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Every year turtles come inshore from the deep oceans to nest at various places along the east and southern African coast and islands.

Leatherback and loggerhead turtles dig deep nests in the sands of the broad sub tropical beaches of Zululand in South Africa between December and January and about two months later tiny hatchlings struggle their way towards the surf.

The leatherback is the world’s largest turtle species and can weigh over 700 kg and reach almost two metres in length, a remarkable contrast to the tiny 6.5 – 7 cm (roughly two and a half inches) long hatchlings that dig their own way out of the nests.

Hawksbill and green turtles nest along some islands, notably Nosy Iranja, on the north western coast of Madagascar, usually between July and August (green turtles) and December and January (Hawksbill).

Both species also nest on Mafia Island in Tanzania and have been recorded nesting on Zanzibar.


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