Ghana Sea Turtle Sighting

This past weekend, our Accra AFS group returned to the Green Turtle eco-lodge. This is my favorite place to relax in Ghana – it’s located right on the beach and has some of the best food in Ghana. During our first trip to Takoradi, we participated on a sea turtle walk to no avail. But with this trip, our luck took a change for the better.

We had just finished dinner when we noticed a group of people gathering on the beach. We joined them to see what was happening. It turns out that the Green Turtle employs six people to patrol the beach every night to deter turtle poachers and collect research. On this particular night, an olive ridley sea turtle had been spotted by the lodge staff. We walked along the coast, and five minutes later, we saw the following turtle:

The olive ridley turtle was roughly two feet long. We were told not to take photos while she was laying her eggs due to the flash. After she was finished, she used her flippers to cover them up with the sand. The motion was archaic, clumsy, and reminded me of a dinosaur for some reason. I was standing so close watching that she even flicked sand all over my jeans.

After the pile was covered, the guide informed us that it was okay for us to take photos. Instantly, an obruni papparazzi barraged the poor sea turtle. The flashes were so bright that I had to look away for a few moments. Eventually the turtle started crawling towards the flash – distracted by the light (or trying to attack us for blinding it).

Right before the turtle reached the water, I jumped nearby and had Drew take a photo of me.

The turtle was very slow going out to the sea. It would take a few steps, and then rest for some time before continuing its journey. After several minutes, it reached the water and gracefully swam away.

The following day we returned to take photos of the path the turtle took.

All photos taken by Drew W.