nesting?
It is the experience of witnessing the process, from female turtles laying eggs to hatchlings finding their way back to the sea that attracts tourists each year in numbers. Spectating such a natural activity is sheer luck, and travelers take to one’s heels in numbers for it.
Best time for turtle nesting at Rangat Island
While the process is hugely dependent on weather, this activity’s favorable time is from around December to March. Several tourism companies and even local guides provide tour packages that include this activity in Rangat. It is advised to keep one night reserved for experiencing this beautiful phenomenon. Also, the temperature during this season is pleasant, offering tourists a hassle-free travel experience.
Why perform this activity at the Rangat Island
Rangat Island offers a wide palette of adventure activities and the opportunities to explore several parts of nature all at once. Usually, experiencing turtle nesting takes 1-2nights and leaves travelers ample free time to make the best out of their trips.
It is the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts that offer several other adventure activities which include trekking and enjoying
scenic, picturesque waterfalls at Panchvati hills, walk around the virgin beaches at Long island which also includes further small trips to Guitar island, Lalaji beach, Mark Bay beach, and adventure activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming. Moorys Dare, a rocky terrain, situated opposite to Amkunj Beach is a hub for thrill-seeking adventurists and trekkers.
Popular Places for Turtle Nesting
Rangat comprises a lot of beaches that host turtle nesting grounds. Some of the famous and most looked forward to being Amkunj beach, Cuthbert Bay, Dhaninallah beach, and Karmatang beach, which is often regarded as the “turtle paradise.”
Amkunj beach, approximately 8km away from Dhaninallah, stands on the outskirts of Rangat towards Mayabunder and has unique eco-friendly structures that provide shelter for the travelers like huts, log sofas. Its clean beaches are perfect nesting grounds for turtles and, at the same time, allows travelers to enjoy quality time in the sea with activities ranging from swimming to snorkeling.
Cuthbert Bay beach, connected with Amkunj Beach, stands at a distance of about 12km from Rangat is a wildlife sanctuary and is a hub of turtle nesting grounds while playing an important role in the turtle conservation efforts.
Kamratang beach, 12km from Mayabunder, is the most famous turtle nesting farm. The “turtle paradise” hosts several stays and shelters for the travelers and acts as a weekend getaway for the locals of Mayabunder.
Apart from Rangat, some of the other destinations are favorable for experiencing turtle nesting like some of the beaches in Odisha, Ratnagiri, Chennai, Goa.
Most of the locations in Rangat provide a safe and relaxing stay to the tourists and make sure to maintain a balance with nature by introducing eco-huts and several such eco-friendly measures.
Trips within the island take very little time and yet provide the untouched beauty of the environment. And indeed, it will be acceptable to conclude, the best way to find oneself is by getting lost in nature.
Overall, one can expect a calm, relaxing, and soothing stay in the lap of nature while unveiling the wilderness of it.
The place’s economy greatly depends on tourism activities; therefore, hotels and homestays are easily available in almost every popular tourist location. Apart from these, there are quite a few hotels, lodges, and restaurants that offer a rather luxurious and relaxing stay for the journey. Some high rated and noteworthy are; Hawksbill Nest, an Andaman and Nicobar Department of Tourism facilitated hotel, Green Valley Resorts in Mayabunder.
There are several small eateries and local food joints all over the island that serve several forms of cuisines that reflect the cultural diversities and ethnicities of the local residents in an acceptable amount of expenditure.
Safety Precautions to be followed for turtle nesting
Andaman’s tireless efforts to make it an eco-friendly destination have always been a talk of the nation. Turtle nesting farms convey huge changes in nature and the process of turtle conservations. One is expected to follow certain rules for the preservation of these living creatures, which include prohibitions on littering, making noise, or attempts to feed the turtles. Studies show that over one-third of the turtles population suffer from consuming plastic or litters in their lifetimes. Therefore it is important to understand and value the emergency of the situation and respect the natural process of the creation of life.