Mauritius is an island nation some 2,000 km off the East coast of Africa, in the Southern hemisphere, about 1/4th the size of the region of Madrid. Most of its surface is covered by sugar cane fields and a national park. The beaches are splendid. A major part of its coast is surrounded by coral reef. The service by Mauritians is terrific.
We have just come from spending a relaxing week over there and in this blog post I wanted to share one experience that marked me from this trip: swimming with dolphins in open waters.
One of the excursions offered was to go one day very early in the morning to take a boat off from Tamarin port in order to spend about 2 hours swimming with dolphins. One tourist from our group asked “what are the chances of actually seeing dolphins?”, “over 95%” confidently said the tour operator who tried to sell the different packages.
As the experience promised to be unique we went for it. And unique it was.
After having driven for almost 2 hours to cross the island, at 7am we were in the boat already seeing dolphins. We put on the snorkelling kit: flippers, mask and tube and off to the water.
At first, the anxiety made me lose my breath. After less than one minute you get used to it. In less than 2-3 minutes you get to locate the dolphins just by seeing their fins some meters away. Then you start swimming trying to chase them. “Look down!” said the guide. Once, you look down, you get to see some dolphin swimming some meters below. Then 2, 3, 4… and off you go swimming along with them. With the flippers it doesn’t even cost a lot of effort to keep pace with them. Soon enough you see yourself surrounded by over 10 dolphins. You think that they are not more than 20 centimetres away, you extend your arm but cannot touch them. They’re probably not far away, but not that close either. They swim on the surface, breath and go down some metres under the surface. You follow them from up above until they come up again. This sequence is repeated once and again. Until at some point you lose that group. Back to the beginning. You locate some dolphin, swim towards it and then find a group… it went on and on for almost 2 hours.
See a video we took and some pictures below (1).
If you ever have the chance, do not miss it.
(1) In Youtube you may find much better videos taken with cameras under the water surface.