Frequently Asked Questions About Selingan

Sabah’s East Coast is the ultimate hotspot for nature and wildlife destinations.

If you are planning a trip to Sukau, visit the orangutan centre or taking a peek at world’s smallest bear in Sepilok, a visit to Selingan Island complements your trip and highly recommended. A turtle island visit will add to your wildlife experience and adventure.

These are among the frequently asked questions about Selingan. Be sure to check out our other information on tours and the island itself.

Our tours include us picking you up from Sandakan Airport and we will head to Sabah Yacht Club jetty. We operate our own twin engine speed boats which are all weathered, licensed, fully insured and with a carrying capacity of 12 passengers. The boat journey will take about 45 minutes to an hour depending on weather condition.

Selingan island is a one-night experience. Most of the highlights happen during the night. It is highly recommended that you pack light for this trip. We provide a luggage storage at our Borneo Eco Tours Sandakan branch.

There is only 1 lodging provided here on the island. The chalets are basic but pretty clean and comfortable.

Each chalet is equipped with an attached bathroom, electric charging ports, air conditioning and furnishing.

The facilities may be simple, but complement perfectly the experience of being out here in the tropics and watching one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creatures. See gallery
Only a few units of these chalets are available, with a limited number of visitors at a time. So, you’ll need to book well in advance with a tour operator if you want to enjoy the whole overnight experience at Selingan!

You’ll only need to pack lightly for this trip. Most necessities such as food, water, towels, bedsheets, and shampoo are provided for your convenience.

Some essentials to bring are:

  • Swimwear
  • Sunscreen
  • Money
  • Camera
  • Drinking water bottle
  • Toiletries
  • Personal medicine

Selingan Turtle Island, as the name suggests, is a great place to watch green turtles. They visit the island at night, coming ashore to lay their eggs. This would likely be the highlight of your trip here. Afterwards, you’ll also get the opportunity to personally release hatched baby turtles into the sea!

Since most of the ‘action’ occurs at night, visitors are left to spend time at their own leisure during the day. Luckily, it’s pretty much the perfect place to take a stroll, read a good book, or just relax under the tropical sun. The crystal-clear waters surrounding Selingan are also awesome for swimming, scuba diving and snorkelling (snorkel equipment is available for rent).

Definitely! Huddling together and watching as turtles slowly make their way to nest upon the shore, before witnessing cute hatchlings being released into the sea – that makes for an unforgettable experience for any kid.

You may take photos, but videos are strictly prohibited.

Flash photography is also NOT allowed, as the sudden burst of light may disturb wildlife and interfere with the turtles’ routine.

Also, please keep in mind that you will need to pay a fee of RM10.00 per camera (whether phone, digital, or still camera). Don’t worry, this fee goes to a good cause - helping the Turtle Islands National Park’s conservation efforts.

Selingan is a safe haven for endangered species such as green turtles and hawksbill turtles, giving us a rare opportunity to study and protect them at the same time.

Eggs laid along the shore are collected and transplanted into an incubation chamber, preventing predators from eating them (but not all eggs are collected – some nests are left alone to maintain the island’s ecosystem, as many animals rely on turtles and their eggs for survival).
The turtle hatchlings are then released into the sea at night to increase their chances of surviving.

Sabah’s turtle conservation programme is the oldest in the world, with some of the most detailed statistics and research available on the subject. It is a crucial project that aims to bring marine turtles back from the brink of extinction, allowing the majestic creatures to thrive once more for many more generations to come.

Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs at Selingan Island throughout the year, but the best time to head there is between July and October when the sea is calmer. There may be times where the waters could get a little choppy. As with any journey through the sea, your boat ride may get cancelled or postponed due to inclement weather conditions.

In spite of travel advisories issued from some countries, thousands of visitors enter and leave Selingan Island without incident. In fact, travel is still very safe due to the permanent military presence on the island, further enhanced with the deployment of police and military personnel at all tourist attractions in Sabah. An enforced nigh time curfew on boats also helps to restrict any unwanted incursions.

Being in the tropics, you can expect Selingan Island to be both hot and humid throughout the year. It also rains occasionally, which is to be expected. Temperatures here range between 28°C to 30°C. It’s perfect for sunbathing, but be sure to apply a generous amount of sunscreen, as the tropical heat can get pretty intense sometimes!

Advanced booking is required when you book with us because there is a 50 visitors daily cap to enter the island. To make a reservations, please contact us here.

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