Best time to swim with dolphins

The best time to swim with dolphins


WHEN TO WATCH AND SWIM WITH DOLPHINS



In practice, being wildly exposed in the open ocean leaves boats at the mercy of Mother Nature, who conspires with cyclones, rough seas and downright miserable weather to make some seasons thoroughly unsuitable for sailing. On the flipside, choosing your departure date carefully means you can combine your dolphin watching tour with seeing other creatures such as humpback whales or puffins, or enjoying tropical flowers in bloom, while in some destinations you can time it to tick off the greatest number of dolphin species.

Take a look at our chart for the best times to swim with dolphins in each destination, as well as the worst times to watch them, to help you avoid storms and sighting-free trips.

When to take a dolphin vacation


month by month guide

If youíre traveling in January, February and March then you should look out for dolphins in New Zealand, Hawaii, Western Australia, Baja (in Mexico), Central America, Belize and Sri Lanka.

April is the start of dolphin watching season in Egypt, Scotland, La Gomera (in the Canaries) and both the Ligurian and Ionian seas.

May, June and July are the best months to watch dolphins off the coastlines of the Azores, Ireland, Egypt, Madeira, Fiji, Newfoundland and Jersey with several of these locations still providing ideal conditions into August and September.

New Zealandís and Western Australiaís dolphin watching seasons start in October and November whereas Belize and Sri Lanka typically pick up the binoculars around the end of the year in December.

Basically, avoid rough seas and crowded destinations, particularly around the school vacations.

Best time to swim with dolphins


responsibletravel.com recommends

Derek Hairon of our supplier Jersey Kayak Adventures shares his favourite times to see dolphins off the Jersey coast Ė and reminds us that itís not just the season thatís important, but also the time of day:

ďTake binoculars and keep an eye out to sea about one hour after low tide on the north coast. The top of Mont Orgueil castle is also a good spot to observe on the rising tides looking east to south east.

The trick is to look out for splashes and to take time to look rather than a quick glance so sit down and use this as an opportunity to have a snack or picnic and keep a view on the ocean. Even if you see nothing you'll have had a nice break. Spring and summer are good times as ideally you want calm days so any splashes as they break the surface or even jump can easily be seen.

Amanda Stafford, from our supplier Dolphin and Whale Connection discusses the best time to swim with dolphins in the Azores:

"You can swim with dolphins here, but it very much depends on the time of year and on sea conditions Ė so for this reason itís best to go in May to September. The islands are in a very isolated location, thereís no other landmass nearby, so when the weather comes in the sea can be pretty treacherous. So it very much depends on the sea conditions being calm and safe enough for us to let people swim. Itís done on a per-trip basis Ė as with any wildlife encounter, you canít guarantee it."
Photo credits: [The azores: Abspires40]
Written by Vicki Brown
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