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Hawksbill turtle hatchling swimming
And he’s off ! This hawksbill turtle hatchling has celebrated his first victory by making it to the water but still has to cope with the hardships of survival yet to come © Time + Tide Miavana/Andrew Macdonald

Nothing quite beats the sensation of watching newborn turtles climb and clamber towards the beginning of their ocean lives. It is a tough journey, however, and to make it to the shoreline there are many obstacles that need to be overcome, including predators such as crabs and birds as well as uneven sand and driftwood.

Below is a collection of photos, taken at Time + Tide Miavana in Madagascar, of newborn hawksbill and green turtle hatchlings taking on their first challenge in life. These two clutches hatched within a few days of each other in April 2019.

Hawksbill turtle hatchling on the beach in Madagascar
A hawksbill turtle hatchling makes its journey to the inviting shoreline of Madagascar © Time + Tide Miavana/Andrew Macdonald

Simon, a Time + Tide Miavana guide, and his team are responsible for protecting the unhatched sea turtles. When necessary, the clutches will be moved further back from the shore so that they are able to hatch in a safe environment.

Local guide showing a turtle egg
Simon with a turtle egg © Time + Tide Miavana/Andrew Macdonald

It is estimated that only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will reach maturity. Those that do survive still risk being driven to extinction.

Green turtle hatchlings before leaving the nest 
Green turtle hatchlings before leaving the nest © Time + Tide Miavana/Andrew Macdonald

The human population has such a big role to play in this. We endanger turtles in many ways, one being through the impact of marine debris and pollution.

A hawksbill turtle hatchling swimming for the first time
A hawksbill turtle hatchling swimming for the first time © Time + Tide Miavana/Andrew Macdonald

We can reduce these threats by the simple choices we make in day to day life, starting with the reduction of plastic. Reusing shopping bags, boycotting over-packaged goods and saying no to the straw in your drink and the lid on your coffee cup, are a few places to start.

A green turtle hatchling makes its way to the sea
A green turtle hatchling makes its way to the sea © Time + Tide Miavana/Andrew Macdonald
Travel with us
Time + Tide

Time + Tide is an award-winning, family owned and operated collection of camps with over 65 years of history. We focus on conserving unique land and marine areas, making a positive impact on our local communities and offering you safaris of a lifetime. ZAMBIA Norman Carr Safaris - South Luangwa and Liuwa Plain National Parks Chongwe Safaris - Lower Zambezi Valley MADAGASCAR Miavana - Nosy Ankao