Braamspunt and Sea Turtles
Braamspunt is a naturally formed beach of sand and shells, which has become visible since 2012. It emerged after the well-known Matapica laying beach disappeared due to land loss and sand and clay particles flowed westward with the current. Turtles have been coming to the beaches of the Surinamese coast for years to lay their eggs. Which is especially interesting for students and nature lovers to experience.
As knowledge about the animals is not widespread, most people do not know that only 10 out of 1000 eggs will develop into adult sea turtles.
In Suriname we have organizations such as our government, WWF Guianas and Green Heritage Fund Suriname which aims to create awareness among the communities and to protect these endangered species.
Sea Turtle Tour – Braamspunt
Braamspunt and Sea Turtles
From Leonsberg we board the boat around 17:00 pm and go on the Suriname River, past the Commewijne district to Braamspunt. Along the way, we see Fort Nieuw Amsterdam, the confluence of the Suriname and Commewijne rivers, mangrove forests, many coastal birds, and maybe even dolphins and squirrel monkeys. Sailing from Leonsberg to Dianastrand takes about 1.30 hours.
The sea turtle season starts around the end of January and ends in July. Every month of the turtle season is special but the month of June is even more interesting for going to the beach because 2 of the four species of turtles come to lay their eggs and there is also the chance to see hatchlings crawling on the beach.
Once we are on the beach we wait until nightfall to look for the turtles. In the meantime, you can explore the beach, get a tour from the guide, have something to eat, or just relax. A certain time is also agreed in advance to gather at the boat for dinner.
As soon as it is dark, the group is called together and the guide gives a short explanation about the turtles and how they build nests and lay eggs. Furthermore, the rules of the WWF are also reviewed and agreements are made. One of the most important agreements is that only red lights may be used at night on the beach. The guide always carries a flashlight that emits red light. When the guide is ready, the adventure begins. We're going to look for turtles!
When we have experienced the whole breeding process, we walk back to the boat and travel further to the city, a nice experience richer.
- Boat transport from Leonsberg to Braamspunt
- An experienced tour guide with essential equipment such as a med kit and binoculars
- Snacks such as chips and fruit.
- Cold non-alcoholic drinks such as fruit juices, water, and carbonated drinks. Guests are allowed to place their own drinks in the cool box.
- A hot dinner (usually roti, saoto or rice dishes)
- Alcoholic drinks
Advised Dress code
Dark clothing: Sea turtles have a blurry vision outside of water, so they are very careful about anything that moves around them. We restrict them from seeing us by wearing dark (preferably black) clothing, including:
• Long trousers (or zip-off trousers), so that you do not have to worry about skin irritating plants, ticks, or mosquitoes during the walks.
• A long-sleeved shirt or jacket for the cold and to prevent mosquitoes from gaining easy access to your body.
• Good, comfortable and worn boots or running shoes, because we are going for a walk. Leave the new shoes at home, the last thing you want is blisters.
Items to take with you
• We’ll be walking on the beach during the day, so you might want to pack some sunscreen!
• A flashlight or headlamp with red light is necessary for all night walks we will do on this tour! Of course, also very useful if you need to find a place to urinate in the evening. (There are no toilets on the beach)
• Don’t forget to pack a bottle of anti-mosquito gel or spray.
• You will see so many beautiful things, so we really recommend that you bring a camera! Please note that you cannot use your camera’s flash for the photo; this can disorient or temporarily blind sea turtles.
• Suriname is located in the tropics, we recommend that you bring a rain poncho or raincoat. If your poncho/raincoat is not big enough to cover your bag, another rain cover for your bag will come in handy.
• A comfortable backpack: the most convenient is a large backpack that can hold all the things and a small bag that you can keep with you when you visit the beach. Furthermore, a waterproof bag is always recommended because it can rain and we will be on the boat. Don’t have a waterproof bag? Then take a garbage bag that fits in your bag.
• Bring a zip lock bag for your phone and other electronic equipment in case it suddenly starts to rain (especially during the rainy season)
• An extra set of dry clothes and a towel, in case you get wet.
• You may also want to bring a power bank in case you need to charge equipment.