Top 10 Places To See Wild Dolphins In 2017

Dolphins are a well-known species of marine mammals and they swim in almost all the oceans on earth. Here are 10 of the best places to see wild dolphins in 2017.

Get to see wild dolphins in their natural habitat in any of the locations listed below.

Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) NOAA.jpg
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Courtesy: NOAA PD)

Getting to see wild dolphins is a choice activity among animal lovers and it’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.

Luckily, it’s not that hard to see them. These friendly, and interesting creatures are distributed in many spots around the world so you may not have to go too far to enjoy their acrobatic displays in a natural environment.

However, some locations are better than others and you may even get to see other marine creatures like whales while you’re there!

Let’s look at some of these spots below, in no particular order.

The Top 10 Places To See Wild Dolphins In 2017.

1) Ligurian Sea, Off Italy

If you were to call this place a hotspot for the cetacean species (whales, dolphins and porpoises), you’d be spot on. Almost all the cetacean species native to the Mediterranean Sea can be spotted in this region. You’ll see bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, and even the Risso’s dolphin.

There are lots of research activities going on around dolphin and whale populations in the area so daily boat trips are usually available and open to the public. Volunteers are also welcome.

2) Kaikoura, New Zealand

Kaikoura is known for its large number of dusky dolphins. Dusky dolphins are generally smaller in size than the other well-known species. The ones at Kaikoura are used to seeing boats and they will come close to have a look out of curiosity. Also, they’re quite acrobatic so you can expect an interesting time here.

3) Oahu and Kona, Hawaii

The dolphins at Oahu and Kona are a real treat. They’re spotted and spinner dolphins there and the spinner dolphins in particular are popular for the way they spin through the water and into the air like bullets.

There are lots of organized dolphin tours around these beautiful, tropical islands and you could even swim with the dolphins if you wish to.

4) Fiji Islands

Spinner Dolphins: Best Places to see wild Dolphins
A Pod Of Spinner Dolphins (Author: Alexander Vasenin cc by-s.a. 3.0)

This is another popular spot where you can see wild dolphins. Pods of spinner dolphins live here and you can see them spinning from the water into the air for hours.

There are research teams that photograph and watch the dolphins, then share the information gathered with the locals and schools.

Volunteers are welcome.

5) Goa, India

Dolphin watching is a popular activity in Goa. The region is literally brimming with marine wildlife. Varca in particular is very popular for dolphin sighting. There are several boat tour companies that will take you out to watch these dolphins in their natural state.

The native dolphin at Goa is the Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin.

6) La Gomera, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain (Canary Islands)

This idyllic, less traveled destination is the second smallest Canary Island and it’s ideal for visitors looking to see wild dolphins in a more laid-back setting.

Dolphin species here include: the striped dolphin, the rough-toothed, and the bottlenose dolphin. In addition, there’s a high chance you’ll get to see sperm whales, pilot whales, and the ‘greyhound of the sea’ the finback whale.

While on land in La Gomera, you may want to pop over to the nearby Garajonay National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

7) Cardigan Bay, Wales

The UK’s biggest pod of bottlenose dolphins reside in the waters of Cardigan Bay, Wales. Between June and October, you can see these amazing creatures and their impressive acrobatic displays daily. You’ll also see grey seals and porpoises.

8) Azores Archipelago, Off Portugal

The Azores is home to some of the highest numbers of different dolphin species you could hope to see together in one place. Some of the common species there are the Atlantic spotted dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, etc.

Other marine species you’ll see are orcas (killer whales), and sperm whales. There are week-long boat tours and expert guides on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly because it can get quite crowded with so many different kinds of large sea animals swimming in the same waters.

9) Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan coast is another great spot for sighting dolphins, though your chances of spotting them increase at the northwestern area. The spinner dolphins here are also quite exciting and they apparently enjoy flying out of the water to have their pictures taken.

 If you come to Sri Lanka in December, you just might see the largest creature on earth today swimming by: the blue whale.

10) Moray Firth, Scotland

Moray Firth is actually popular for its resident population of dolphins. The numbers of individual dolphins are well over 100 and these dolphins are fond of leaping completely clear out of the water. You may also see harbour seals, minke whales, orcas, and pilot whales.

We did mention that you can find dolphins almost everywhere in the world. Some other dolphin watching spots include: Vonitsa (Greece), the Red Sea (Egypt), Key West (Florida USA), Monkey Mia (Australia), and Reykjavik (Iceland).

2 Responses

  1. I think Hawaii would be my best reasonable place to try to see a dolphin in the wild. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it anywhere else on the list but I’m glad for the one place I could get to. Time to work on it!

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