If you are looking for the ultimate excursion to make your holidays in Mauritius even more memorable, you have to swim with the dolphins. The trip that is not that popular here, and that is all to the good, exclusivity is always good! If you always dreamed of swimming with dolphins in their natural environment, Mauritius is a real destination for this activity!
Dolphins are known to be amongst the most intelligent species of our planet and to swim with them is just an exceptional experience. Happy moments guaranteed and vacationers seem touched by an awareness of nature in general after having lived such a privileged moment with this species. It is certainly not the usual touristy activity, and it must be done while respecting the animal.
There are very few places in the world where you can so easily find dolphins in their usual milieu and even less for the experience of swimming next to them. Caroline from Caro des îles, excursions dauphins quoted:
“To swim with the dolphins in Mauritius are at least two dreams to realise!”
Everyone should agree that Mauritius is a magical place for aquatic activities. The warm waters of the west coast of the island attract dolphins since the beginning, even before the arrival of man on this volcanic island. But to swim with the dolphins is still a rather unknown activity and there are only a few boats and tour-operators offering the trip off the west coast of Mauritius.
To swim with dolphins is an activity that can be done all year round in Mauritius, excepting cyclonic conditions. With the pleasant climate of Mauritius, you can be sure to see these friendly mammals almost every day where you will have the opportunity to observe their behaviour and their daily habits.
Finding dolphins in Mauritius
To swim with dolphins in Mauritius, you have the choice between:
- Rent a boat and try to find the dolphins in the Indian Ocean
- Go with a tour operator or a boat specialised in dolphin watching. These deckhands sail Mauritian waters every day for a long time, so it will be easier to find dolphins
The second option is the one we recommend. If you are thinking along the same lines, here is everything you need to know:
Types of dolphins in Mauritius
The best-known area for dolphin watch in Mauritius is the western region of Mauritius, in Tamarin, a small coastal village located not far from Flic en Flac. While Mauritian seas have several types of dolphins, you’ll probably come across the two most populous species: the bottlenose dolphin and the spinner dolphin.
The spinner dolphin
This species od dolphin is known as the spinner dolphin, for a good reason. You’ll easily recognise their acrobatic prowess and their ability to jump out of water and pirouette at the same time. Each splash is thought to mean something different and a is form of communication which is key for their social life. This species is small in size and lives almost all the time in groups.
The bottlenose dolphin
These mighty intelligent mammals have even bigger brains than humans travel in social groups called pods. Bottlenose dolphins communicate with a complex system of squeaks, whistles and clicks which they use to find fish. They are amongst the largest species of their family and they are fast, reaching a top speed of 60 kilometres per hour.
Although both species can be easily observed off the Bay of Tamarin, it is not possible to see them both at the same time since when one species enters, the other leaves the bay for the deep sea.
Dolphin excursions in Mauritius
You can book the excursion with the tour-operator or boat of your choice. But, try research a bit on the company before reserving because there are boats that do not respect the animal by chasing them all day long. You should note that as per local regulations, you have to swim with dolphins while taking account of the authorised distance of 25 metres.
The trip starts quite early morning. You should beforehand enquire about hotel or villa transfer because that is generally not included, you’ll be more likely be asked to come to a meeting point. Once there, you will have a short briefing about the excursion where you’ll also learn more about dolphins and the welfare of the animal. After a short comment about security measures, you will embark on the boat for a wonderful journey.
You will enjoy a beautiful sail of two and a half hours in search of groups of dolphins. Dolphins abound the region of Tamarin and often times there no need of sailing that much to distinguish dolphins from the lapis-lazuli blue of the ocean. Right from the boat you’ll contemplate their elegance in water and see how they play and live freely. If you’re tempted, you’ll have the opportunity to swim and snorkel near these friendly divers.
Some travel agencies like Caro des Iles Excursions provide a full lunch and drinks (included in the price) on Ile aux Bénitiers after the encounter with dolphins. On the island, you’ll have some time to relax or sightsee the immaculate beaches while you wait for a Creole style barbecue being prepared. Au menu; fish, sea fruits or grilled chicken with salad. Fruit juices and water are also available in addition to alcoholic drinks.
It is not unusual to encounter whales crossing the ocean on the way back to the main island. To swim with dolphins in Mauritius is an extraordinary experience that you can enjoy with friends, family or with your other half, everyone loves dolphins (and Mauritius)! We specialize in villa rental in Mauritius and if you want to stay closer to dolphins and other attractions in the southern region of Mauritius, we present you one of our very best, Villa Riambelle, located on a pristine beach.