Soon we were on the road to Kalba on the UAE – Oman border, headed for what was supposedly a vantage viewpoint overlooking the Mangrove and Al Hafeya Protected Area in Khor Kalba.
The ride was fun but on getting to the location we were blocked by a barrier and a security guard who informed us that the place was closed for maintenance. That would have been it had not Kate walked into the little bridge leading to the viewpoint and called…”Guys, turtles!”
And turtles they were, (looked like hawksbills) perhaps a couple of clans. They seemed to be quite excited by our presence for they willingly kept us entertained by their antics for almost an hour.
They would swim up to the surface, break out of the water, give us the look (or so it seemed), sometimes do a back flip and dive back into the deep. And we excitedly looked for the next turtle to make an appearance.
And when the turtles did take a break, there were plenty of fish… from little fry to surprisingly big species, all happy to share the same space without treading onto each others fins.
According to reports, the government is working to protect turtles, conserve their habitat in Khor Kalba’s mangroves and increase the animals’ population. In fact, the turtles have only recently returned to Kalba after an absence of 30 years.
I’ve done my fair share of wildlife watching and aquarium visits, but this was something I had never experienced before.
Certainly something I would love to do again.