Turtle Island Borneo


Turtle Islands Park is located 40 km north of Sandakan and consist of tree islands, Pulau Selingaan, Pulau Bakkungaan Kecil and Pulau Gulisan. The park is known for its protection of the nesting of two endangered species of the sea turtle, the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the smaller hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). The two turtle species lay their eggs here year-round.

The green turtle can live for a century and grow to 160 kg. They are endangered due to their eggs, which are considered a delicacy. The female come ashore to dig trenches in the sand and lay between 80-165 eggs. The Hawksbill turtle is a bit smaller with a length of the carapace between 70–90 cm. It lays around 100-180 eggs per clutch. Afterwards the turtle returns to the sea.

Back in the park, the eggs are uncovered and collected by the rangers. They are taken to a hatchery to protect them from being hunted and from its natural predators such as lizards. In about 50-60 days the turtles break out of their shells and is put in to the sea by the rangers.

The conservation program was started in 1927 and in 1966 the first hatchery in Malaysia was undertaken on Pulau Selingaan. Today the rangers collects over 600.000 eggs each year just counting Selingaan.

It is possible for visitors to stay overnight at Selingaan Island but it is limited to around 50 people a night. It is only possible to go on a organised tour either through the franchise operator, Crystal Quest, or by agents in Sandakan or Kota Kinabalu.

Take nothing but photos
and leave nothing but footprints…

32 Responses

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  • cyril says:

    We found my(s)80897 about 100kd DOA to whom shall we report details and photos?

  • Kitty Liang says:

    We are planning a trip to visit turtle Island in the first week of Feb 2019.
    Will there be any turtles laying eggs and hatching eggs?

    Really want to come for a visit.
    Greetings from China

  • Vivian Chu says:

    Hi, i am promoting our turtle island – Walai Penyu Conservation Park and would like to include in your page, how can we proceed?

    any number i can contact you to discuss further and my number is +60128337657

    Hear from you soon.



  • Jon-Paul McAllister says:


    My friend and I arrive in Sandakan airport on 5th January 2018 at 9:15. We would like to do a four day/three nights wildlife tour including turtle island overnight. We want to see turtles, orangutans, elephants, monkeys and crocodiles. Do you have any suitable tours?


    Jon-Paul McAlister

  • Tracy miller says:

    I visited the island in September 2016, I sponsored a turtle for my father Edward Skinner on 18.09.16 but never received any updates.

  • Andrea says:

    is it possible to go to the island by our own without a guide? We will arrive on Sunday morning from Kota Kinabalu. We like to take the boat at 9am. can we also stay overnight? If we are going for snorkeling, will we see the turtles or they only come out of the water at night?
    Thanks for helping us,

  • Angela says:


    We will be staying on the Island on 1/1/16. My daughter has severe allergy to nuts (including peanut oil) and sesame seeds. Would the kitchen be able to prepare meal without nuts and sesame seeds for her?

  • arina says:

    Hi, my friend and I already booked flight 28th-30th November 2015.
    Do you think we hv the chance to see the turtles laying eggs and hatching of eggs?
    Or its not really a good time?

    How much does it cost to see the turtle & baby turtles? I’m a Malaysian and my friend is Canadian.
    Do we have to stay overnight? and where we gonna stay let say we must stay overnight?


  • Sophie Conway says:

    Hi there,

    I am trying to book a night on turtle island through Crystal Quest Tours, and have had an email back from Sophia saying that there is availability for the date that we want to go (21st November) but that is the only correspondence that we have had from them!

    Is there any way that we can secure our booking by payment?



  • Emma says:

    We are very excited and interested in visiting turtle island in November, is this a good time to visit and will there be many turtles laying eggs or hatching!?
    Thank you, Emma

  • Chereylene Gilbertson says:


    My husband and I are looking to visit in the third week of October. Are there any turtles laying eggs at that time? What is the best time to visit? Do you have availability for us?


    • Clair says:

      Hi Chereylene,
      I’ll be there in late September and was told it is a good time to visit for turtle egg laying. I booked through Borneo Dream Travel and Tours and they have been fantastic to deal with and have easy payment methods ( I paid through MOLPay). I booked the trip that includes pick up and drop off at Sandakan Airport and a trip to the Orangutan sanctuary as well (it is a 2 day 1 night trip). They may be more expensive than other providers (I’m not sure if this is the case) but have great customer service and are very quick to resond. The trip cost MYR 1803.22 with taxes.

  • Thomas says:

    we are planning a trip to Sandakan in first week of March.
    Will there be any turtles laying eggs or little hatchlings to set free ?
    Really want to come for a visit.
    Greetings from Belgium

    • admin says:

      Hi Thomas.
      In general the two turtle species (Green turtle & Hawksbill) lay their eggs all year-round and March should be a very good time of the year to visit.
      Have a great journey.

  • susan says:

    Visiting as part of an excursion in sept 2015. Will it be safe with everything going on with the filipines

    • admin says:

      Hi Susan.
      I will not advise regarding this matter but would like to refer you to your country foreign ministry. They should be the best to advise.
      Hopes for a safe travel.

  • Kate says:

    Hi can you please tell me if there is any availability to visit turtle island on the 8th August for two people?



  • Danilo Galle says:

    Hello Thanking you in advance for your attention we would like to know how to proceed with the booking of the tour of Turtle Island. We are an adult couple and we would like to do the tour August 20, 2014.
    We would like to know timetables and prices in order to organize the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan.
    We are interested in the tour, which includes both day and night to see the turtles laying eggs and hatching of eggs already laid.
    Then fit would like to know the precise time at which the tour.

  • Rasdini says:

    Hi, if you want to book tour for this Selingan Turtle Island, please drop me an email at rasdini.azree@borneosandakan.com
    Please sent me your details as possible also the date that you wish to visit.


  • Edwina Chambers says:

    Hi There,

    I want to go to Turtle island – however our flight from Tawau arrives in at 10.35am in to Sandakan. Is there only one ferry per day – or do you have ferry’s that later or any other way to get out to turtle island? We are currently arriving in to Sandakan at 10.35am on 23 July and leave Sandakan on 25 July on a flight to Kuala Lumpur at 9.40am.


  • Danielle says:

    Hi, can the island(s) also be visited on Sundays?

  • Rosie says:


    I am planning a overnight stay at your sanctuary in July. What would be the best way to go about booking. It is for a twin share.

  • admin says:

    Hi Cathrine.
    That is actually a great question and should have been informed more clearly on the site.

    The best time to go to Turtle Island is between July and October when the sea is calmer. This shouldn’t keep you from going if you haven’t planned your journey in this period because the turtles lay their eggs throughout the year. Since there is so many turtles there will always be something to see.

    Have a great trip.

  • Catherine says:


    Do the turtles lay their eggs all year round or are there specific times of the year when is it best to visit?


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