Swimming with Dolphins in Mauritius
April 13 2018
April 13 2018
The things that you will remember 20 or even 50 years from now are probably going to be moments that take your breath away. Moments that are difficult to articulate when telling others of your experience. They are the types of moments that are made up of once-in-a-lifetime experiences that most people only dream about. And for many, one of those very moments would definitely be the experience of swimming with wild dolphins in the Indian Ocean while on a sensational holiday in Mauritius.
For animal lovers, there’s nothing quite like looking out towards the horizon over a glittering ocean and spotting a pod of dolphins - mammals which some scientists believe are more intelligent than humans!—playing in the waves. And actually swimming amongst them is something different entirely. Here are a few reasons why swimming with dolphins in Mauritius is a fabulous idea (and something you are bound to remember forever):
Dolphins are exceptional creatures
Seeing animals in their natural habitat is always better than seeing them in captivity. Period. No matter how ‘nice’ the aquariums you go to are, it’s always, always better to be able to witnesses animals “up-close” in a place where they are wild and free - in this case, the ocean. If you embark on an excursion to go swimming with dolphins in Mauritius, you will (if you are lucky enough to come across them) be able to see these gorgeous creatures in all of their glory. Generally, these animals travel in pods of 20 or more and tend to be seen around Tamarin Bay (in the west of Mauritius) in the early hours of the morning as they make their way to deeper waters around Le Morne peninsula to feed. The dolphin species in Mauritius that are most commonly seen are the Bottlenose and Spinner dolphins which amaze and surprise onlookers with their playful personalities as they gracefully surf the waves.
The Bottlenose dolphins are often seen in and around Mauritius and these are probably the dolphins you will come across on a dolphin excursion. They are grey and tend to be 2-4m in length and weigh anything from 150kgs to 650kg. While they can be spotted in pods with as few as 15 individual dolphins, they can also be found in pods with dolphins in the thousands. These wonderfully jovial animals feed primarily on small fish species, found in the deeper waters around Mauritius.
In contrast, Spinner dolphins boast a darker grey colour with particularly dark patches around the tail, on the back and near the neck. Spinner dolphins typically have a cream-coloured area around their stomachs, but this can differ quite a bit from one dolphin to the next. They are a little smaller than the Bottlenose species measuring between 130cm to 240cm and they can weigh up to 78kg. These gorgeous creatures have characteristically big fins and dark, long and thin beaks. The size of Spinner dolphin pods can vary considerably but if you are lucky enough to spot (and swim with) these stunning dolphins, then you will probably be graced with one of their extraordinary acrobatic shows for which they have become well known.
Dolphin excursions are about more than swimming with dolphins in Mauritius
When you choose to go swimming with dolphins in Mauritius, you have a wide range of tour operators to choose from, many of which offer different types of excursions and packages. While some of them centre purely on trying to find dolphins to swim with (which, it should be noted, is not guaranteed—when you deal with wild dolphins you can’t predict with 100% accuracy where they will be), while others will include an array of other activities.
Certain packages include a sumptuous breakfast or a delicious lunch (and sometimes both), a trip to one of the smaller surrounding islands, a separate snorkelling experience to make the most of the tropical water and phenomenal marine life or even an added portion of the trip which is just a boat ride that passes some extraordinary sites. There are also different options for of varying durations which means that if your time is limited you can enjoy a half-day excursion, but if you have ample time then we highly recommend finding a full-day option. Pick the tour that most resonates with you and enjoy a day to remember in paradise.
Everything is provided
One of the best things about going swimming with dolphins in Mauritius is that you don’t have to worry about a thing. Because the dolphins often skim the surface, these excursions are not reserved exclusively for divers—practically anyone can take part! Tours generally take place via speedboat and your snorkel and safety equipment (such as lifejackets) will be provided to you, as will any extras included in your tour. There will also be a comprehensive briefing that will cover the procedure for swimming with dolphins, the normal habits of wild dolphins, safety measures on board, what types of dolphins and other marine life that you may encounter and guidelines for sustainable dolphin experiences (such as dolphin watching and swimming with dolphins—these amazing creatures are important to us and we don’t want them to be injured in any way or to flee to other islands). All you need to do is sit back and relax and enjoy this otherworldly experience.
Encountering dolphins is not guaranteed
Before you embark on your trip, it’s important to know and understand that swimming with dolphins in Mauritius, and even encountering them, is not a guarantee (as mentioned above). It’s very hard to predict wild animals, but the experienced tour operators will definitely do their best to ensure you have the experience of a lifetime. Because it isn’t a guarantee, many tour operators include a caveat that states that if dolphins are not seen, you won’t be able to get your money back but instead will be able to go on another of their dolphin tours for free. Look for a tour operator that offers this and travel to Mauritius between May and September (when the odds of spotting dolphins is higher) so you can up your chances of having this truly magical experience.
It makes for stunning photos
For those who enjoy taking memorable and amazing photographs—professionally or purely as a hobby—swimming with dolphins in Mauritius is an absolute must. Before you get into the water for this unbelievable experience, take some stunning close-ups of these animals playing in the waves or of your family members already enjoying the experience. You could even consider taking an underwater camera with you to capture this special moment. While the memories of swimming with dolphins in Mauritius are sure to stay with you forever, it’s also wonderful to have the pictures to share your experience with others who weren’t able to join you.
Looking to tick ‘swimming with dolphins in Mauritius’ off of your bucket list? Then take a look at the phenomenal accommodation offered by any of the four Sun Resorts (two of which are conveniently close to Tamarin Bay). These luxury resorts are sublime and offer everything you could possibly want for your dream vacation in Mauritius. With Sun Resorts, every day promises to be extraordinary.