12 Top Places to Snorkel with Dolphins
Not many experiences can match the sheer joy and fun of swimming with dolphins. These intelligent and playful creatures have captivated humans for generations with their acrobatics and friendly natures. There are numerous places where you can snorkel with dolphins and see what all the fuss is about. Whether you are looking for somewhere close to home for the whole family or an exotic getaway with idyllic snorkeling spots, we’ve got you covered in our round-up of the top places to snorkel with dolphins.
Egypt is known for its aquarium-like house reefs just a few steps from the shore, world-famous wrecks and exciting offshore reef dives. For the best opportunity to snorkel with dolphins, head to the Southern Red Sea.
Samadai (Dolphin House) reef at Marsa Alam is a sheltered horseshoe-shaped reef famous for its population of spinner dolphins. It is also close to the best snorkeling and diving in Marsa Alam.
Species: Spinner dolphins, bottlenose and Risso’s.
- The Bahamas
With numerous corals cays to choose from, you are spoilt for choice when visiting the Bahamas. There are plenty of places where you can encounter dolphins but the best places to spot them are Bimini and Grand Bahama. There are several resident pods present year-round there.
Species: Atlantic spotted, spinner, bottlenose and striped.
- The Azores
The Azores is one of the world’s leading whale and dolphin watching destinations. In the bright blue waters of these volcanic islands, you can swim with up to 5 different dolphin species, plus blue sharks, mantas and mobula rays.
Species: Atlantic spotted, bottlenose, striped, Risso’s and common.
Along with the Azores, diving in Madeira is one of Portugal’s top attractions. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’, this subtropical archipelago has thriving reefs, deep wrecks, and is visited by 26 species of whales and dolphins.
You can swim with playful schools of wild dolphins year-round at Madeira. With some of the cleanest and clearest waters in the world, it is an unforgettable experience.
Species: Common, spotted.
- New Zealand
New Zealand has no less than 4 destinations where you can swim with dolphins and hosts 9 different dolphin species.
The popular Bay of Plenty offers dolphin swim safaris, and the rich waters there also host seals, whales, sunfish and sea turtles. Go swimming with up to five different dolphin species in the forest-draped Marlborough Sounds or swim with dusky dolphins in the shadow of Kaikoura’s rugged mountains.
For the ultimate dolphin experience, go swimming with Hector’s dolphins at the pretty coastal town Akaroa. These adorable dolphins are the smallest in the world.
Species: Common, dusky, bottlenose, Hector’s.
Australia offers accessible swimming with dolphins on the doorsteps of its best-known cities.
Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, just 2.5 hours’ drive north of Sydney, offers dolphin swimming tours with common and bottlenose dolphins. Port Phillip Bay near Melbourne hosts resident bottlenose dolphins that often approach people in the water.
You can hang out with playful bottlenose and common dolphins at Glenelg near Adelaide, or head to Perth in Western Australia to swim with the local dolphins of Shoalwater Islands Marine Park.
Species: Common, bottlenose.
Hawaii hosts an impressive array of marine life, with 25 per cent of its species found nowhere else on Earth. Its underwater treasures and lava landscapes draw people to Hawaii scuba diving every year.
Head to Oahu or Big Island to find dolphins along the coastline or join a dolphin swimming tour. Make sure you book with a Dolphin SMART operator and leave plenty of time to explore Oahu’s many top places to spot Hawaiian green sea turtles as well.
Species: Spinner, bottlenose, spotted.
Fiji’s rainbow-hued reefs and 300 or so idyllic islands are perfect for snorkeling adventures in search of dolphins.
Both spinner and bottlenose dolphins are found in Fiji’s warm waters and some resorts have resident dolphin pods just offshore. There are various tours you can join to swim with the dolphins, so just ask at your local Fiji dive center to find out more.
Species: Bottlenose, spinner.
- The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands sit at the top of many divers wish lists and understandably so. These wild islands offer unparalleled wildlife watching opportunities above and below water.
Diving with sharks, rays, penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions and countless fish is the norm at this UNESCO World Heritage site. Dolphins are also often seen in the water, with both bottlenose and common dolphins resident all year. Fernandina Island is one of the top places to spot them.
