Sri Lanka,

Feeding turtles from the shore

feeding turtle hikkaduwa

We have now had a few relaxing days in Hikkaduwa, in the southwest corner of Sri Lanka. Hikkaduwa is a popular beach resort with quite a lot of tourists with a “classic” setup I recognize from many beach resorts from around the world, like Thailand. After you take a swim in the ocean, you obviously walk up on the beach, you pass the sunbeds you can see left and right, you criss cross between a few restaurant tables and end up in one of the restaurants and hotels that face the beach. You walk through the restaurant to get through that block of houses and end up by the road, with some intense, loud and life threatening traffic and pass it to get to the other side – where the cheaper hotels and guest houses reside.

That is where we live, because it is quite a bit more cheap (1.800 Rp / $9 per night) as opposed to beach front (4.000 Rp / $20 per night). It is really not far to the beach (300 meters) but it feels further away.

The other day we walked along the beach to a bay where green sea turtles come to the shore every day during low tide to eat sea weed. They are so used to people that you can feed them sea weed straight from your hand. A local guide is always present to help you out, answer questions and make sure no tourists touch the turtles. If you touch the turtles they get allergic reactions on their skin and many of the turtles have marks on their heads etc which is really sad.

I filmed the turtles with my GoPro under water and it is fantastic to hear the crunch when they are chewing the sea weed:

Close to the place where you feed the turtles it is possible to snorkle. You cannot reach the coral reef without a boat so we pay to take a singalese boat to a few rocks outside (Coral garden) to go snorkling. Even though we see a couple of fishes (like a box fish) the feeling I get is rather sad since the coral reef looks almost dead.



Screen dump, of questionable quality, from the video below where I see some sort of box fish.


My recommendation: Hikkaduwa is a charter resort with everything that comes with it. I personally do not really like this kind of beaches but it was fine. The beach was excellent and I loved feeding the turtles as well as appreciateed some of the restaurants, like “Aromas”. If you are not on a charter tour there are many other beaches that are just as nice but less crowded.



My name is Christoffer Björkwall and I am a 36 year old guy from Sweden. I have been travelling ever since I was a kid. These are the stories from trips from the past and, of course, trips I am doing now. I love mountains, beaches, wild animals, storms & tornadoes, skiing, scuba diving, adventure sports etc when I travel. I am not equally fond of historical and cultural locations (like churches). I usually keep my trips on a low budget because I rather go on one more trip than on one expensive trip.



Hello, this is a great post and video. Thanks for sharing. Do you remember approximately what time of day it was that the turtles came to feed? We will be there first week of April and I want to make sure we don’t miss this!



Sorry for an incredibly late (and likely too late) response, but this was around 4-5 p.m.


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