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WHAT TO DO IN BETWEEN SEEING CETACEANS

Disconnect

Some destinations invite this more than others – sand spits of Baja California, islands off the coast of Kenya, the unspoiled paradise of Dominica or tiny Barbuda, with just 1,200 inhabitants. Yoga, massages, birding treks, fishing villages, coastal rainforests and postcard-perfect sunsets complete the scene.

Enjoy the wildlife
of the land and air

Dolphin watching daytrips leave plenty of free time to indulge in other activities, so depending on which far-flung corner of the globe you find yourself in there are many ways to make the most of your surroundings. Having explored what cruises through the ocean, wildlife fans will relish the opportunity to discover what’s lurking on land and soaring in the sky. In Scotland, look skyward to catch sight of hen harriers, sea eagles and magnificent golden eagles, while along the coast puffins make their nests, both in Scotland and Jersey. Monk seals have taken over Madeira’s uninhabited Islas Desertas, while enormous elephant seals with comically long noses lounge around Argentina’s Peninsula Valdés. Across Central America, you’ll see sea turtle nests on beaches, hear howler monkeys and spot slow-moving sloths. Sri Lanka offers a rarer treat – the elusive leopard, tracked through the national park on specialist tours.

Help conservation efforts

Dolphins are sure to leave you wanting to learn more about their behaviour, their habitat – and the threats they face. Turn your vacation into an invaluable, hands-on education, and take the opportunity to extend the time you spend around these fascinating animals with a research expedition.
Boats based in the Mediterranean, around the archipelagos of Mauritius and Fiji and off the coasts of Newfoundland and Kenya offer volunteers the chance to participate in research, analysis and monitoring of dolphin and whale populations. You’ll feel like a modern day Jacques Cousteau as you learn to identify species and individuals, photograph them, track them using remote sensing and laser range-finding binoculars, use hydrophones and upload data. More importantly, your findings will contribute to a greater understanding and conservation of cetaceans around the world.

Go scuba diving


The Red Sea and Belize are two of the world’s best diving destinations, with warm waters and superb visibility – as well as an abundance of marine life living on their colourful coral reefs. Beginners can take a PADI course, while excursions are available for more experienced divers. La Gomera, Madeira and Australia also have diving opportunities.
Photo credits: [Disconnect image: McKay Savage] [Wildlife image: the very honest man ] [Marine conservation image: chee.hong ] [Scuba diving image: Derek Keates]
Written by Vicki Brown
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