Species: Bottlenose, common.
- French Polynesia
French Polynesia’s rich marine ecosystems, which include a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the second-largest atoll in the world, are teeming with marine life, including dolphins.
From November to mid-July, large pods of spinner dolphins are found along Moorea Island’s coastline. Join a boat tour to swim with the dolphins then head to Moorea Lagoon to meet the resident stingrays and reef sharks this picture-perfect location is known for.
- South Africa
To witness one of the world’s true spectacles, visit South Africa during the sardine run. Billions of sardines migrate along the coast of South Africa every year, attracting countless diving sea birds, dolphins, whales and sharks.
Drop into the water amongst the sardines and you can watch the pelagic action unfold, with hunting dolphins working together to make the most of this awe-inspiring feast.
Species: Bottlenose, common.
Fernando de Noronha in Brazil is a diving mecca that hosts some of Brazil’s best beaches and snorkeling opportunities.
Sea turtles, reef sharks, rays and dolphins gather in the clear, warm waters around this archipelago of 21 volcanic islands. At the aptly-named Dolphin Bay, hundreds of spinner dolphins gather daily to feed on the fish and socialize. Watch these acrobatic dolphins from the shoreline or join a tour to swim with them.
Kathryn Curzon, a shark conservationist and dive travel writer for Scuba Schools International (SSI), wrote this article.
Midlands Diving Chamber donates £20k to Bite-Back
Hyperbaric and dive medical experts, Midlands Diving Chamber (MDC), has underpinned its long-term support of Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation with a one-off donation of £20,000, as the Rugby-based diving doctors wind down the charitable side of its operation.
The donation represents the single biggest financial contribution made to Bite-Back, delivering a huge boost to its campaigns to end the UK trade in shark products.
Spokesperson for Midlands Diving Chamber, Sally Cartwright, said: “For years we’ve admired and supported the ground-breaking work that Bite-Back is doing to save, protect and celebrate sharks. It’s a genuine pleasure to help ensure it stays at the forefront of shark conservation in the UK.”
Midland Diving Chamber first supported the charity at the inaugural Bite-Back at Cancer event in 2007 and then annually for the next six years. It even hosted its own James Bond-themed party on the Thames to fundraise for the marine NGO.
Campaign director for Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said: “We can’t thank MDC enough for its continued support and now for this massive contribution to our pioneering shark conservation campaigns. It makes us very proud that the country’s premier diving medical experts have chosen to back our campaigns that extend from parliament to primary schools. This financial windfall will allow us to continue to lead the shark conservation agenda in the UK and deliver measurable shark conservation breakthroughs to keep the oceans healthy.”
Bite-Back’s No Fin To Declare campaign to end the UK’s import and export of shark fins is now just months away from achieving Royal Ascent into law and, earlier this month it launched a free 56-page teaching resource for Key Stage 2 & 3 students on the importance of sharks and the threats they face.
Midlands Diving Chamber is based at St. Cross Hospital in Rugby and operates a hyperbaric decompression chamber offering NHS funded recompression to divers with Decompression Illness (DCI) together with other Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) treatments. Any diver with medical concerns should contact MDC on either 01788 579 555 or 07931 472 602.
Find out more about Bite-Back at http://www.bite-back.com/
Marine Life & Conservation
Watch The Real Watergate from Live Ocean Foundation (Trailer)
Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke established Live Ocean Foundation out of their deep concern for health of the ocean and the life in it. Through their sport they champion action for the ocean, taking this message to the world.
Many of the issues the ocean faces are out of sight, but the science is clear, the ocean is in crises from multiple stressors; climate change, pollution and over-fishing. We’re not moving fast enough, not even close.
Live Ocean Foundation supports exceptional marine scientists, innovators and communicators who play a vital role in the fight for a healthy future.
Thanks to generous core donors who cover their operating costs, 100% of public donations go directly towards the marine conservation projects they support.
Find out more at https://liveocean.com/foundation/
WATCH THE REAL WATERGATE AT https://www.realwatergate.com/
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